Winter Roundup: not much UK snow but lots happening away from home!

We thought we were in for a good season. Alan and Jon started out on 29 November with a grand day touring on Nordic skis onto the summit of Bolt’s Law above Weardale. Just after Storm Arwen, the snow was holding nicely in the gullies and pathways between drifts of heather. We even had some sunshine. But later that day, it rapidly warmed up and the snow vanished. Thereafter we watched and waited for news of snow conditions at Weardale and Yad Moss. Both of the ski clubs opened on just a few days and did not seem to offer promising skiing. Despite that, two club members managed a massive 14 days of UK skiing, shared between Weardale and Scotland. Congratulations Kevin and Kimberley!

Nov 2021 – Alan and Jon at the Summit of Bolts Law, Co Durham

February and March saw small numbers of Loipers going to skiing venues in Norway. Vivienne and Ebony went to Dalseter where Ebony was guiding for Visually Impaired Skiers. The Dalseter Hotel was hit by a wave of covid infections (to which both of them succumbed over the next week). Against all the odds, it was a successful week, due in a large part to organisers Pete and Pam Curwen who many of us have met on previous Dalseter visits. Loiper club members Greg Buick and Paul Goldsmith and Harry Hall turned up the following week (for the start of the GB Nordic programme) and by all accounts had some good skiing despite it being a not-so-good snow season. (For Vivienne’s article on the Dalseter trip – see here.)

Both of the other Norway visits (to Venabu and Hovringen) were slightly compromised by local covid outbreaks but had some good skiing. Jim and Heather and Carolyn (and several of her family) were in Venabu and made good use of the hotel guiding programme. Neil and Paramjeet plus Peter and Alison joined John Mordue and Dan Morgan in Hovringen and then had a successful week of hut touring in the Rondane National Park (which was unfinished business from 2 years ago – pre-covid). See Neil’s article here. Neil and others are strongly recommending Hovringen as a base for another Loiper’s Norway holiday, with great skiing to be had both on- and off-track.

At the end of March, Stephen MacShane and Gwenda and Les Cavill attended the Snowsport England coaching week at Nordseter (nr Lillehammer). The standard of coaching (led by Norway-based Ewen Martin) was excellent but various logistical problems meant there were fewer people than usual attending.

Jon Mellor on the Loipers trip to the Alps late March

The final trip of the winter (Telemark skiing in the French Alps) comprised Neil, Jon, David, Keith, Martin and Alan. Two years in the planning – we had a week of excellent Telemark ski coaching in Val d’Isere followed by a week of hut touring in the Vanoise National Park. We didnt have the best of snow – especially off piste. But we nevertheless had a memorable trip (with some reservations in Martin’s case as his trip was cut short by a nasty fall and broken ankle). See the full story here.