Jeppe Jensen, a skier and lifty at CopenHill in Copenhagen, Denmark, poses on the upper slope of the mountain, with the building’s smokestack in the background.



Synthetic Mountain: From Trash To Treasure In Denmark

I couldn’t remember if I’d ever ridden a bike to a ski hill before. It was a July morning in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Google Maps dropped me from my hotel into a peloton of fellow cyclists winding through the city’s bike lane labyrinth. The café-lined streets turned into a wooded bike path on the edge of a more industrial part of town. On a bridge over crystalline water, I stopped and caught a glimpse of my summit objective. Framed by the trees on the horizon was a striated silver wedge: a building to be sure, but also a synthetic mountain. I could barely make out the silhouette of a T-bar on its roof. Rising above it all like a Patagonian spire, a smokestack with a wispy puff of smoke. It was my first glimpse of Amager Bakke, known colloquially as Copenhill, an architectural wonder and home to a year-round ski culture hundreds of miles from any mountain ranges.

I rolled my rental bike up to the base of the hill and was struck by the enormity of the structure. Rising 300 feet, a cliff face made of raw aluminum rectangles filled with plants held up a jigsaw of colourful climbing holds (I would learn later it’s the highest climbing wall in the world). I strolled right from the street onto the base of the ski hill and found Jakob Ebskamp, Copenhill’s affable marketing manager. Wearing a black t-shirt and ski pants on a warm but windy summer day, the 20-something with dark curly hair was wriggling into his ski boots…

Buy issue

Subscribe to start your collection of The Ski Journal.


The Ski Journal Mailing List

We respect your time, and only send you the occasional update.