Summer League – dry/plastic slopes and indoor snow slopes.
We thought it might be useful for those new to dry slope racing to have a warts-and-all view of the various venues. (This is intended to be tongue in cheek!)
Our own home slope, 160m long, various rules and regulations are imposed on race days. See invite for details.
The closest slope to Hemel, so you get a bit of a lie-in (till 6.30am at least!). The slope has two extremely inefficient poma lifts – many racers choose to walk to the top instead. But when you get to the top the slope is a lovely undulating run.
Make sure you visit the loo before you arrive at the ski slope, as there are very limited facilities (one male and one female toilet, complete with wobbly seat). Most racers choose to use the adjacent tennis centre, but it’s a bit difficult to pretend to be a tennis player when you are wearing ski boots and a helmet…
The barbecue at Welwyn is well worth a visit!
The two main features of this slope are the lovely moguls and the tree right in the middle of the slope (this slope is definitely in the tree line!). The slope is adjacent to a golf driving range so if you’ve forgotten the kids’ Nintendos they can occupy themselves by hunting for stray golf balls in the bushes (but best to keep their helmets on!).
Lovely long slope in a natural bowl, which is great for spectators. The cake stall here is highly recommended, but the toilet provision is even worse than Welwyn (but plenty of bushes near at hand!). Parking is on a steep grassy bank (which is fine as long as it doesn’t rain…). Rumour has it there are still two cars belonging to club members stuck on it….
The local radio station usually turns up and plays fantastic music!
Fantastic clubhouse with huge panoramic windows, so it’s one of the few outdoor slopes where spectators can watch without getting wet. Unlike the competitors, who are at the mercy of the slope sprinkler system….
If we’re honest the only drawback to Norwich is that it’s a bit of a hike to get there.
Due to changes in use of the Bassingbourn Barracks, the Ministry of Defense have stopped access to all the clubs on the Barracks.
The Club is currently working to restore access to the facilities.
Located on Army property. Head up the A1, into Bassingbourn, and turn left at the first tank you come to. After you’ve reported to the gate, you’ll be interrogated and then driven in convoy to the ski slope. (It’s all good fun really.)
Not the longest slope in the league, so you’re guaranteed to get a quick time (along with everybody else!). From the top of the slope there are great views… of the local sewer farm(!) which is right next door to the ski slope. This is not a problem really, as long as the wind is blowing in the right direction….
Bassingbourn has a great new club house so it’s top of the league for toilets!!
Once you’re in, the Army lock the gates and you can only get out to suit the manoeuvres taking place beyond the gates (usually the sailing of land yachts, whatever they are!).
Located somewhere near Stamford, in Lincolnshire (we’re not exactly sure where because we always get lost when we go there). A relative newcomer to the Summer League, it’s situated on a campsite/leisure complex with a lake nearby. If you’re into camping, great to make a weekend of it.
It’s another short slope, served by one dodgy lift, but again not far to walk to the top.
The ski slope has a fantastic shop, so in between your three runs of ten seconds there’ll be plenty of time to use your flexible friend.
But on a more serious note, all these slopes have one thing in common. They’re a great day out for both skiers and spectators, with a fantastic open-air atmosphere that you don’t get at any of the indoor slopes.
The only other “Snow Slope” within the region, not as bright or airy as Hemel but slightly longer, on the whole good snow. Get to races early to grab your spot as not much room in the vewing area. People not allowed onto the snow unless racing.