So what’s it like to ski on?
5th May 2009
PlanetSKI reporter, Krystyna Chauncey, is one of the first to have a ski at The Snow Centre. She was, though, rather apprehensive about skiing indoors.
I started the season watching my children train with the Kandahar Racing Club in Saas Fee last October half term.
I then skied in Tignes, Verbier and Leukerbad on some wonderful fresh powder, but I certainly didn’t expect to be ending my season in Hemel Hempstead.
I must say I approached the prospect with some trepidation.
What on earth was I doing going to an indoor snow centre after having had so much fun on the real stuff up the mountains with such gorgeous views? How was it going to compare? And artificial snow too!
To be quite honest I wasn’t sure what I was letting myself in for and, having had disappointing times on some outdoor plastic UK slopes, I secretly thought the whole thing would be a damp squib.
Well, I had so much fun.
To my surprise the temperature inside was a chilly -2ºC, rather cold compared to the slushy, almost tropical conditions, experienced in Switzerland a couple of weeks ago. More to the point though the snow was extremely good.Unlike my other attempts at skiing in the UK it was on real snow and consistently great quality. My instructor, Peter Gillespie, was brilliant and in half an hour I learnt more with him than I did in a whole morning just a few weeks ago with an instructor in Switzerland.
The length and gradient of the slope allowed for some good long turns, and it honestly didn’t matter the view wasn’t real and the slope wasn’t very long.
You can rent out the equipment if you need it – Columbia jackets and pants, along with Head skis, comfortable boots and a helmet.
You need to bring your own socks and gloves for hygiene reasons, but if you’re going to be a regular visitor you’re probably better off bringing all your own gear too.
It was just great fun to be back on skis and all in all it was well worth it. I will certainly be back with my kids over the summer.