Inside the Snow Dome
Photo: Sina Schuldt / dpa
This young man looks like a sport: shorts, Boston Celtics jersey, cap the wrong way round.
Only the flip-flops don't quite fit into the picture.
But Patrick Koll, 32 years old, didn't drive 160 kilometers from Kiel to Bispingen to play basketball.
In this heat?
Koll's forehead shines in the sun.
What do you do on a day like this?
Picnic in the park, eat ice cream on the beach?
A swim in the fjord?
He digs a sports bag out of the car and holds it up: "My new ski boots are in here." Today he wants to try them out, but not alone.
His friend Christer Reiser accompanies him.
Koll wants to teach him to ski.
The sun hits the black car.
The two of them stand in the parking lot of a gigantic hall that is cooled down to minus six degrees: the Snow Down of Bispingen, known to some as the “Heide Glacier”.
A total of 23,500 square meters of snow, which corresponds to an area of more than three football fields.
"We would have been to the› Hurricane ‹now, we even took time off, but the festival was postponed again," says Reiser.
"So we're here today."
The two friends run from the parking lot towards the Snow Dome, borrow skis, helmets and a snowsuit for travelers.
Ten minutes later they are in the hall.
A ski instructor will instruct you and explain the basics.
Then the friends put on their skis and press down one foot after the other.
It clicks four times.
The shoes are strapped.
In single file they push themselves to the beginner's hill and ride up the whirring treadmill.
Once at the top, Reiser looks to the bottom of the hill.
Then the 33-year-old takes his first descent on skis, a little wobbly, but he stops and arrives safely below.
The slope has an incline of nine percent.
Koll drives behind.
“That was good to start with!
A natural talent, ”he says.
Then they go again.
And again, and again.
Ten people are in the hall
The chairlift rattles next to the beginner's hill, one seat after the other takes you up the large slope.
It is 300 meters long and up to 100 meters wide, with a fun park on the right that hardly anyone uses.
There are ten visitors in the hall.
Among them Isabelle Meibert, she rides a snowboard.
"I kept checking to see when the Snow Dome would finally open again," says Meibert.
“Then a week or two ago the day was set.
We decided straight away to come here today. "Her 18-year-old sister Sandy adds:" And it's so warm outside today.
The snow is good. "
The two sisters line up in the small queue at the chairlift.
Isabelle wants to specifically train her weaker foot on the next trip, she drives down the mountain with her left side first - and falls easily.
A skier whizzes past her.
His legs are close together, the body forms a line, he wags from right to left and back again, he drives in a wide arc to the chairlift and skilfully brakes with one last dangling.
Forgetting corners, busy braking
Allow me, Wolf Segler, 81 years old.
He is one of the best and fastest on this day.
He has not been on the boards for a long time because of Corona.
"It's the first time in two years that I'm allowed to drive again," he says.
He missed skiing.
Segler talks about previous skiing holidays in the mountains and that for a few years now he has only been riding indoors.
"Age," he explains.
He stops at the little house next to the chairlift, the two friends Reiser and Koll have pushed their way over here from the beginner's hill.
Koll reaches for a seat, Reiser is overwhelmed: "How do I use it?" He asks, his buddy is already on the way up.
The woman at the house instructs Reiser, then he drives up behind Pensioner Segler.
The 81-year-old rushes down the mountain in big curves, Reiser follows wobbly, holds himself.
He drives a straight line.
His skis converge to a point at the front, just like on his very first descent.
Koll follows, stops.
“Did you forget to take corners?” - “Yes, I started off in a shot.
That was too fast and I was busy braking. "
In the afternoon the hall fills up a bit, but it doesn't get really crowded today.
31 snowboarders and skiers descend the long slope.
A couple jump over the obstacles in the fun park, turn in the air and land on their boards in the snow, in the middle of summer, in bright sunshine.