‘Real snow’ skiing – Milton Keynes Xscape

February 13th, 2006

Having spent a weekend dry-slope skiing in Southampton recently, it seemed only appropriate that we should make use of the relatively local Milton Keynes ‘snowdome’, Xscape. This huge indoor ski slope contains real snow that is created using some sort of magic blowers. I don’t fully understand exactly how it works but skiing on it does give a similar impression to skiing on real snow usually found in the French Alps.

It’s a lot of fun but slightly pricey at £31 for two hours plus £5 to rent any gear plus £1 non-refundable locker fee. Incidentally, we didn’t realise it was non-refundable. Inevitably we needed to put some more stuff in the locker after we’d locked it and lost a quid in the event. If you want a photo of yourself skiing it’s gonna cost £4.50. The same price for a magnet (for what purpose?) or keyring. The staff dishing out the skis were not dissimilar to the crusty types currently making a scene in the channel 4 rock school. You know the type – moody teenage metallers who seemed really put out that we needed them to pass us some skis.

Don’t be put off by the slick wallet draining though – get onto the slope and enjoy the feeling of snow under your skis for a couple of hours. There’s plenty of scope for jumps and it wasn’t as busy as we’d expected, usually only queuing for, at the most, two minutes for a button lift. There were plenty of snowboarders on the slope. Most were pretty good and were enjoyable to watch. You’d get the occasional one falling over right in front of you and have to take quick evasive action but that all adds to the fun, right?

I’d recommend it. Go for two hours as it’s only £6 more than the one hour. Beware that if you’ve not skied in some time you might, as I did, discover your knees are shot to pieces afterwards and have to spend a few hours in the nearby weatherspoons recuperating.

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