Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better! Registration's totally free, of course, and makes snowHeads easier to use and to understand, gives better searching, filtering etc. as well as access to 'members only' forums, discounts and deals that U don't even know exist as a 'guest' user. (btw. 50,000+ snowHeads already know all this, making snowHeads the biggest, most active community of snow-heads in the UK, so you'll be in good company)..... When you register, you get our free weekly(-ish) snow report by email. It's rather good and not made up by tourist offices (or people that love the tourist office and want to marry it either)... We don't share your email address with anyone and we never send out any of those cheesy 'message from our partners' emails either. Anyway, snowHeads really is MUCH better when you're logged in - not least because you get to post your own messages complaining about things that annoy you like perhaps this banner which, incidentally, disappears when you log in :-)
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
👁 durr, I forgot...
Or: Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Slopes near to West London - info wanted

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi All

Now that skiing overseas this season seems to have gone for a burton, my mind has turned to slopes near to here, that being West London.

I’ve found the following slopes and would be interested to know peoples opinion of them for a family of mixed ability (all skiers) for the odd session/lesson so we don’t forget how to ski.

Guildford Ski Slope
Sandown Sports
Alpine Snowsports Aldershot

Info would be useful on

Popularity - when to go, when not to go.
Slope- condition/ effective length
Lifts – well maintained/do they break down
Staff – do they give a monkeys?
Lessons – quality/value


Cheers


PS We’ve been to Hemel and Gosling so know enough about them, so just the above please unless I’ve missed one.

PPS And Hire kit (only skis needed) - any good?
snow conditions
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
The focus at Guildford is on lessons. The main slope is only 50m, and in order to be able to free ski you have to have had at least one lesson with us - we call it Open Practice because mostly people use it to practice between lessons. The mat is in pretty good condition, and the lift is a simple rope tow that doesn't breakdown.
It's been run by the same person (not me) for over 35 years, so he has a lot of teaching experience. With the state of play at the moment, it would most likely be him that taught you, and obviously he cares massively because it is his life!
We are currently closed (of course), but when we are open lessons are available 7 days a week, including weekday evenings. Everything apart from Saturday open practice needs to be prebooked, so we make sure it's never too busy.
We like to think we are a friendly bunch - if you'd like more information, pm me, or send us an email at the slope (but be patient for a reply, because the mail may not be checked everyday while we're closed).

With regards to the other 2 slopes, I haven't been to Sandown in over 30 years, so can't really comment on that one. If people aren't interested in lessons and want to just free ski, we give them Aldershot's number, we have a good relationship with them. However, they have only been open at weekends since the original restrictions were lifted, and we've not been able to get through to them on the phone.

Hope this is of some help, I've tried not to make it a sales pitch! wink
latest report
 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?
If you want to travel a bit further - when lockdown is over, Southampton Dry slope has 2 main pistes 2 learner slopes and if Billy Morgan is home you can watch him and his mates practice!

Further afield there is Snowtrax which is between Ringwood and Christchurch which has some fans (Personally I think the lift there is the work of the devil) BUT it does have a bar and restaurant serving OK food.

https://activenation.org.uk/outdoor_venue/alpine-snowsports-southampton/
https://www.skisasa.co.uk/?page_id=6
snow report
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@boredsurfin, thanks but I think its too far.

Just interested in the ones I listed or a similar distance to West London if Ive missed any.
snow conditions
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Aldershot is ok. My nieces had a private slope (i.e. no other users) there one August BH which was ideal as my bro and I could help get them on the lift while they got used to grabbing the poma themselves.
latest report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
boredsurfin wrote:
If you want to travel a bit further - when lockdown is over, Southampton Dry slope has 2 main pistes 2 learner slopes and if Billy Morgan is home you can watch him and his mates practice!

Further afield there is Snowtrax which is between Ringwood and Christchurch which has some fans (Personally I think the lift there is the work of the devil) BUT it does have a bar and restaurant serving OK food.

https://activenation.org.uk/outdoor_venue/alpine-snowsports-southampton/
https://www.skisasa.co.uk/?page_id=6


Agree completely on the lift at Snowtrax, the slope itself is nice to ski on and we have done a lot of lessons there with the kids and a few myself
snow conditions
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@NickyJ, thanks. Sounds a little far for us, doubt its an option so we won't need to brave that one.

Do you know anything about the ones I listed?
snow conditions
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Easily the best slope is Sandown, and most ski like in gradient and interest. The others are fine too for the scope they offer.

I've not been recently but over the years it's always seemed fairly good as visited for skiing with kids and kids toobing party etc. Friendly atmosphere, skis for hire seem what you'd expect for this type of operation in this country, not exceptional but of course they are for sliding around in non snow conditions and show it. I'd not criticise that, as just trying to be open in description.

It's worthwhile goint to judge for yourself if they are operational right now. Check the horse racing calendar first as they are in the centre of Sandown Park racecourse Very Happy it looks as if you are going straight in to the course as you enter perimeter gate, but look out for immediate turning and little sign on your right as you enter to direct you to skiing.

Daytona have a Kart track right in centre of the main horse race facility too, that's if you fancy a day of a couple disciplines. Good track too.
latest report
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Have been to both Aldershot and Sandown (some years ago - so they may have changed), and preferred the latter. My memory of Aldershot is of a couple of relatively narrow, straight pistes, quite steep for dry slopes, not much change of gradient. Sandown had more variation, so I found it more interesting
latest report
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Wouldnt bother. You will be bored after 3 runs of going straight and joining the lift queue
snow report
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Quote:

You will be bored after 3 runs of going straight and joining the lift queue

Probably yes, if you just go and ski. You need a purpose or goal to get the best out of skiing on an artificial slope - have a lesson and then practice what you were taught, or play games/set challenges with your children.
snow conditions
 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.
karin wrote:
Quote:

You will be bored after 3 runs of going straight and joining the lift queue

Probably yes, if you just go and ski. You need a purpose or goal to get the best out of skiing on an artificial slope - have a lesson and then practice what you were taught, or play games/set challenges with your children.


Yes, that's the plan, we have skied a decent bit on indoor snow in the early days so not put off by small slopes, there's always something you can work on. And I believe that carpet forces good technique.


@karin, thanks for posting, its always good to have someone involved in the business posting here and to get their perspective. How do you find the 50m slope for teaching on, can you get a decent run on there (we have a decent number of weeks on snow and aren't total beginners)

@Dave of the Marmottes, @ski3, @ecureuil, good info, just the stuff I was after. Thanks all.

So looks like at the moment it looks like Guildford if for lessons or Sandown for a free ski, and its much closer.

All, of course, once we are allowed to go further afield than the much debated "local" area as I couldn't justify this as essential or local.
latest report
 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
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
Don't forget Chatham https://www.jnlchatham.co.uk/
latest report
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@skitrack would you recommend it?

200m slope sounds good but its a bit of a trip and involves a drive thru South London, not my favourite direction.
latest report
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I'd forgotten that one, although not strictly near west London-ish but Medway towns area. A good slope nonetheless with decent length and gradient, plus a reasonable bumps section to practice on.

Like many, best on a damp day for good more snow like pace. I'd say worth the effort and route straight to M25 and onward toward eurotunnel, it's not actually a bad road journey as it's a little away from most busy trafficked areas.

It's a pity that both Bracknell and Hillingdon slopes have closed as they were decent facilities too.
latest report
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hillingdon would have been ideal for travel from here.

And I never went but I seem to remember seeing East Ham driving to a friends. I think the mound is still there? Apparently Princess Di opened it?
snow report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
If you're going as far as Chatham then Brentwood is also decent (and possibly nearer, depending whether you go round the top or the bottom of the M25!

Popularity - post March, pretty quiet.
Slope- reasonable rather than great condition (compared to e.g. Norfolk which is in very good condition), about 180m long I think
Lifts – they do the job
Staff – they definitely give a monkeys - like many dry slopes its a family business, so it matters a lot to them
Lessons – haven't had any, but the main snowboarding instructor Chris is a top bloke.

If you're making the trek, it would be worth also doing a session of tubing just for the helluvit, and maybe even go-karting at the track next door.

In the event it reopens, I wouldn't eat at the buffet restaurant on the site though.
ski holidays
 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?
ster wrote:
Hillingdon would have been ideal for travel from here.

And I never went but I seem to remember seeing East Ham driving to a friends. I think the mound is still there? Apparently Princess Di opened it?


Very Happy yes I think they are, even now, referred to as "The Beckton Alps" and seem to remember a program about them telling the story of being the spoil from one of the London tunnels.

A little like "Les Quatre Alps" from building spoil of the old Wembley stadium alongside the A40.
snow report
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
I remember trying to blag our way onto Beckton Alps with some friends who lived down the road from there, when I was the only one of us who had ever skied - needless to say we failed. Must have been about 1988.

A mate and I had quite a lot of lessons at Hillingdon in the late 80's - I remember being taught stem turns with a pole plant and watching the planes stacking waiting to land at Heathrow.

i've also skied at Bracknell, Bromley, High Wycombe and Sheffield, all now gone as well.
latest report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

@karin, thanks for posting, its always good to have someone involved in the business posting here and to get their perspective. How do you find the 50m slope for teaching on, can you get a decent run on there (we have a decent number of weeks on snow and aren't total beginners)

Appreciate the positive response, I'm always very wary of commenting on anything relating to work.
Teaching up to parallel turns with a pole plant is fine, and short turns generally, but the slope isn't wide enough or long enough to get to grips with carving.
snow report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@ski3, The Becton Alp was built from the spoil and ash from the gas works see https://londonist.com/london/history/when-londoners-went-skiing-on-a-toxic-spill-heap for a history.
latest report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Beckton Alps closed long ago (it was going to be turned into an indoor real snow slope but the developers ran out of money. Hillingdon also closed(it used to be quite good).

Is it out of the question just once to go to North of London (Hemel Hempstead) for 180 metres of real snow? It is so much better. But with Covid, I suppose outdoors is a bit healthier.
snow report
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
snowball wrote:
Is it out of the question just once to go to North of London (Hemel Hempstead) for 180 metres of real snow? It is so much better. But with Covid, I suppose outdoors is a bit healthier.


Its not out of the question and we have been (and skied in another snow dome quite a bit a few years ago). I wasnt overly impressed with staff or the snow or the crowds there ( in the good old days). And wasnt convinced about VFM as it seemed the same price as a day pass at a resort. Also it can be a bit depressing skiing in a large shed, its an outdoor sport and as you say even more important these days. Plus its a rather unattractive drive there.

Is the slope really 180m there? I would have said less.
snow report
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Their website says 160m.

This thread reminded me of the one and only time I've ever been on skis, which was the outdoor slope at Watermead, Aylesbury, which would have been in range for you if it hadn't closed down, apparently sometime in the early 2000s. I remember it being built, which is making me feel old.
snow conditions
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Hillingdon was a great place. Learnt whilst at university, and did ESC quals there later. High Wycombe was a good ski -- great to race at. Sorry -- not a helpful post at all.
snow conditions
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@ster, Learn't to ski (to parallel level anyway) with lessons at Aldershot back in the early 80's.....great little slope and teachers at the time (mostly army guys) but can't imagine it being of any interest nowadays, i'd personally do something else and wait until next season. Good luck.
ski holidays
 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.
Theres Guildford dry slope, but it isn't much more than a couple of patches of dendex. I've never been but apparently the one down at Knockhatch is alright and has some kickers etc.

I was going to suggest Bracknell, but I see it's gone for good.
ski holidays
 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
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
I used to enjoy Wednesday nights at the old Bromley slope when stationed at Biggin Hill and later, when posted to Northolt, enjoyed morning skiing at Hillingdon (Having worked and instructed at Gloucester they both seemed a bit on the short side!).

Reading this thread makes you realise how many artificial slopes there were in the 1970s and 80s - and how many have gone for good. Again, not a helpful post but a golden chance to reminisce!
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@ster Unfortunately, I moved "oop North" about 20 years ago, so I haven't been to Chatham in that time Sad

It was kept in good nick and at 200m long was one of the longest in the UK. We used it pretty often and were well happy with it. I'd hoped someone else might be able to report on what is now like

PS depending on the traffic, I'd go around the M25
latest report
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Whilst its not West London, Brentwood Dry Slope is likely to be a similar distance to Aldershot / Guildford (depending on exactly where you're driving from), so may be worth considering that too.
snow report
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:


It was kept in good nick and at 200m long was one of the longest in the UK. We used it pretty often and were well happy with it. I'd hoped someone else might be able to report on what is now like


It has been recently relaid with Dendix, so yes it's in good nick!
snow conditions
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Wow, if they've replaced all the mat on a 200m slope with Dendix, that's a very big investment - one piece of mat, which is 1.8m x 1.2m, is at least £120. I've just counted on a picture of the slope, and it's 13 mats wide at the bottom.
snow report



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy