All photos: Joerg Angeli
Bispingen's insane summer railpark appeared on my radar last summer thanks to an NS article. It was only a short flight to nearby Hamburg from Zermatt, where I was at the time, so it immediately wedged itself firmly on my to do list. Then I heard SLVSH were going to be there for a few days, which sealed the deal. Being a Brit, I'm pretty used to skiing indoors, but even so, walking out into Bispingen Snowdome is a surreal experience
http://www.newschoolers.com/videos/watch/834779/Top2Bottom---Snowpark-BispingenFor one thing, it's big. Bigger than any of the UK domes, big enough to contain a 6-man Doppelmayr chairlift. And the features are big too. This is the only dome I've skied where the features are legitimately mountain-sized, by which I mean they are actually comparable to those in proper mountain parks. The snow quality is probably the best I've skied at an indoor slope too, the takeoffs hold up all day without major reshapes and it isn't so solid that it hurts to crash. And at least while I was there with the SLVSH boys plus a stacked crew of local riders, there was always something insane happening to watch from the lift on the uplaps. Our crew consisted LSM, Will Wesson, Lauri Kivari, Aleksi Patja, Daniel Hanka, Tom Ritsch, Simon Bartik and more, with Walker and Charlie filming for the week. The games, which you have seen by now, ended up all being bangers.
We usually kicked into gear just in time to catch the end of breakfast in the restaurant, having been woken by either Monsieur Hanka's musical selection or the delightful sounds of Rick and Morty. The schedule was two games a day, meaning pretty much everyone was either warming up, riding or reffing. Reffing by the way, much like judging, is far from easy. At some point in the 8 hours of nearly uninterrupted ski time, we'd flake out and get something to eat. In my case, that was generally while I was due to be reffing a game. Everyone skied from first lift to last and the evenings were largely a few beers followed by collapse. Daniel managed to find the energy to woo a lady friend on the phone nightly, much to the general amusement (we all miss your voice Dan) but pretty much everyone else was out for the count.
Full LSM vs Peyben Game
Day to day living at Bispingen can get pretty intense: eat, ski, eat, ski, eat, sleep and repeat. Doubly so if you don't have a car so your diet consists of schnitzel, doner kebab and sweets as ours did. Oh and Tinder options are pretty much non-existent unless you drive up to Hamburg. It's not for the fainthearted, but the amount of progression you can achieve when you're hot lapping an indoor chairlift every 2 minutes for 8 hours a day is insane. The snow conditions are totally consistent, the features only change with a reshape and there is no weather. It's a perfect recipe for getting really good, really fast. I saw kids who could barely slide a rail when I arrived with a variety of twos on and off by the time I left 4 days later.
Daniel Hanka destroying Bispingen
The setup is a good balance between stock options and creative features and I know there are plans for this summer to include a much bigger jump than last year. With a season pass for this coming summer at $140 (129 Euros) and a camping spot right in front of the dome, you'd struggle to find a cheaper way to ski, even if you have to fly across the Atlantic first. If you're feeling fancy, there are also cabins on-site but the campsite is where the fun will be at.
If you have questions, hit up Joerga (Joerg Angeli) on here, who's one of the guys heading up the park this summer. I'm stoked to get back there for some laps again this summer, maybe see you there!