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TOPIC: ski


China's Ski Boom Is Bigger Than The Olympics

In 10 years, skiing has exploded in China. The Winter Olympic Games in Beijing and the growing middle class have served as springboards for this craze. Are we seeing the beginnings of a great skiing nation or should we put on the breaks?

GUANGZHOU — Chunli traded in her bare feet for snowboarding boots: "I saw some videos on Douyin [TikTok in Chinese] and it made me want to try it. It looks so cool!"

With her board between her mittens, the young student valiantly heads for the snowy slopes. In Douyin, it is -6°C (21°F) all year long and the snow is always there. No wind or sun. As for the mountains, they are only displayed on the walls.

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'Tiny Chalet' Wonder, For An Ecological Swiss Ski Vacation

The Thyon tourism office rents innovative 'tiny houses' to ski vacationers: 56 square feet, fun and environmentally friendly. But it's not so simple.

THYON — The doubts begin before departure: a family weekend usually means filling up the car, but a full car represents a quarter of the total volume of a "tiny house." These micro homes, which first began to spread in the United States in 2008, mean the second pair of shoes doesn't come along, nor the xylophone, the three extra blankets and board games.

We will be among the first to test the Swiss version, a "tiny chalet" that the Valais resort of Thyon has just installed on the slopes.

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A Swiss Ski Pass Start-Up Looks To Uberize The Slopes

The Lausanne-based start-up Skioo is organizing trips from Swiss cities to Alpine resorts thanks to an alliance with the U.S.-based car-hire app.

GENEVA — One needs skiers, the other, passengers. Skioo, a pay-per-use sky pass, and Uber, a ride-hailing service, recently partnered to transport city residents to snow-covered slopes.

Gregory Barbezat, the founder and owner of Skioo, drove people to the slopes of Glacier 3000, above the Swiss village of Diablerets, in a minibus. "The atmosphere was excellent," he said with a smile.

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Switzerland's No-Slope Anti-Resort For Freestyle Skiers

LUCERNE — In 2001 Kurt Mathis bought the Haldigrat chairlift "spontaneously," after he'd read about it in the newspaper. The previous owners, two brothers from the Swiss canton of Aargau, felt that running it no longer was worth it.

"It was a little bit like when I decided to marry my wife," the 59-year-old says. "You could say I fell in love with the lift."

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Helmut Luther

Switzerland Grooming Slopes For Chinese Ski Boom

The Swiss are training the first generation of Mandarin-speaking ski instructors, part of a campaign to lure newly rich from China to come play in the snow -- with help from Bollywood.

ENGELBERGThe young woman in the blue and white parka is the morning's hero.

During her very first ski lesson, Ellen Wang did not dither long once she got her skis on. Sure, all the rental equipment at this winter resort in central Switzerland felt strange, and she could have been distracted with smart phone videos and snowball fights.

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