Better than downhill skiing, skiing on pine needles. Nestled in the heart of the Bassin d’Arcachon, a 100% ecological ski slope offers ski lovers the opportunity to descend pine needles, both in summer and winter. Skiing, sledding, snowboarding or even surfing: the place welcomes curious men and women for sessions overlooking the sea every week. For 15 years, Dominique Maitrot, 73, has been fighting to preserve and bring to life this atypical circuit.
If Beijing hosted the Winter Olympics on 100% artificial snow, Arcachon has positioned itself on a more ecological alternative: a ski slope made of pine needles. This atypical path, 250 meters long and 660 meters high, built on a sand dune, facing the sea, was built in 1938, as reported by Neo. Skiers can practice their sport here summer and winter, with the same equipment as in the mountains. Only difference during the descent: “You shouldn’t use the edges (Editor’s Note: Metal ski stops),” explains Olivier, a skier interviewed by Neo.
Between 1947 and 1970, this ecological circuit was the scene of the last round of the French ski championship. From now on it will be visited every week by athletes in search of new sensations† “There are young people who also snowboard, ski, sled, there are even surfboards”, reports Dominique Maitrot. At the age of 73, this ski fan who… “learned on pine needles” takes care of the maintenance of this atypical place. â€œ It is a lot of work”, she confides to Neo. Gone is the energy-intensive snow cannon, Dominique brings back several bags full of pine needles every day which she picks up in the forest. Then she spreads the twigs with a rake and puts them down with her feet or on skis.
When helped by some volunteers, Dominique insists: â€œWe need helpâ€† For 15 years she has been fighting so that this ecological path continues and can surprise new people. His last word: “Come many, come many! We need to bring this song to life.”
Watch (a video from Neo):
Message to ski fans: this ecological slope is waiting for you!