The building housing the snow slopes has been constructed on the site of the original dry slope at Hemel Hempstead and includes other facilities to complement the on-slope experience. There is a mountain-style café/restaurant area that has a balcony view out over the slopes and serves a range of food and drink, including the all important Glühwein! There is also a large branch of Snow+Rock stocking clothing and equipment. The centre has full facilities for those who don’t have their own equipment and skis, boards, boots, poles and helmets are all included in the price of the ticket. There are certain occasions like race training and freestyle snowboarding sessions where helmets are required and the centre insists that children aged 16 and under wear one at all times. The temperature in The Snow Centre ranges from -2 to -6 degree Celsius, so appropriate clothing is advised and hire stock is on hand for those who don’t have their own.
The centre is located 20 miles by road from London and rail journeys to Hemel Hempstead from the capital take just 30 minutes. The Snow Centre aims to attract both skiers and snowboarders from London and the South East and has devised specific sessions to help people make the most of the facilities. Every Friday evening the slopes are dedicated to freestyle fans who get to use a park-style layout constructed each week by the centre’s staff. These “Park and Ride” sessions offer a variety of rails, boxes, kickers and other features for riders to hone their skills. A certain level of competence is required for these sessions, so it is best to check with the centre beforehand.
The equipment available for hire at the centre is provided in partnership with HEAD, with the latest skis, snowboards, boots, poles and helmets available.
Education is a central part of the activities at The Snow Centre and a wide choice of options are available to suit improvers as well as absolute beginners. Programmes include discounted school holiday courses and classes geared to all age groups, starting from as young as four years old. There are also dedicated full day courses for those who wish to fast-track their skiing or snowboarding.
The use of a huge airbag for softer landings is also available on certain special event nights. Freestyle snowboarders and skiers rarely get the chance to use landing airbags so these nights are very popular.
Individuals and families looking to improve both their technique and fitness before departing to the mountain resorts next winter will be able to use The Snow Centre to make sure they give themselves the best possible chance of having a great skiing holiday.
It is sensible to put some preparation time aside at home before heading off on holiday to avoid any start-up injuries and get skills and technique in order.
For more information visit www.thesnowcentre.com