Snowdomes vs Glaciers

Chill Factore Race Training

The summer can be a frustrating time for skiers looking to improve. Granted, it is a good opportunity to get some rest and to work on your fitness, which is vitally important. But let’s face it, it’s just not as fun as skiing.

Glacier skiing in the summer can be a great way to get some really helpful training done, spending time building up the basics, so you have solid foundations going into the autumn and winter programs. However, glaciers are temperamental and potentially costly training partners. They don’t always care that you have only got 1 week to train and are often closed for more than 50% of a training camp.

Luckily this bad weather problem has a remedy and like Wimbledon, it comes with a roof – snowdomes. Snowdomes are sometimes unfairly given a bit of a bad rep within ski instructor circles. Let’s get one thing straight though, I’m not suggesting snowdomes can compete with the real thing. But if you don’t have the money or time to commit to glacier training, they can be a brilliant alternative and have many other attributes that glaciers cannot compete with. I have personally benefitted from snowdomes and even dry slope training, both of which helped lay good foundations in my skiing and teaching, and helped me with what I do today.

At lots of snowsport centres up and down the UK, there are very talented young skiers using the facilities to aid their development. Most snowsports centres have alpine race clubs and freestyle clubs that run regular weekly training sessions. If you get chatting to some of the regulars trainees at these sessions you will be amazed by how many of them don’t spend all that much time on real snow but still ski at an extremely high level.

In the summer, I always advise trainee instructors to join in the race training sessions at their local snowsports centres. I strongly believe that providing you put in the time, lots of development can be achieved which will set you up for the autumn and winter. In a recent video posted online, UK number 1 and World Cup skier Dave Ryding described how he uses snowdomes and the UK snowsport facilities to aid his training whilst he is in the offseason.

Take advice from Dave Ryding, there are plenty of opportunities to develop your skiing in the UK. You just have to be willing to put the time in to get the rewards come the winter time.

Gareth Shelbourne

If you’d like to train in the UK with Gareth this summer/autumn, head over to our race training pages. We’re also holding open days and mogul training so there are no excuses not to get training!