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  • Writer's pictureHenry

In the Beginning ...

Updated: Sep 1, 2023


My name is Henry, and I’m a skier.

Although, sometimes I have a hard time describing myself as such; I’m not someone who skied every year since being old enough to walk, and my family don’t make a point of going away every year. I’ve skied very intermittently since I first started just over 15 years ago.

On the other hand, however, I’ve been working in the ski industry on and off for a decade. My job now, with the Ski Club of Great Britain, means I am immersed in a snowy world whatever the weather and whatever the location, even if its 30˚ C outside and I’m stuck in an office in London. And when the snow is falling, I’ve managed to make it to the mountains several times a year for the past couple of years – for both work and play, although when you’re being paid to ski it almost always feels like the latter!

Okay, fine, I'm a skier!

Okay, fine, I’m a skier. The point, I guess, is that I’ve had to feel out a lot of this for myself, with the help of my friends and family who are often doing the same. Learning to ski in the first place, buying clothes, boots and skis, booking holidays and growing into ski touring are all things we have taught ourselves, literally or otherwise, rather than it simply being handed to us as children.

So I wanted to share my experience with you all. Through this blog, I will talk about my experiences buying a pair of skis, planning a dream holiday to Japan, and my first encounter with avalanche risk conditions. I will contemplate the challenges and successes of taking the train to the mountains instead of flying and that one time I nearly died whilst ski touring over a patch of ice (only a slight exaggeration). And, hopefully, I can offer advice, inspiration, and guidance – on both what and what not to do – when going skiing.

Spoiled on the Balme d'Or glacier in Val d'Isére

I’ve titled this blog “Skiing Unlocked” as that’s exactly what I want to help you achieve! I know you’ve experienced times when you’ve wanted to try something or grow your involvement in something, but you’ve not known where to turn? Or, as you spend more time, you feel like there’s some big secret to the sport or activity that someone isn’t revealing to you, some magical trick that will just unlock skiing, or dancing, or singing, or pottery making and make you a star? This blog is for those moments when you’ve felt just like that, fumbling for the key to a lock that may or may not exist.

I first went skiing when I was twelve, on a family holiday at Easter to Morzine, France. I was immediately hooked. The thrill of racing down the slalom course – a miniature slalom designed for those in their first week of instruction, mind – was exhilarating, as was the access to (seemingly) unlimited milkshake from the hotel bar.

A couple of school trips later and, when I left school, I went to Canada to do a ski instructor’s course. This was the first time that I really immersed myself in the mountains, pushing my skiing, making amazing friends who all adored skiing, and building my alcohol tolerance. It was during this time that I came to understand what kind of world skiing could unlock, but, despite the development of my skiing, how much work I would have to put in to achieve this.

This blog is the culmination of that experience, and the nearly 10 years experience I've had working in the ski industry since then. I won't pretend to be authoritative on every subject, but hopefully, at the very least, I can help you unlock skiing.


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