Oldest ski station in the country turns 75
In the Catalan Pyrenees, ‘La Molina’ prides itself on its continued innovation and sustainability
If you’re a winter sport-enthusiast, beyond the Winter Olympics and the X Games, here’s another date you might want to mark in your calendar: February 28, the 75th anniversary of the Catalan ski station La Molina, the oldest in the country.
In the northern county of La Cerdanya in the Catalan Pyrenees, bordering both with French Catalonia and Andorra, La Molina opened its doors for business in 1943. Nowadays, it generates 90 million euros in revenue for the county and provides around a thousand jobs.
Indeed, it’s acted as an “engine” for in its immediate environment when it comes to the creation and growth of companies, according to station director Xavi Fanlo. These are also linked also to a wide range of year-round activities – even when there’s no snow.
Sustainability and technology for three quarters of a century
Although skiers first arrived to these slopes as early as 1908, the ski lift set in motion 35 years later was a big step forward. This pastime, according to the outdoor activity organization ‘Centre Excursionista de Catalunya,’ became popular with the arrival of the ‘ferrocarril’ train in 1922, allowing easy access to the mountains.
According to the director of La Molina, this network of transport services helps to support the station’s “sustainability,” which keeps it “one step ahead” of others, efforts which went hand in hand with having the latest in technology.
However, back when the station first opened, the sport was very different, with skis that were much longer and harder to maneuver. The clothes were different, too, and some skiers took to the slopes dressed in retro clothing, as their counterparts would have, three-quarters of a century ago.
But the festivities won’t stop then. There will be activities for children, free concerts, and some celebrations even coinciding with the Snowboard Cross World Cup. La Molina boasts 63 ski pistes in an area of 68 kilometers, which saw last season end with 330,491 visitors.