When you think of European skiing, the frames that fly into your head are limitless. Maybe you conjure up images of the frozen hills of Finland, the likes of which are incredibly well presented in last years LORE Agency film, “Halcyon Days”. Maybe you travel next door to Sweden, where Magnus Granér and the Bunch can be found spreading more butter than grandma on a Saturday morning english muffin. Or even still, your mind might take you into the fabled peaks of Chamonix, to find Tof Henry ripping down lines that seem way too big, at speeds that seem way too fast. No matter where your imagination takes you, the odds are that it doesn’t end up in Copenhagen, Denmark; and that’s understandable. Copenhagen has no hills, there are no rolling forests shrouded in mystery and coated in frost, and its skiing is… well, there is no skiing. Not until recently, that is.
Opened in 2017, CopenHill became the answer that Copenhagen had asked for. The city is a good two hours from any noteworthy skiing, but clearly there was enough of a ski presence for the plans to be laid out. The green snowflex turf is laid on the slanted roof of the Amager Bakke power plant, design by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. Opened in summer of 2017, the roughly 400 foot tall power plant incinerates trash by the ton. Hundreds of thousands of tons, to be accurate. According to The New York Times, the two furnaces inside of the giant structure took in roughly 450,000 tons of trash in 2018, while providing electricity for 30,000 homes in the area as well as heating 72,000 homes. The process, described as, “low-carbon energy”, is clean enough to be included in Copenhagens future plans for its energy, which has pledged to be the first carbon neutral city by 2025.
With this incredible facility drawing eye balls from skiers, architects, and curious people from around the globe, a few of the sports best decided to test the waters this summer. Andrew Napier, Brady Perron, and Ferdinand Dahl hopped behind, (and in front), the lens to document the SLVSH experience, as skiers from Finland, Denmark, Sweden, the US, and England came to compete in the first even Scandinavian Team Battle. It was a unique and creative format, allowing each team unlimited runs, with the only catch being that you had to drop in as a pair. The talent was top tier, with each skier laying their heart out in the name of style and, as Isabella Tvede put it so accurately, “a bit of crowd pleasing”. The people of Copenhagen got rowdy as the crew tormented the features, showing no mercy to the plethora of rails, jumps, and even a quarter pipe that was at their disposal. Jesper Tjäder and Emil Granbom even stepped up to the plate, throwing a pair of hearty backflips to get the crowd absolutely fired up.
When the time came and the dust had settled, it was Tjäder and Granbom that took home the top spot, and secured the win for team Sweden. But this competition was far less about the podium standings, and more about the people it brought together. This event as a whole served as a reminder of the shared goals that many skiers have today; to pass on the joy of the sport and inspire those who are coming next. Maybe those ideals never left the game to begin with, but there’s no doubt that they are just as if not more prevalent today than ever. Much like Alex Hackel’s recent Hike and Hang at Killington, VT, these skiers came together to build each other up, and show people the fun that can be had when you ski just to ski. CopenHill is yet another name on the growing list of places that are fostering an environment where, despite the obvious set backs, passionate individuals are building a beautiful community; one that isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.
Keep an eye out for the SLVSH CopenHill game, dropping soon.