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SnowWorld, Landgraaf, Netherlands 520m of indoor heaven

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SnowWorld, Landgraaf, Netherlands 520m of indoor heaven

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Resort: Snowworld Landgraaf 520m indoor snow slope
Country: Netherlands
Domain: Landgraaf, near Maastricht; 50'52'30"N 6'01'20"E - see it on Google Earth!
Author: slikedges
Date: weekend late August 2007
Our holiday: I went with http://www.gravitysnowsports.com/home.php but their site is currently undergoing a major overhaul and is effectively out of action for another week or so. They do race and piste performance coaching for children and adults and some advanced instructing as well. Both Glen and Phil are involved with the British Children’s Ski Team for which Phil is actually Head Coach.
Website: http://www.snowworld.com/snowworld.htm
Basics: We caught the Eurotunnel then met up with another car on the other side and travelled in convoy through France, Belgium and into Holland. Driving time on the Continent was about 3.5 hours out and about 3 hours back due to differences in the traffic. There’s an airport in Maastricht, and in Cologne; also Amsterdam and Brussels but haven’t really checked out flight options yet. The Belgians we met along the way weren’t very good drivers. Confused
Lift system: A high speed detachable six person chair, two drags (not turned on while we were there) and a travelator for the nursery slope. I’m told there are actually 7 items of uplift but they must have been buried in snowdrifts. Toofy Grin
The terrain: Like an elongated leaf with two 520m main slopes curving gently round at the edges and surrounding a smaller central slope with permanently sited freestyle kickers/ramps/rails and a mountain restaurant(!) halfway down. In addition just to the side at the bottom is a separate 100m long nursery slope. Each of the main slopes is 20-25m wide and of a consistent gradient all the way down, ideal for practising. Normally one or other of the main slopes is given over to race training or bumps or something. When we were there half of the slope on the left was set aside for various teams to take their turn at slalom gate training and the other half was mainly used by the teams for drills but was open to the public. The whole of the slope on the right was completely free of any restrictions, obstacles or anything else. There was no bumps slope while we were there. There was a little toboganning going on near the bottom of one of the slopes but not so’s you’d notice. Just as it should be. Very Happy
The snow: Excellent – better than MK at its best. Best indoor snow I’ve had. No ice, no slush, forgiving, flattering, confidence inspiring. Pisten Bully piste bashers. No excuses. wink
The resort: It’s built on a hill that looks natural but I’m a little suspicious as Google Earth doesn’t show any other hills nearby. Ample parking area at the bottom, steps down to main entrance, into largish foyer with reception facing and shop on right. Between the two is corridor to eating area with viewing window to slope and a small hall for functions. On left is another large bar/restaurant area with viewing window and hard left are stairs down to changing area/equipment hire/large hall for functions. Changing/locker area is not as nice as MK but has a rubberized floor throughout which is nice. Usual dome rental equipment. Opening hours are 0900-2300. There’s another, almost as long, in Zoetermeer near Den Haag.
Food: Two big areas for feeding and watering, one with a bar area.
Accommodation: Best Western Grand Hotel, Heerlen, 4* about 10 minutes drive away. OK but not wonderful.
Costs: We had it as a package but lift ticket is €25 for all day skiing or €40 for 8 hours (you can clock in and out with an e-pass) incld food. Ski and boot hire is €10 extra. A package of 10 group lessons is €50 incld equipment. Pvt lessons are €37.5 per hour (€18.75 per hour in July and August!) exclusive of admission or equipment hire. I think all these are summer prices only. Confused
Conclusion: Stupendous, awesome, an improving skier’s wet dream. Madeye-Smiley Shoot me down in flames but imho at a certain level of improvement it may actually be better than a mountain for many purposes. Little Angel The consistent gradient and consistent snow surface is ideal for piste performance or race training. I was skiing on GS skis which I’ve only ever been on fleetingly and have never gotten to grips with, but Landgraaf was another story. Under the excellent tutelage of my Gravity coach I was able to ski them half decently, if not exactly master them, in about half a day. At least part of this was due to slope and snow though the Gravity guys definitely know their onions and everyone in my group felt their skiing improved palpably over the weekend and most were planning to return with them soon. Cool
Pictures: On snowMedia Zone. Sort by filename to go through them logically.
Toljaso: http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=169005#169005 wink

It's gotta happen - Dawn Chorus Lunch and Slide, anybody? snowHead
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slikedges, more like a DC Bacchanalian weekend Twisted Evil Though I'd probably go on Friday night via Harwich on the overnight ferry. A good value trip.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I could sort a ferry out... might be an idea..
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slikedges, it was discussed yesterday, that this would probably be the next slide trip Little Angel
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
slikedges, Bring it on Very Happy I'd be up for a trip to Holland. I think CEM was well interested on going too. We were going to car share, 4 of us in the Espace with the top-box on, leave uber early, blast down there and be there for 10am, ski all day, then Calais for a wine load up and cruise back. Then sleep all next day.
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Sounds great! It might be quicker and easier to fly for us. Might check out some routes later..

snowHead
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Im pretty sure I remember reading sometime back that the Snoworld Landgraaf site ( they have two) is going to be extended Very Happy

If you do not want to travel all the way to Landgraaf. A High Speed Cat to Hook van Holland and just a short drive you can be at Snowworld in Zoetermeer or De Uithof http://www.deuithof.nl/7-Sneeuwbaan.html in The Hague
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I must say I don't fancy a day trip. 6-7 hours there and 6-7 hours back is a bit much I think. I'd favour one overnight stay at least - maybe leave earlyish am, ski most of afternoon and evening, stay over, early onto slope and leave late afternoon to arrive back home midnightish. Worth checking the flight situation first though - if a short transfer cheap ticket is poss then would be equiv to the day trip mountain skiing thing. Very Happy

stanton, they are indeed planning this, but it'll largely need to be done on stilts and I understand the purpose is not a big increase in length but in vertical height so that the vertical drop will be sufficient for the slope to be homologated as an official FIS race course. I suspect Zoetermeer is much busier than Landgraaf but if it takes a lot less time to get there it may indeed be preferable.
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slikedges, The overnight ferry is a party and a kip. Very civilised . . . or as much as you want it to be.

stanton, Is the cat still running? . . . had THE BEST journey back from the Hook on it in a right nasty storm, bodies and puke everywhere Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Watched that Bruce Wills crap Armageddon and the worst of the sea fell as they were being bounced around in the comet tail debris on screen and I was being bounced out of my seat . . . absolutely phenomenal .
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slikedges, Indoor/Heaven? That's a bit like 'Military Inteligence' of 'Fresh Frozen'? Toofy Grin
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
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skier88, My 70sqm is already that! Twisted Evil wink
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
SMALLZOOKEEPER, too quick for me! wink as I was saying, you won't be saying that when in a few years they turn Chamonix into the first glass roofed (or was that grass reefered) fresh frozen indoor ski resort! Twisted Evil
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
skier88, How did that happen? It's the theory of the Mobeus, a twist in the fabric of space where time becomes a loop.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
SMALLZOOKEEPER, it's your special powers mate.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
slikedges wrote:

It's gotta happen - Dawn Chorus Lunch and Slide, anybody? snowHead


Back on topic...

This sounds like fun! Count me & MrJo in snowHead

(Good excuse for a nice Dutch/Belgian beer shopping trip as well... Toofy Grin )
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Sounds fun. But not there and back in a single day.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Good pics.

The Landgraaf and Bottrop slopes look impressive.

They illustrate just how rubbish all the UK slopes are. They are pathetically undersized and overpriced.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Masque, could be a poss, but I just know it'd be one or other...unless it was that kind of party

Whitegold, thanks, just snaps, couldn't be bothered with tripods or postprocessing Toofy Grin , both slopes are impressive and I'd kill little furry animals to have one within half a tank's drive but I much preferred the Landgraaf one, because of snow, uplift and simply lighting, agreed that something's gotta change here, I know we're that much further from real snowy hillocks but does that explain why we are so willing to be short-changed?
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slikedges wrote:
Whitegold, thanks, just snaps, couldn't be bothered with tripods or postprocessing Toofy Grin , both slopes are impressive and I'd kill little furry animals to have one within half a tank's drive but I much preferred the Landgraaf one, because of snow, uplift and simply lighting, agreed that something's gotta change here, I know we're that much further from real snowy hillocks but does that explain why we are so willing to be short-changed?

Totally agree that we're badly served in this country, both in terms of slope size and in terms of cost. It seems that even when a decently sized slope is proposed in some quarry or something the local NIMBYs come out in force and try to stop or delay things for as long as possible and government doesn't care a jot either.

Just one thing, I appreciate we're further away from "real snowy hillocks" on the Alps but not so from the Scottish ones. Whilst I appreciate that those "snowy hillocks" may be seen as a bit rough and ready for those more used to the rather more clement and predictable Alps there's no need for people to pretend they're not there, it's that kinda thing that (rightly IMHO) annoys the Scots Smile
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
roga, depends on where one is in the UK of course, if within half a tank's drive of Scotland, I 'd certainly go, but it's actually more convenient and better value for me to go to the Alps from where I am Confused
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slikedges wrote:
agreed that something's gotta change here, I know we're that much further from real snowy hillocks but does that explain why we are so willing to be short-changed?



Slikedges -- Sadly, it is the British Disease. The UK is a low-quality, high-cost nation. It has some of the least sophisticated consumers and suppliers in the developed world.
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slikedges wrote:
roga, depends on where one is in the UK of course, if within half a tank's drive of Scotland, I 'd certainly go, but it's actually more convenient and better value for me to go to the Alps from where I am Confused

Oh indeed it is a bit more than half a tanks drive from the south of England to get up to Scotland and I appreciate that but I'm not sure if the Netherlands are any closer to the Alps than southern England is to the Scottish hills (correct me if my geography is waaay out, which is certainly possible) - that was the meaning I took from the original post, nitpicking I know but that's Scots for you... even ex-pats like me Toofy Grin
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Whitegold, not sure where you live, but in the event that it's in the UK, have you thought of emigrating?
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Whitegold, I'm afraid I tend to agree with you, though some of the suppliers have to be making a killing somewhere...
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Looks great. I wonder why, when they're going to the obviously huge expense of building a new indoor slope at the moment (Chill FactorE) they're making it just as small as all the others in the UK? Why don't they build something more like this?
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Hurtle, He is right though isn't he?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
roga, I've skiied in Glenshee and IIRC the snow conditions were better in Landgraaf. This'd be particularly so in the summer. wink
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
stoatsbrother, Too much of a sweeping generalisation for me and SO negative. rolling eyes
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
jonm, Chill FactorE is bigger than any other UK indoor slope as far as I can recall - apparently 180 metres long with a width at the bottom of 100 metres. Still small in comparison with these continental slopes but I guess it's a step in the right direction - I'm presuming the prices will be sky high though!

There are a couple of proposed developments that are more promising in terms of size though; there's SnOasis near Ipswich (which seems to have been in round after round of NIMBY induced enquiry for years) which is planned to be "80 metres wide and just under half a kilometre [500 metres] long". There's also Snowdonia Gateway in North Wales, which also seems to have had some planning problems and the slope was shortened as a result, which is now planned to be 500 metres long.

I think one of the issues with building a slope of any meaningful size is having a hill (or hole in the gound, i.e. quarry) of some description to build it on (in both of the above cases the proposals involve using quarries) - in the case of the new Manchester slope I get the impression there's no available hill where they've chosen (for commercial reasons) to site the slope so I presume they're limited in length as a result. Leaving aside planning and engineering issues I'd guess the company involved calculated the cost of building something longer would outweigh the probable/projected commercial return.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
slikedges wrote:
roga, I've skiied in Glenshee and IIRC the snow conditions were better in Landgraaf. This'd be particularly so in the summer. wink

LOL, I can't disagree with you there Very Happy
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The CAT is still runnning, takes 3hrs 40 mins.

From later this yr the High Speed Train link from Amsterdam to Brussels will be running so its just a change of train to London unless they run it all the way through im not 100% sure about that.
For that matter you can get a very cheap day trip with EasyJet or Transavia to Schiphol & then its only a short train journey.

The Top of the slope in Zoetermeer is built on Stilts , you can see it from along way !
http://images.google.nl/images?hl=nl&q=snowworld%20zoetermeer&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&um=1&sa=N&tab=wi

There is quite a new ski dome over in Germany between Hamburg & Bremen not that long a piste but a large area.
http://www.snow-dome.de
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Masque, the high speed HSS Stena Discover stopped in January - shame, we used it to cycle over for camping trips.

stanton, it's now just the traditional super ferry that takes about 7 hours departing at 9.00 am or 23.30 for the overnight trip.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
From the South it isn't worth going to Hull for a 12 hr crosssing and then over to Masstritch or wherever.

Dover-Calais and 3 and half hrs the other side. I have a concession I can use on the ferry's. It would be long day but no more than a days golf in St Omer or somewhere.
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Masque wrote:
slikedges, The overnight ferry is a party and a kip. Very civilised . . . or as much as you want it to be.......


The ferry from Hull would be idea for those of us Oop North. I could be tempted.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Never knew the the HSS had stopped.
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Chill Factor e is currently the longest in the UK - it's 180 m top to bottom, whereas longest Xscape is 180m of slope (ie main slope plus nursery slope). Chill Factor e is 100 m wide at the bottom, which I believe is currently the widest in the world.
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OK guys, this is my local snowdome and I'm thrilled to read you think it's better than milton keynes etc.! Wink

I was there just last month as we get a discount with work & BBQ type stuff - see I KNEW there was a benefit for working in NL! Wink Watch out for summer discounts - you can frequently get a 15 hour pass for 30 euros! Shocked

The shop at this place is really good too - excellent discounts on equipment you won't always found outside Austria (this snowdome is linked to Solden and you can actually train here for your Austrian ski instructor's qualifactions). The guy who runs the shop was actually on the Belgian ski team - OK, not the highest accolade in the world ever but... Smile

I haven't seen the drag lifts being used in over 3 years but then I tend to avoid the place jan/feb when it's busy. It's open 365 days a year until midnight and the outside bar is a real treat.

I'm pretty sure the hill is "natural" as south of Heerlen towards Gulpen/Vaals is the "hilliest" area in NL.

Heerlen is an absolute sh*thole though - it has the highest crime rate in NL and because it's on the border of three countries it attracts drug addicts from all over - I've actually encountered ENGLISH heroin addicts there and the ropiest tarts you've ever seen! Laughing

If you want to stay overnight - try Aachen (germany) which is a bigger town, or Maastricht of course. Or go really old school dutch and look in Gulpen/Valkenburg.

There is an airport in Maastricht but I'm not sure you can get cheap flights to the UK, I think you have to change in Schipol. Cologne airport is an hour away from Kerkrade and you can get there with easyjet or germanwings.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Looks like an amazing place. Would be great if that monster slope out in East Anglia got built - I think the NIMBYs are well and truly against it though!
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Shame the Stena HSS stopped, cos that really screws up my travel plans now. Used to use it all the time when I lived In Leiden, and now I live in Germany, it means extra drive to Calais, and extra drive other side. Or it means bunking off work for a day for the overnight Harwich or Hull ferries.

Back on topic... the Landgraaf / Bottrop indoor slopes must only be a 3 hour drive for me, which is about same as Vosges - so maybe that's where I'll spend this winter.
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This looks like a great idea. Got 3 different quotes for the Hull - Rotterdam ferry and they were all the same.

Ferry: Car + 4 passenger = £59 per person
Hotel (1 night): in Landgraaf approx £30 per person per night
Petrol: £10 each at most (Approx 2 hour drive from Rotterdam to Landgraaf)
Lift pass:
Quote:
you can frequently get a 15 hour pass for 30 euros


Total £120 each
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