Do you remember the time a Dutch cyclist/journalist wrote a column suggesting that his country should build a mountain for alpine sports? Well if you don’t, let me enlighten you on this absolutely INSANE project.
In 2011, Thijs Zonneveld suggested (jokingly) that The Netherlands should construct a man-made mountain for their Olympic athletes to train on. The idea was that the Dutch athletes could train in their own country, and avoid traveling to Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, etc. Zonneveld’s intention was never serious, but the idea grabbed hold of the Dutch Ski Association among other organizations.
The proposed mountain would stand 2km (~1 mi) tall and 5km (3.1 mi) wide. Initial plans recognized that the mountain would have to be hollow. This is because a solid mountain would require over 2.7 billion tons of sand. The extra weight from a solid mountain could effect ground levels up to 50km (30 mi), and drop some areas as much as 300+ ft. CRAZY.
The idea was ultimately shut down due to financial requirements, environmental impacts, and recognition that the project could take up to 30 years to complete. Initial estimates of $450 billion quickly raised to $7 trillion, and just about everybody backed-out.
This is every Mid-Western ski kid’s dream right? You look out at all of that flat land plagued by corn fields and cows, and wish you could plop a giant mountain down to shred.
Anybody want to start a Kickstarter with me to raise $7 trillion? I know some really nice plots of land just outside of Madison, WI that would be excellent for a big ass mountain. According to a study, there are 125 million skiers across the globe. By those numbers, we just need everybody to donate $56,000! Let’s do it.