Did you know you can go skiing in central London?
I’m totally serious.
I knew you could go rock climbing and ice climbing (in Covent Garden!), but SKIING? That sport that requires snow and a mountain?!
Well no, actually. You don’t need snow, and you don’t need a mountain. All you need is an Oyster card that will get you to Chelsea…
This is probably something you don’t know about me, but I LOVE skiing.
We got off to a rough start, me and my skis. On my first ever skiing trip when I was 11, I broke my arm on the first day. The literal first day. (It was a school trip to Andorra, and no, I never managed to live it down. I was still being reminded about it when I graduated at 17…)
But I got back on my horse (skis?), and went back again when I was 13, and then again when I was 16. And in between those school trips, my parents took us up to Austria when I was 14 and we spent a week skiing as a family.
Indoor skiing at Chel-Ski is like nothing I’ve ever tried before.
The staff fitted us up with boots and skis (or snowboards!), and then we were introduced to the slope. And what a slope!
Instead of a mountain, you have what is essentially a giant treadmill. The track rolls upwards, while your skis pull you down, and you control the direction and speed of your skis with your legs.
We started at the bottom, using a bar to balance ourselves on as we learned how to do the plough (that V formation with your skis). Then, as we started to get to grips with the technique, the instructors hit START on the track, and up we went!
Honestly? I found it tricky. My brain couldn’t quite get the hang of which way the track was going, and how to go up and down the slope.
I’d also forgotten how tiring skiing is! My legs were shaking after just half an hour, and then I got hit with a big cramp in my left thigh and that was me down and out.
I’ve not done a proper workout in nearly a year and it really showed. It’s definitely worth doing some sort of pre-conditioning fitness programme before you go away on a ski holiday, and that’s where indoor skiing centres come in real handy. (Plus they’re very fun!)
Skiing done, we got down to the serious business of après-ski!
Club Med and the fab team at Chel-Ski hooked us up with bubbles and a ton of delicious snacks, including boards of cheese and cold cuts, fresh bread, delicious teriyaki cocktail sausages, and a huge pot of cheesy bacon potatoes.
And for the pièce de resistance (excuse my French), a chocolate fondue, with marshmallows and strawberries for dipping.
The whole night was a ton of fun and it definitely reignited my love of the slopes. I’m in the middle of trying to convince Gary we should do a ski holiday next year, and thanks to Chel-Ski and ClubMed, I can’t wait to get back on my skis!
Address: 4 Sotheron Place, London, SW6 2EJ
*I was a guest of Club Med for this event.