Former Slopes

People have been skiing on dry ski slopes of one sort or another for at least 100 years. Here are some slopes that have had their time and no longer operate, but are fondly remembered by those who knew and loved them.

Links on this page lead to businesses involved with the slopes that are still operating or to articles about the former slopes.

Argentina

Argentina, Buenos Aires

Right in the heart of Buenos Aires Neveplast installed a temporary learning slope designed for children and adults to learn to ski or snowboard. It had a length of 30 metres and a width of 10 metres. It was set up on the occasion of “Generación Deportiva Buones Aires 2018” event, sponsored by the City and the Argentine Olympic Committee with the aim to promote winter sports and to discover potential future talents, in view of the “Youth Olympic Games” that were held in Argentina in 2018. 

Belgium

Belgium, Aspen

Belgium’s long-established Aspen dry ski slope was demolished and replaced with one of Europe’s newest indoor snow centres in 2017.

Belgium, Genk, Kattevennen

Operating a 70 metre slope in the town of Genk there are reports of the slope being open as recently as 2013 and of proposals to open a new slope on the now disused site.

Belgium, Zondal

One of the world’s original dry ski slopes dating from the mid 1960s and a purpose-built concrete structure. The council closed the facility in late 2017 despite protests by over 5,000. The slope was demolished in 2018. The ski club continues to operate using a nearby indoor snow centre.

Denmark

Denmark, Søhøjlandet Ski Centre

Formerely one of Europe’s largest and widest artificial slopes, including a variety of terrain, with mogul fields. There was a separate beginners slope and ‘axe throwing’ is listed amongst the non-ski activities. Installed a Doppelmayr drag lift in 1995. Claimed to be Scandinavia’s only year round winter sports centre at the time. Part of a large sports and conference centre. Reported closed in 2017.

England

England, London, Alexandra Palace

Alexandra Palace, situated on one of the highest hills in central London, had a dry ski slope known to be operational at least in the 1970s. The park’s hillside is still used for sledging and skiing by locals on rare occasions of natural snow cover.

England, Aylesbury

This former dry ski slope now forms a garden of remembrance for a new crematorium that opened on the site in 2019. Image of the then derelict slope taken in 2006 © Copyright Rob Farrow

England, London, Beckton Alps

A once popular ski slope built on a spoil heap on the outskirts of London. Illustrious visitors from the 1980s included Princess Diana and Franz Klammer. There were plans to build a snowdome and work began and the centre renamed London SnowWorld but the company concerned went bust. The slope closed in 2001.

England, Newhaven, Borowski

Reported to be a small, indoor slope, with a not particularly slippery carpet surface, that was not a conveyor type.

England, Brighton Adult Education Centre

Little is known of this centre which is believed to have ceased operating before 2000.

England, Oxfordshire, RAF Brize Norton

A former dry slope within a military base.

England, London, Bromley Ski Centre

A popular south London ski slope with 120 metre main run that worked hard for the community and had a disability snowsports division. operated for more than 40 years but closed in late 2016 to make way for a housing development.

England, Bulmersche College of Higher Education

There’s no information on the dry ski slope here, only that it did exist at least into the 1980s and possibly early 1990s. The collage opened in 1964 and was absorbed by the University of Reading in 1989.

England, Berks, Reading, Carters Ski Slope

Operated by an outdoor sports company that’s party of a family business dating back to the 1830s. The retail division of the company is still operating as a shop in Reading and online.

England, North Yorkshire, Catterick Indoor Ski Centre

The former second largest indoor dry ski slope in the UK was located at Catterick Barracks in North Yorkshire and boasted a 20 metre vertical and three runs for different abilities. It has been taken out of service sometime before a fire destroyed the building where it was located in February 2003.

England, London, Crystal Palace Ski Slope

A short Dendix slope was known to have been installed and in used by 1965, with press preview recorded on 22nd October that year. The slope was reported to still be there in the mid 1990s although one former user talks of a slope of plastic bobbles not as good as brush so the surface may have changed. A report to London’s Council in 1976 referred to the future of the ski slope run at the time by the Norwood Society.

England, Teeside, Middlesbrough, Eston Hills

Eston Hills opened in March 1992 with a 125 metre main slope, nursery run and ambitions to become Europe’s largest dry ski centre. It was damaged by an arson attack in 1996 however and ceased operating.

England, Sussex, Euroski

Part of a business established in 1973 that sold wintersports equipment in autumn and winter and roller skis in summer, and is still trading, this was a popular indoor Dendix slope.

England, Essex, Harlow Ski & Snowboard Centre

This once popular centre with three runs, three lifts and 50 metres of vertical was part closed when heavy rain caused a landslide which took out the top of the slope but kit was then all sold off for a housing development. The slope is believed to have opened in the early 1970s and was one of the more recent facilities to close.

England, North Yorkshire, Harrogate Ski Slope

Believed to have been located on the Great Yorkshire Showground and operated by Yorkshire Skiing Limited, Harrogate was where the famous British ski racing Bell brothers learned their skills. Known to have existed in the 1970s, there was planning permission for new buildings in 1985 but it was reported closed before 2006.

England, Middlesex, Hillingdon Ski & Snowboard Centre

Formerly one ofg the UK’s leading dry ski slope centres with runs for different abilities adding up to around 400 metres of ski runs served by three lifts. The company that managed the ski slope ceased trading in December 2000
and was wound up in February 2001.

England, Merseyside, Kirby

This 150 foot (50 metre) slope was built in 1973 but never opened. The site was found to have multiple problems including facing in to the sun and more seriously, ground subsidence issues. The issues were so serious that some of the public officials involved on the project were ultimately jailed for corruption. Image Credit Liverpool Echo

England, Lancaster and Morecombe College of Further Education

A slope which (at the last report) still exists, but is no longer usable. To quote a College staff member, “I am afraid we no longer have an operational slope. In fact, it is so overgrown it looks like a Bronze Age burial mound!”

England, Leicestershire, Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre

The Outdoor Pursuits Club grew out of a 19th century rowing club. In the spring of 1982 the club  was taken over by Leicester City Council. Improvements in facilities followed including the ski slope added a year later. Over the next few years the OPC grew to be a Centre of Excellence, attracting people from all over the country to train and be assessed for National Governing Body Awards. Unfortunately with the onset of compulsory competitive tendering and budgetary constraints the dry ski slope had to be pulled down in November 1992 and the club was threatened with closure a year later but thanks to some dedicated members continues to this day.

England, Morpeth Ski Slope

Located on land owned by King Edward VI School, Morpeth Ski Slope is known to have been in existence in 1982 as their are images in the National Archive of it from that time. The slope was reported to be derelict in 2005 when a plan to build a tiered garden on it began to take shape.

England, Greater Manchester, Oldham

Oldham’s dry ski slope was built within the grounds of Counthill School in the 1970s. The school opened in 1951 and was closed in 2012. The buildings have since been demolished and the site used for housing. The image of the derelict slope was taken around 2013.

England, Nottingham, Richard Herrod Ski Centre

A dry ski slope in the Gedling/Carlton/Mapperley area of Nottingham, originally known as Carlton Forum. The slope had a 20 metre vertical and this was where the creator of this website learned to ski in 1978.

England, Nottinghamshire, Cossall, Ski 2000

An unusual ski slope that operated in to the late 1990s which thousands of plastic balls on the slope aiming at creating a different artificial ski surface. The balls are reported to have gathered in to large drifts. Ironically, given its name, the site was up for redevelopment in 2000.

England, County Durham, Spectrum Ski Slope

The Spectrum ski slope was part of the Spectrum Leisure Centre which was developed in the 1970s as a development of the century-old local Miners Welfare.  Thanks to community efforts the centre still exists but sadly the slope, which was officially opened by ski racing legend Franz Klammer in the early 1980s, closed in the late 1990s.

England, Tyne & Wear, Whickham Thorns Ski Centre

A dry ski slope that is believed to still be in place but out of action since at least 2016. Ownership of the centre switched from the local council top the local scouts at that point but the latter are yet to re-open the 40 metre slope.

England, Whitley Bay

This short, steep slope was built in the early 1960s.

England, Woolwich Ski Slope

One of London’s leading dry ski centres, the slope was located off Repository Road in London SE18.

England, Wycombe Summit

Opened in 1984 as one of the closest centres to London and with one of Europe’s longest slopes at 300 metres. Ran in to debt early 2000s, hit by a fire and then chosen as site for indoors snow centre, which never happened. in 2016 a plan was announced for a housing development on the site but as of 2019 it remained derelict.

England, Somerset, Yeovil Ski Centre

Improvements to the slopes were made in 2003 as per picture but the centre closed “suddenly” in 2007. Base buildings were demolished in 2017 after reportedly becoming a base for drug users.

France

France, Arcachon, Créppins

A 250 metre long ski slope was created in 1938 on the south west French coast at Arcachon on the shores of the Bay of Biscay.  Known as Créppins, the slope was  covered with pine needles (locally called grépin) which offered what were described as, “very good gliding conditions.” It was used especially for training in slalom, downhill and even ski jumping as a concrete springboard had been built.  By 1947 the slope was famous in France and hosted the final competition of the calendar year of the French Ski Federation, bringing together skiers from all over France. In 1963 a cable lift was installed. However the slope closed in 1970 following an accident. A “Friends of the Ski Trail on Pine Needles at Arcachon” association was founded in 2006 and has campaigned to recreate and reopen the slope but so far without success.

France, Dieppe, Côte aux Hérons

One of the world’s first slopes with a plastic ‘comb’ surface opened in early 1967, at the time the longest in the world.  In common with other early French dry slopes it was built near the coast, this time near Dieppe, backed by the owner of the local casinos. The opening ceremony was attended by the greatest French skiers of the day including Jean-Claude Killy as well as the Minister of Sports and the President of the French Ski Federation at the time. The slope material used is reported to have been seen by local man Jacques Sée in Turin the previous November 1966.  The slope, descending the cliff of the Côte aux Hérons in front of the hotel du Golf was 175 metres long and varied between 30 and 80 metres wide. Lots of skiers suffer injuries and burns from the slope surface and it was “quickly abandoned” although 50 years later it is reported to still be there, now buried under gorse and scrub.

France, La Baule, Escoublac/Le Schuss

Another ski slope made of pine needles on sand opened in July 1959 in the forest of Escoublac, west of Nantes on the French Atlantic Coast 20 years after the first and some distance to the north. There was an 80 metre ski run supported by a ski lift and floodlighting for night skiing and boarding. A ski club was created and in 1966 the business was sold to the owners of the world famous French resort, Courchevel who re-named the centre “Le Schuss.”  In 1975 the ski hut was destroyed by fire and the centre was not re-opened after that.

The Netherlands

The Netherlands, Duinrell Ski Valley

A former dry ski slope at a holiday p[ark which also had snow making equipment so the snow could be made when temperatures were low enough.

The Netherlands, Landgraaf

In 1979, the longest and first dry slope was built on the southern slope of the Wilhelminaberg. The slope was instigated by former top Austrian skier Sigi Moser. The site was later converted to one of the world’s biggest indoor snow centres, SnowWorld.

New Zealand

New Zealand, Queenstown, PowderPak Parks

Covering 600sqm and featuring a 25m slope with two 4m jumps and a 7m jump reported to have cost $500,000 NZ to set up and as marketed as, “the world’s largest indoor dry slope terrain park” this facility closed less than two months after it opened in 2017.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland, Belfast, Lisburn, Ulster Ski Club

A rare Irish dry slope that is believed to have closed in 1997 and the land it was on sold off. Records of the Ulster Ski Club between 1963 and 2007 have been archived and are held by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI).

Scotland

Scotland, Aviemore Centre

The Aviemore centre was a purpose-built resort development 10 miles below the Cairngorm ski centre, built in the 1960s and largely demolished in the late 1990s. It had one of a number of short Dendix slopes in the area.

Scotland, Aberdeenshire, Ballater, Craigendarroch

The 75 metre long slope at Ballater was one of the many leisure facilities available at the originally Stakis now Hilton Hotel (many of the rest of which are still open). Originally built in the mid-1980s and run by Stakis the hotel was taken over by Hilton in the late 1990s. The ski slope is believed to have survived to the early years of this century.

Scotland, Glenrothes, Fife Institute of Physical and Recreational Education

Opened in 1970 by Princess Anne the Institute has been a major centre for sporting activity and learning in the area for half a century. There was a small 35 metre ski slope. The Institute had a £25m, redevelopment from 2011-13 when a new sports hall was created. In 2017, separately, plans for a new Glenrothes dry slope were mooted.

Scotland, Perth & Kinross, Kinloch Rannock Ski Slope

Dry slope operated by an Outdoor Activities centre. The slope was reported to have been 70 metres long with a drag lift and flood lighting. Believed to have operated in to the early 2000s. The centre where it operated was earmarked for closure in 2019.

Scotland, Highland, Carrbridge, Lochanhully Woodland Club

A 50 metre Dendix slope that operated at Scotland’s original ski village in to the ‘noughties.’ Here is a video from the slope taken in 1991.

Scotland, East Lothian, Meadowmill

Built on land formerly used for coal mining, before the mine closed in 1962, this was a 50 metre long dry slope which may have operated in to the early years of this century as it is listed on a BBC web page list compiled in the late 1990s or early 2000s.

Singapore

Singapore, Urban Ski

An indoor conveyor slope which operated between 2015 and 2017.

Spain

Spain, Barcelona, Montjuic

Known for operating a ski lift to a summer tourist destination, Spain’s Montjuic did operate a dry ski slope in the latter years of the last century. More recently in November 2009 a ramp was built for a temporary slope for a demo using all weather snowmaking machines.

Spain, Valladolid, Meseta Ski Centre

A world-class ski centre with year-round terrain park which opened in 2006 using Snowflex. The slope is believed to have operated for nearly a decade.

USA

Colorado, Denver, Kidslope

Opened in November 1990, KidSlope was the only year-round, artificial ski area designed to introduce children and their families to the sport of skiing. Over 50,000 children learned-to-ski at KidSlope and annual skier visits were approximately 20,000 at the peak of its popularity with over 10,000 Denver Public School (DPS) students ski at KidSlope each year.  KidSlope was part of Denver Public School’s physical education curriculum.

USA, Georgia, Vinings Ridge

Situated near a natural spring, Vinings was once a popular weekend spot for Atlanta’s high society looking to escape the heat. For a brief period in the 1970s, the area gave visitors an additional reason to visit: a 780-foot (235 metre) long dry ski slope. The hill was covered with white synthetic turf and plastic pellets.  Vinings Ridge Ski Area also featured a three-story lodge with a shop and rooftop restaurant.

USA, Massachusetts , Boston Hills

A conventional Eastern Massachusetts snow ski area that existed from the early 1960s to early 1990s offering skiing to the population of suburban Boston. In the early 1980’s the centre installed an imported Dendix mat with bristles which some users say was lubricated with a silicone gel.

USA, Tennessee, Ober Gatlinburg

Established in 1962 and one of the most southerly ski areas in North America, Ober Gatlinburg relies on snowmaking for winter cover and also operated a carpet surface type dry slope for a period last century.

Wales

Wales, Colwyn Bay, Erlias Park Sports Centre

Believed to be one of the first users of Welsh made Dendix when it opened in 1962 (Dendix had gone in to production a year earlier). This slope is believed to have operated in to the 1970s.

Wales, Capel Curig, Plas-y-Brenin National Outdoor Centre

One of many ski slopes that was not closed without a fight. Young skiers staged a sit-in at the centre in 2012 when it was threatened with closure, but to no avail. The centre’s management said £600,000 was needed top upgrade it and that the money wasn’t available. Others disputed the money required but no solution was found.

Wales, Gwent, Deeside Ski Slope

Little is known of this slope but it is believed to have been located at the Flintshire College of Technology and to have been operational in the 1970s. Skiers had a view of the (now demolished) Connahs Quay power station and cooling towers.

Wales, Llanllonwell, Gwent Grass ski Centre

Although grass-skiing is technically possible on almost any slope, in reality you need to acquire the grass skis, ideally have some training in how to use them, and the permission of the slope owner. This was all provided around the 1980s-1990s at Gwent Grass Ski Centre.

Wales, Gwynedd, Rhiw Goch Ski and Mountain Bike Centre

Dry ski slope operated from 1988 to 2004 with the owner saying soaring liability insurance costs and declining visitor numbers made it no longer viable. The overall centre closed in 2009. The ski area consisted of a long wide main run with two nursery slopes all laid with Dendix matting and are fully floodlit. The main run and first nursery area are serviced with two tows, the main run had a Briton Mist System to irrigate the slope.

Wales, Swansea Ski Slope

Opened in 1989, making it one of the UK’s later slopes, but closed around 2007, Swansea was one of Wales’ leading dry slopes.