Ski Season is Here! Get Slope Ready at the Snow Centre, Hertfordshire
November 28, 2015
It’s that time of the year again when the office is a-buzz with excited chit-chat – good food, good friends, good weather and wine on the terrace.. and don’t forget the sun block. No, this isn’t BBQ season in London – ski season is upon us.
Once reserved for the well-to-do and well off, it now seems everyone is at it. Keen to find out why and how skiing has become so accessible to all, I headed off to undoubtably the best place to learn near London, Britain’s newest indoor ski facility – The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead.
Arriving at the vast, pristine facility, I have to admit I was slightly daunted. Believing a “snow-plough” is some mythical mechanical creature roaming country lanes late at night in far flung reaches of the UK where snow still occasionally falls, I had much to learn.
I needn’t have worried. The staff at the centre are friendly and informative from the moment you arrive, guiding you through equipment selection and facility orientation. Our instructor for the day – David, instantly put my mind at ease too, making me feel safe.. handy when strapped immovably to two giant blades with an extra 7kg on your feet – and looking up in wonder at the UK’s largest training slope.
Having never set foot on a slope before, it became instantly clear to me why learning here was ideal – why waste valuable time on your holiday when you can tweak your technique in the safe, friendly and truly authentic ski environment the Snow Centre has to offer? With alpine conditions; fluffy, real snow, freezing temperatures (at -2 to -6 degrees do wrap up warm), 160m main slope and even an Alpine Ski Lodge bar (complete with antler chandeliers) to warm your cockles after, the scene is perfectly set.
Offering group and 1:1 ski and snow-board lessons, Bank Holiday sledging sessions, New Years Eve parties, even children’s parties for weary mums looking for time out (grab a vino and watch the panoramic views from the warmth of the bar), all levels and needs are catered for here.
I opted for the group lesson, naively believing I could camouflage myself unnoticeably against the backdrop of snow and not be outed for my clumsiness. Turned out this was a futile tactic. Not only were the toasty, bright-pink salopettes a dead give-away, but the ever-attentive David made sure everyone reached the peak of their abilities in the 2 hours on the slope – with plenty of 1:1 time.
Lessons start with the basics – walking on skis proved harder than expected. But safety and equipment explanations done, I was soon ski-lifted to heady heights and as gracefully as a baby duckling, gliding back down the slope again. Then, mid-way through the session, that magical moment finally came: “You, Miss West, have a beautiful snow-plough” beamed David. My chest swelling with pride, I shakily gave him the thumbs up. Winter Olympics – here I come.
It’s easy to see how people get hooked – one lesson in, I already am. I hear they are looking for a new James Bond, and possibly a female one at that?! Well I’m throwing my hat in the ring here, I think I’m ready.
For more information on everything the Snow Centre has to offer check out their website.
Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Leo West