Edges sharpened, bases waxed and holidays booked. It’s time again for many snow lovers to carve up the pistes of thousands of destinations around the world.
If you feel like I do when digging out your plank or planks from the cupboard, ready for the forth coming season, you regain the childlike excitement you used to get before life got too serious.
But as I often forget, this is normally lost the minute you start to look at this year’s lift ticket prices and (not as cheap as they first seem) hotels. Snow holidays as we all know…are expensive.
So if we can’t afford to head off to far away destinations, but we still want to get our fix, what do we do?
Is it possible to get powder and fresh tracks in our very own backyard?
Apparently it is! Granted, it relies on it actually snowing this year and when it does, that we get plenty of it. But providing that the unforgiving British elements don’t spoil the conditions and that this year’s snow fall is as good as the last few, there are actually places you can go to put in some turns and have some fun.
So if you fancy a road trip and a bit of an adventure, be sure to try and check out the following, you might be nicely surprised.
Claiming to offer the UK’s most extensive ski and snowboard area, Glenshee boasts an impressive 22 lifts and 36 runs. With a summit elevation of 3,504ft and the longest run at 2km, Glenshee is not to be overlooked.
Cairngorm Mountain, Scotland
Standing tall at 4,084ft, with over 30km of ski runs and a fully maintained freestyle park, Cairngorm Mountain is a firm favourite. A hugely popular destination year round for its dramatic scenery, and when the snow starts to fall it really comes into its own.
Nevis Range, Scotland
The big daddy! With 12 lifts, 24 runs and boasting Scotland’s only mountain gondola, you gain access to some of the highest skiing in the area amongst the back garden of Ben Nevis. A great mountain for all levels and all ages.
Lecht 2090 sits at 2,090ft and is one of the smaller spots to dig your edges in, but it still has a lot to offer. With 12 lifts in total, including a three man chair and a magic carpet to get the beginners “rolling”, you will be sure to find your own space.
Yad Moss, Cumbria
Founded and run in the 1970’s by volunteers, Yad Moss has been providing a place to ski and board for the last 40 years. At 600m in length and with the top station sitting at 725m, this place is no Chamonix, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in character and history.
Harwood, County Durham
Yes it’s true! In County Durham you can ski and board. When the snow finally comes, take yourself up to Harwood Common and you will find two parallel rope tows and a 500 metre run. What more could you want! It’s better than hiking to the top.
So if you like a gamble and some winter fun, maybe give it a go. You might just end up waist deep!