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Dry Ski Slopes: Completely Pointless.

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Just so we’re clear on this from the outset, I have never been to a UK dry ski slope and I never will. Benefits of dry ski slopes are many and varied, I am told. Beginners get to try a slope to see if they like it or not before venturing to the Alps, park rats get to try new tricks and everybody gets a little taste of the slopes without having to actually go to the slopes.

But that’s just it! Without having to go to the slopes. If you are a half decent skier or boarder you would agree, I think, that one of the best bits about skiing/boarding is the feeling of being in the great outdoors, wrapped up against the elements with the spectacular mountain vista all around. How exactly does that compare to sitting in a big fridge with fake snow and one slow drag lift? It doesn’t.

“Yeah, but it’s cheaper to go to Milton Keynes Snowdome” I hear you cry. Agreed, it is cheaper to go to Milton Keynes than the Alps, but where’s the value for money? You’re in Milton Keynes when you could be in Meribel. Last minute ski deals can be spectacularly cheap, and even if you end up in a dodgy chalet with a fresh-faced simpleton to cook for you, the overall value for money is still better.

For those in the know, few feelings can match the buzz of hooning down the piste at top speed, bouncing through knee-deep powder or flat-lining the home run before an afternoon of après ski beers and exaggerated tales. And I realise that I’m conveniently forgetting beginners when I say that, but we all have to start somewhere. Just as long as it’s not Milton Keynes.

For anybody considering trying skiing, I would urge you to forego the snowdome and focus on what Alpine ski resort to choose with good beginner slopes. Resorts like Morzine, Val d’Isere and Meribel in France, and Ischgl or Obergurgl in Austria are prime examples of beautiful mountain resorts with excellent beginner and intermediate slopes to practise on. The Altiport in Meribel, for instance, is an absolute beginner’s paradise. The slopes above Morzine are gentle, tree-lined and just perfect for kids or beginners. There’s also more challenging stuff to be found as you head further into the valley so the “ducks to water” amongst you will not be restricted.

The season is upon us. The snow is falling again right across the Alps, and many resorts have experienced the best start to the season we could have hoped for. I can assure you, the same cannot be said for Milton Keynes.


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