Climate change is real, and a big threat to our beloved ski holidays. Of course, that’s while we’re limited to Earth. Who knows? Perhaps someday we’ll be forced to look elsewhere in the solar system for prime ski resorts. We’ve put together your Ski Guide to the Universe for all the whimsical destinations we would love to put our ski boot-shaped footprint on.
Ice on Mars
The famous red planet is home to northern and southern polar ice caps that can both shrink and grow depending on the season up there. During wintertime, these caps see little to no sun, meaning they freeze over to become fantastic ski slopes. However, you’d have to be a committed skier. According to NASA, it would take a year to complete a round trip there and back, with an additional minimum of 18-20 months spent on Mars, waiting for the planets to re-align before you can come home. Making this a ski holiday lasting 2 and a half years!
Seasons behave very differently on other planets. Although, generally, these changes are caused by axial tilt and orbital variations, weather variations occur much more obviously in planets closer to the Sun than we are. Venus and Jupiter have an axial tilt of 3 degrees, making their seasons virtually identical to our own, however, because of Jupiter’s distance from the sun. its seasons change at a much slower pace, with an average length of three years. More impressive still, Neptune’s seasons are known to last for a whopping 40 years! Talk about an endless winter! (You might find the lack of oxygen a bit hard to get past however).
Hitting the Interplanetary Slopes on Enceladus
Enceladus is Saturn’s sixth largest moon, and a wicked location for skiing. Enceladus plays proud host to numerous awesome geysers, known for firing thousands of ice particles into the air, and above the moon’s surface. The result is similar to snowfall as they fall back down, coating the whole moon in minute, glimmering crystals. This “snow” would make for perfect ski conditions. However, as of yet, there is not enough volume of it coating the surface. Give it a few million years and we reckon you’ve got yourself a ski resort. (If you feel up to braving temperatures of minus 330 degrees Fahrenheit that is.)
Slopes Three Times Higher than Everest
Situated in Mars is Olympus Mons – the tallest planetary volcano in the entirety of the solar system. This enormous Martian mountain stands at an impressive 21.9 km, (or 13.6 miles), with a width of 340 miles (or 550 kilometres). Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, the tallest volcano on Earth, only manages 2.6 miles above sea level in comparison. Whilst Olympus Mons houses ice glaciers and snow deposits, it’s not an ideal ski holiday destination unless you want to re-enact the fall of Pompeii, as it may still be active with the potential to erupt.
Pack Warm for Triton
The largest of Neptune’s fourteen moons is Triton – One of the coldest masses in our solar system. Triton is home to fantastical ice volcanoes that spew nitrogen gas, laced with tiny dark particles. These particles are estimated to go as high as five miles before flying back down and striking the moon’s surface. Triton is so cold, the ground is composed of frozen nitrogen, with an air temperature of minus 391 degrees Fahrenheit. “brrr!”