Friday, 5 February 2010

Slippery white stuff.

[An exposition to compare and contrast two different sorts, one of which is distinctly more suitable for it's chosen purpose than the other.]

Had another day skiing recently - a day trip up to Glen Coe which is small enough (and was quiet enough) to get a good amount done in a single day. Pricey but a good experience. As well as quiet slopes, the main attraction was often very good snow - some of the unbashed pistes had as good piste snow as I've skied on. Some nice steeper bits and the excellently named "Haggis Trap" run were fun too. It might be small but the terrain is quite interesting. I think it would only be sensible to try to tick Nevis Range and The Lecht this season too. I'd also like to go back to Glenshee when I can see something.

Whilst lounging around on the dinky single person chairlift and letting my aching legs recover, I came to the realisation that Scottish skiing roughly equates to Peak District limestone sport climbing, in the following escalation of comparisons:

Dry slope skiing is comparable to indoor wall climbing - nasty, plasticy, unrealistic, but can be rewarding and good if well designed, and good mileage.

Indoor snow slope skiing is comparable to indoor wall climbing on feature panels - semi-realistic fun for a few times, but vastly limited with little mileage to be gained.

Scottish skiing is comparable to Peak Lime sport climbing - distinctly minor, poky, internationally insignificant and a particular laughing stock for those who have experienced the activity in Europe, suffering from overuse, relatively ugly, shoddy and badly placed equipment, and at the mercy (or lack thereof) of the British weather. BUT for all that, it's outdoors, it's the real thing, the actual movement is still good fun, and it's good relevant training for the greater ranges, whether that's Courchevel or Creag Dubh, Val Thorens or Torridon...

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