Opening this June, Harbin Wanda Snow Park is the world’s biggest indoor snow park (based on surface area). The new development from China’s ambitious Wanda Group boasts six runs, the longest of which is 500 meters (1,640ft). We are yet to snowboard at an indoor park of this size but the idea has abundant appeal. Even if it’s purely to hone your skills on familiar terrain in the off-season, keep you fit all year-round or just ride on those days when it’s a total whiteout…
The bonus of that type of infrastructure is the ability to play “God” so to speak, having full control of the weather at your fingertips, what’s not to love? I’m having James Bond style megalomaniac fantasies of my lair being at the top of my own giant indoor snow park…
The 4th longest indoor run in the world
The main intermediate run is 60 meters wide and has a 20° degree pitch. At 500 meters in length, it is the 4th longest indoor run in the world, beaten by slopes in France, Germany and the Netherlands. But its width is greater than those at the European centers, giving the new Chinese facility ultimate bragging rights.
However they will only hold these rights until 2020, when Dubai opens their 1.2 kilometer long indoor mountain that will break every known record.
Wanda Indoor Snow Park also features a 380 meters long black run that is 40 meters wide with a 25° degree pitch. A second shorter black run descends into the main park, where a large snow play area is planned. Other runs include two 40 meters long easy slopes in a separate area. As well as chairlifts, there will be conveyor lifts with moving handrails.
Harbin, the “Ice City”
Harbin, which is originally a Manchu word meaning “a place for drying fishing nets,” grew from a small rural settlement on the Songhua River to become one of the largest cities in the northeast of China. It is known for its bitterly cold winters and is often called the “Ice City”. Harbin is also notable for its beautiful ice sculptures in winter.
Harbin is China’s leading winter sports destination, although since the Beijing Olympics in 2008 the focus has shifted further south. The region features over fifty outdoor snow parks/ resorts. The temperatures in Harbin can reach -20 to -30°c in winter so I would suggest some extra thick thermals. The new indoor facility is expected to come into its own once the seasons change.
Harbin Wanda Snow Amusement Park is part of the wider US$3B Harbin Wanda Cultural Tourism City. Spanning 80 hectares in the Songbei New District of the city, the ongoing development is set to include a shopping mall, movie park, outdoor theme park, numerous hotels and a theatre space.
The World Snowboard Tour is even planning to hold a leg of the Banana Open Slopestyle Competition at Wanda Snow Park this year, Check out the details on our Events Page
What do you think? Have you ever tried an indoor snow park? What’s it like? The only difference I can imagine is it would be noisier and all the snow would be fake. But the bonus would be they can make snow 24hrs a day 365 days a year. It may not be as awesome as Ja-Pow but even bad sex is still sex right?