If you are learning to ski or simply love skiing and snowboarding and happen to live somewhere where there are no mountains what do you do? Your annual trip to the slopes probably isn’t enough to keep you happy and so the only place to find the white stuff is an indoor ski centre but is the experience a good one?
Clearly the indoor slopes are never going to rival the Alps as an overall experience but if you need somewhere to learn the sport, sharpen your skills or simply to have some fun they do at least offer somewhere to go with real snow. The slopes in the UK are 160m to 180m long and so relatively limited in area and can become very congested at peak times. Off peak, however, you can find yourself with plenty of room and no queues for the drag lifts making any visit much more enjoyable.
It should also be noted that the slopes are used by skiers and snowboarders with a wide range of abilities and so the situation can be intimidating for beginners and irritating for experienced skiers. You must be able to make controlled turns and stop yourself before you can use the main slopes and so those who cannot ski at all are confined to the training area. Despite the congestion and varied skill levels accidents are surprisingly rare and most visitors manage to avoid each other successfully. You will occasionally find a fallen skier in your path or a snowboarder blocking the exit but you soon learn to take evasive action.
Lessons and Activities
The centres offer lessons for beginners and improvers if you are just starting out and most have fun activities like sledges and tubes for both adults and children to enjoy if they are not skiers or fancy something different. Skiing aside, snow centres are a great place to unwind, have fun and get some exercise between your winter trips. You can hire equipment if you don’t have your own and it is certainly a cost-effective way of finding out if you enjoy snow sports before you spend a fortune on clothes, equipment and travel.
Talking of costs, it has to be said that time on the indoor slopes can be quite pricey. With 2 hours on the slope typically costing around £25 it isn’t the cheapest activity in the world but some centres do offer memberships and monthly passes which mitigate the costs for frequent visitors. If you enjoy the slopes and want to make regular visits investigate your options because the passes can represent much better value for money and some offer unlimited skiing time each month.
Overall the indoor slopes are well worth a visit if you have the funds to pay for the time. You can have fun with your friends and family and if you are new to the sport they are a great place to find your feet and gain some confidence before you head for the mountains.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Sally Stacey is a keen writer and business owner who enjoys regular visits to the indoor slopes.