Two-time winter Olympian Ben Kilner has endorsed Scotland’s five mountain resorts ahead of the Ski-Scotland Snow Festival which takes place on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 March 2015.
Ben Kilner, who grew up in Scotland and competed for Team GB in the snowboarding at the 2010 Vancouver and 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, said: “I love getting out on the Scottish slopes because Scotland’s mountains are like no other place on earth. On a good weather day the views up top are always amazing, the air is always crisp and clear and I always appreciate how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful country.”
The endorsement comes as each of the resorts prepares for this year’s Ski-Scotland Snow Fest, which will take place, weather and snow conditions permitting, at all five resorts on 28 and 29 March. In an interview with VisitScotland, Ben described what makes Scotland’s winter sports so special: “Many of the mountains in Scotland are not quite like any other mountain ranges where you get spiky peaks. Instead you get nicely rounded hills and you can see plenty of wildlife such as white hare, grouse and the occasional stag. Last season I was up at CairnGorm Mountain and there was a bagpiper blasting out tunes on the snowy slopes – that’s something that you will only ever see in Scotland!”
Ben continued: “The quality of skiing and snowboarding in Scotland is great because we are lucky enough to have five mountain resorts to choose from. Glenshee, The Lecht, CairnGorm Mountain, Nevis Range and Glencoe Mountain are always close to wherever you are in Scotland. We’ve had some great winters recently and snow conditions have been perfect. We also have Snow Factor near Glasgow for enjoying during the summer months.”
The Ski-Scotland Snow Fest takes place at all five resorts on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 March 2015 (weather and snow conditions permitting) and visitors can enjoy some brilliant moments as they take part in the mass-descent accompanied by live music from a kilted piper. The descent is planned for lunchtime on Saturday 28 March, and skiers and snowboarders can turn up on the day and will be led down the slopes. If conditions don’t allow for this on Saturday, it’s planned that the descent will take place the next day, Sunday 29 March.
The Cairngorms National Park is home to three of Scotland’s mountain resorts and at CairnGorm Mountain there will be sessions for total beginners to have a go and learn the skills needed to hit the slopes. On the pistes at Glenshee, under 16s can take part in the fun race, and The Lecht will also have fun activities for families.
In the west of Scotland at Nevis Range, there will be half price lessons available at the Snowsports School as well as a snow sculpture competition and you can see the local dog sled team in action and meet the huskies. At Glencoe Mountain, there will be a snowy easter egg hunt, igloo building demos, a snowman building competition, sledging and snow-trac rides.
Scotland’s five resorts offer skiing and snowboarding for everyone from the wobbly-kneed novice to skilled sliders. Each resort has a skiing and snowboarding school and beginners are advised to book lessons through the ski schools in advance. Ben’s advice to people new to the snow is to be patient: “It takes a while before you can get around the mountain and I had a few bumps and bruises before I could direct myself where I wanted. Once you can get around willingly then the fun starts! Scotland has plenty of beginner slopes and first timers are welcome at all the resorts. When you see someone ripping around the slopes remember they were a beginner at one point in their life too! Don’t be afraid to take on the challenge.”
Visitors to the resorts are advised to check weather conditions before they leave home on the Ski-Scotland website www.ski-scotland.com/snowfest.
For information and tips on skiing and snowsports in Scotland go to www.ski-scotland.com.