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Braehead, Snow Factor, Glasgow - info please

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi. May be able to get up to Braehead soon. What's it like? Been to ChillFactore a fair bit, in its worst and best states, if anyone can compare.
Also, anyone recommend any specific ski instructors (for advanced-ish level, but wanting to go back to basics and refine / understand technique) - and can one specify them when booking or hire them privately?
Thanks.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Grizzler, can't compare slopes to anywhere but when I went a few years ago the rental boots were absolutely dreadful.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Grizzler although I cannot compare directly myself the snow at Braehead is usually pretty consistent. It can get a bit chewed up if there have been race training events and occasionally a little icy if there are a lot of freestyle features that effectively direct folk to narrower stretches between them. There have certainly not been the reported problems that CF has had.
Advance classes are not normally on offer, although you can book into a refresher, where people are taught individually depending on the level they turn up with. You can request a specific instructor, but it will depend on availability and who is on the rota. You cannot hire an instructor privately. Occasionally the slope makes arrangements with freelance instructors or organisations, but they usually generate their own clients.
Oh and pertinent to another thread helmets have been compulsory at Braehead for 2 or 3 years now.
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Cr4p in my opinion. Badly run. Slopes need a complete refresh of snow. Stopped going about a year ago.
Warren Smith is however doing a series of courses soon and I've signed up for the mogul session. Might be worth doing one of their sessions? My neighbour did his BASI 1 there and a lot of shadowing- didn't rate the instructors too highly.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:


Cr4p in my opinion. Badly run. Slopes need a complete refresh of snow. Stopped going about a year ago.
Warren Smith is however doing a series of courses soon and I've signed up for the mogul session. Might be worth doing one of their sessions? My neighbour did his BASI 1 there and a lot of shadowing- didn't rate the instructors too highly.


Have to agree.. I was there on Tuesday and the snow was not in great shape.. 'A bad day on the mountain is still is as good as a good day in the office' is what I tell myself when I need a fix...

I always take my own boots due to my odd feet, I'll never be comfortable in anything else. Previous times I've used theirs it felt they had 0 flex. Maybe I'm too used to having a stiffer all mountain ski, but I find theirs are like cardboard, with the bases and edges in varying conditions... I've had pairs that were so dry I was literally sticking to the snow. Bring your boots if you can and then go to Ellis Brigham and see about doing a wee demo of the current range..!

GF has been getting lessons, all the instructors seem pretty good and fun guys..
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I live quite a distance away and normally go to test skis so haven't been this year yet and can't comment on the snow but agree with @haigie, that taking your own boots and getting some test skis from Ellis Brigham is a good idea, you also have to wear a helmet so again take your own if possible. Their website is https://www.snowfactor.com/ they also have a facebook page which lets you know if they have anything on so worth checking it out.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Grizzler, as others have said - take your own gear. The equipment they have is duff. Be prepared to wipe some grime (diesel fumes I believe) off your skis and boots if you do. I'm really selling it here Toofy Grin
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thanks all. Always take own helmet, boots and a variety of skis/boards anyway, so that's no issue, nor any different from the CF rental doo-dah.
The Ellis Brigham test facility sounds useful, maybe - but right now I just need to get my ski knees/legs back before buying any more toys.

@Ski lots, OK, that instruction situation and refresher session sounds interesting...different from CF maybe? Will look into it further.
(Edit - just looked on their website. Can't see refresher courses mentioned, just beginner and then super-expensive private ones. £129 for 60 mins? Yikes, even for a dome that's expensive; and not very long...)

@boabski, Might just see you there, then- if I have time and think that I can cope with it, I fancy one of those courses.
Not so sure about the fumes... Confused
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@Grizzler, if you are looking for smooth conditions to be easy on the knee then do try to go first thing as the slope is a lot nicer to ski on before it gets cut up with traffic. Sunday mornings the race club is in so space can be more limited, while Thu/Fri can have freestyle features taking up space. May be worth asking reception what may be on the slope for any particular day you plan to go.
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@boabski, Which is the mogul session ? I'm going along on 3 September, but I think that is just a normal training day.
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@deerman, 27th September. I'm absolutely sh/t on moguls so thought it would be money well spent Very Happy
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Grizzler I think refreshers are £20.00 for an hour's instruction (group) and an hour practice.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Ski lots, thanks. If I end up getting up there I'll try to phone & clarify first. Refresher definitely needed Laughing
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
In my opinion don't do the refresher course. I did it a while ago and it is extremely basic. They started us off on the tiny nursery slope, then half way up the main slope and then to the top. It was a waste of time as there was too big a difference in levels doing the course so a few of us just ended up doing our own thing.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Ria, Sometimes I think that I need to go right back to the beginning. But maybe not quite that much wink
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
ill be there on sat or sun the 9-10sept if you are around.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@GlasgowCyclops, thanks, but I won't be there yet. Probably October onwards, knees permitting ( and not sure if accordingly on board or skis).
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I'd love to say its worth it but it probably won't be. I've been to Chill Factore and although I didn't ski it simply looked much better.

Problems are firstly not enough snowmaking, which I can only presume is because of costs and secondly that their main business seems to be anything other than straightforward up and down skiing and boarding. Their main priority is their park set up, which seems to be there all the time regardless of who you go and their cash generators of the ice bar and the sledging groups.

Every single time I go their are always a few folks that should really be stopped for their own and everyone else's safety but always seem to be allowed to carry on regardless by some pleasant but generally disinterested and unmotivated staff.

If you take your own skis then take an old pair and as Boabski said expect to have to degrease and clean them and your boots afterward.

I only go once or maybe twice before my ski trips start to get a feel for it again and thats it for another year. I had an excellent lesson with balernoStu there early this year but that was down to the teaching as the conditions were pretty poor.

Would love to be more enthused and had high hopes when it changed hands a few years ago but nothing has changed really apart from their enthusiasm for park set ups.
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robboj wrote:
I'd love to say its worth it but it probably won't be. I've been to Chill Factore and although I didn't ski it simply looked much better.

Problems are firstly not enough snowmaking, which I can only presume is because of costs and secondly that their main business seems to be anything other than straightforward up and down skiing and boarding. Their main priority is their park set up, which seems to be there all the time regardless of who you go and their cash generators of the ice bar and the sledging groups.

Every single time I go their are always a few folks that should really be stopped for their own and everyone else's safety but always seem to be allowed to carry on regardless by some pleasant but generally disinterested and unmotivated staff.

If you take your own skis then take an old pair and as Boabski said expect to have to degrease and clean them and your boots afterward.

I only go once or maybe twice before my ski trips start to get a feel for it again and thats it for another year. I had an excellent lesson with balernoStu there early this year but that was down to the teaching as the conditions were pretty poor.

Would love to be more enthused and had high hopes when it changed hands a few years ago but nothing has changed really apart from their enthusiasm for park set ups.


would generally agree with the points made her about SF. not placed to compare SF with CF
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@robboj, @Kj82,
Well, that fills me with enthusiasm, then Sad
And I thought that Chill Factore was pretty dire...
No more summer training for me, then.
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yeah sorry. good for what it is i guess but personally bored within an hour and only ever use SF before i travel to europe. would maybe use it more if i was local but that wouldn't change being bored very quickly.
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@Kj82, @robboj, Bit unfair id say.

Having skied at all the domes and specifically Tam, CFe and Glasgow relatively regularly (Tam twice a week, CFe worked there for several years, Ski at Glasgow once or twice a month) id say they all have their good and bad point and its more about the time you go than anything.

Tamworth - well that's renowned for its Ice/Concrete - I don't get this - yes it gets icy towards the end of each 'session' but they do groom the slope at least twice a day, so conditions are more consistent than anywhere. Is it like real snow, not quite but that said it isn't far off and you can find similar on the mountain, especially as these days we are skiing more and more man made mountains. Queues tend to be small.

CFe - Ok in the morning, but the slopes condition gets worse past mid day, by the evening get your moguls / ice legs out. Can be constantly over crowded as whilst there is a 200 person limit on the slope, this can be manually over ridden AND corporate passes, lessons, etc don't count towards the quota - so in reality is you have 2 beginner and 2 improver / advanced lessons on, at a weekend this can put 240 people onto the slope. This happened regularly, causes big queues. Conditions can vary from perfectly groomed first thing to sugar to slush - depends when you go.

Brahead - Go early, as with CFe and its quiet. I have found the grooming is not quite as good as CFe as in you have ridges where the piste basher driver hasn't quite over lapped correctly. Slope grade wise tends to flatten out a bit too much at the bottom for my liking, and snow can be a bit sugary at time. That said queues never seem to be much of a problem.

Overall the biggest thing about all these slopes is either go early weekends or in the week to avoid the crowds and get the best conditions OR ski the conditions in front of you which ultimately you will see at some points on the mountain.

Regards those scratching their skis, never had the issue at Braehead, have done at CFe and Tam tend to blunt your edges or be abrasive on your bases more than anything.

All cause less damage than dendex OR rock hopping in Scotland!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
probably a little harsh. good for what it is and certainly most of my recent skiing, if not all, in recent years has been there. kind of hits the ski bug... not entirely though.
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Snow Factor now has a lift status page, which more usefully lists features currently on the slope so you can check when the slope is clear of these: https://www.snowfactor.com/lift-status/

Note that a GBX course is being sculpted tonight which will take up half the slope untill Sunday night: https://www.snowfactor.com/events/gbx-ski-board-cross/

Snow has been blown more regularly in recent weeks to improve conditions, and I also heard the the chillers may be running a little colder too. I visited CFe a few weeks ago for the indoor races and have to say i was impressed with conditions on that weekend at least.
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Happened to be there last Saturday at EB shop and for a quick coffee in Barvaria (superb beer selection btw). The conditions looked as crap as ever. I agree 100% with @robboj, on this. If the slope was managed better it would be a much better facility.
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Well I like that it. It is better than rollerblades in a car park.

Better than nothing and if the conditions are cr ap then it trains you for the realities of the slope.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@GlasgowCyclops, it is a fair point but I am just so frustrated with the condition of the slopes and the fact that the management do not seem to give a sh*t.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
GlasgowCyclops wrote:
and if the conditions are cr ap then it trains you for the realities of the slope.
(and as PaulC1984 said)
This I don't mind on skis (well, I hope than my somewhat-re-engineered knees don't); on a snowboard, it's a bit more worrying wink But it's not an issue for me. The queues are a large (and tiring) annoyance, so Paul's comments about those are encouraging (I hope only to go in the week anyway). The number of people on the slope are a big annoyance too, and I'm very nervous of this at the moment, post collision, so hopefully Braehead might be less bad in this respect (to be fair, CFe in summer in the day in mid-week was usually pretty OK).
Never put too much damage on my skis or board indoors, thankfully (nor, actually, in Scotland) - though the odd bit of sticking-up metal edging of plastic matting, usually on the lift entrances/exits, doesn't do them any favours when encountered. Put a lot more gouges in 2 sets of new bases on ice chunks and oh-so-helpful anti-slip grit when last in Finland... Sad
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You know it makes sense.
I go all the time and don't really take care of my skis. I then go Alain Baxter and beg him. Please AB make them grip and glide for my holiday. Happy

No probs Bob. Would you like them A) comfy, B) Nice, C) ohh this is good or D) Oh poo-poo..... I go for D) Happy
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Wee update on this. Was at Braehead yesterday for the Warren Smith moguls course. Couple of observations. @deerman, top bloke. 20 years retired and still an accomplished skier.
Snow quality has improved a wee bit bit staff still unmotivated- you were sticking at top of tow when releasing and lifties couldn’t be arsed putting some snow on the plastic, other than the older liftie who clearly saw there was an issue.
The mogul course was closed off with nobody using it until 6 pm. Our course started at 4 and had an hour on the moguls before it became mega busy - why was it closed off? We could have spent a decent hour practicing when it was quiet/unused? Again this will be the management at Braehead.
Enjoyed the Warren Smith course but Braehead still could do better.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@boabski, Thanks for the compliment ! Needing to get fitter though - my thighs were burning at the end of the evening, and my legs had seized up by the time I got home. Thank goodness for cruise control.....

I agree over the facilities. I noticed the staff were "trying out" the moguls from about 3pm onwards. However, one of the reasons for keeping it shut may have been the crowd of schoolkids - some of whom might have been able to ski them, but for most it could have been carnage !

Excellent tuition from Stefan.
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I have never been to a doom, all my off season warm up skiing is done on dry slop at hillend. Do you think braehead is better?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Braehead won’t scare the bejeesus out of ya (until you pay for slope time ) Very Happy
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I'm going over with the boys for our first try of it during the half-term week to have a change from Hillend. They do 3 hours on a Tuesday morning for £17.50; seems good value to me.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Jonny996, different rather than better I'd say. Terrain and setting aren't a match for Hillend, but of course you get to ski on snow. I do appreciate a bit of time on both, had to miss out on the bumps this week unfortunately though.

@McKenzie, yes, seems decent value, worth pitching up for slope opening during school holiday time if you can I think.
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A heads up for anyone interested, Braehead are doing another mogul day on 1 November, from 6pm onwards. I'm thinking of having another day out...........
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