person snowboarding

The modern sport of skiing is a relatively recent development of the much older use of skis to aid travel across snow covered terrain.

All snowsports draw attention to environmental and land use issues as well as an appreciation of both the harshness and the beauty of the winter landscape.

The fixing down of the heel was the significant factor which led to the sport separating into the two disciplines of Nordic and Alpine (downhill) skiing, the latter receiving its major turning point with the invention of the ski tow.

Alpine skiing, or downhill skiing as it is more commonly known, can be broadly described as skiing using fixed heel bindings and is usually undertaken in areas with ski tows and chair-lifts.

Nordic skiing encompasses a wide range of disciplines of which the primary feature is a free heel binding which allows a walking type of movement.

Telemarking is a branch of Nordic skiing that has become prominent with the advent of modern equipment designed primarily for the piste.

Ski mountaineering involves travelling in more remote or rugged terrain using both Alpine and Nordic equipment and requires additional winter mountaineering experience.

Snowboarding originated in the USA in the late 1970s and involves the participant riding on a skiingboard using fixed bindings in a diagonal stance.

With a growing awareness and a greater understanding of disabilities, skiing for the disabled (Adaptive Skiing) is a fast growing discipline. Equipment and recent qualifications in this field make it possible for people with physical and developmental disabilities to enjoy snow sports.

Aberdeenshire is particularly well served by having two of Britain’s five alpine ski centres straddling its boundary; the Lecht and Glenshee.
Cairngorm, Nevis Range (Aonach Mor) and Glencoe Ski Centres are also within reasonable travelling distance. The Aberdeenshire countryside and climate provides good opportunities for Nordic Skiing when the snow lies. The forests of Clashindarroch and Gartly are particularly suitable venues for track skiing.

It is often possible with careful choice of terrain and location to ski from late November till early May.