We have been blogging about Scottish ski resorts after snow records revealed there is more snow in Scotland than there is at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The five Scottish ski resorts are the place to head for skiing and snowboarding fun in the UK.
While the snow is in abundance, why not give some other winter activities a go? Scotland can’t offer a luge run or the skeleton but it does boast a good range of snow-based activities that are great for off-piste fun.
The skis have non-slip “skins” that can be attached to the base so that it is possible to ski-walk uphill. Boots are attached to bindings that allow the back of the foot to be released so that skiers can walk more easily uphill.
When downhill sections are approached, the ski boots are fixed at the heel and skins are removed so it’s possible to descend in a similar style to downhill skiing.
It’s important that ski mountaineers are experienced in navigation and avalanche awareness because going “back country” can be dangerous. If in doubt, hire a ski mountaineering guide.
Read this article for more information about ski mountaineering in Scotland.
Nordic skis are longer and slimmer than downhill carver skis. They are also used on flatter terrain and often on Nordic ski trails. You will have seen Nordic cross country skiers in the Winter Olympics.
In fact, Nordic skiing is one of the oldest forms of skiing and is a great activity to try. Although energetic, most people can learn how to Nordic ski fairly quickly.
In Invernesshire, learn to Nordic ski at Slochd, by Carrbridge.
When the snow arrives in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, there is Nordic skiing at the Huntly Nordic & Outdoors Centre. When there is no snow, skiers practise on roller skis.
Snow shoes allow for the heel to move up and down while the toes stay in place, so that snow shoers can walk on the snow.
The snow shoe is wide and flat and allows you to walk across the snow in situations where you might ordinarily be knee or waist deep.
You can snow shoe anywhere that you might walk and exploring Scotland’s wintry landscape is made all the easier with snow shoes attached to your shoes.
If walking is your passion, don’t let the snow or ice hold you back. So long as you have sufficient navigation experience and avalanche awareness you can walk many hundreds of miles in the hills and mountains.
Walking in snow can be tiring but that’s part of the challenge for many winter walkers.
And in hard snow or ice conditions, using a pair of crampons can aid progress. For example, Kahoola KTS Hiking and Trekking Crampons offer aggressive traction in snow and ice.
And there’s the Kahoola K10 Hiking Crampons for times when you need a lightweight and flexible walking or running advantage.
Tell us about the snow-based activities that you most enjoy.
Jump on to an inflatable tyre and zoom downhill on a purpose-built snow course. That’s snow tubing and it’s great fun for all the family. Try it at The Lecht in Aberdeenshire.