To some, it may come as a shock to hear that there are many out there who live for the winter season. I used to think it was complete madness too, until I skied for the first time that is. Now, it totally makes sense. It’s the snow sports that are the attraction or I should say addiction. Those that have already experienced one snow sport or another already get it. To those who have never had the luxury of such experience as of yet, you simply have to get out and give it a go. Luckily, this does not involve an expensive trip to the Canadian Rockies or the Alps.
Right on our door step, here in the grand city of Manchester, we have the Chill Factore, home of the largest indoor ski slope in England complete with real snow. Yep, don’t know how they do it either but the only logical explanation is magic!
There are a number of snow activities you can get stuck in with at the Chill Factore, skiing, snowboarding, luging, sledging, airboarding and snowscoot to name a few. The only downside is that the main slope is only to be used by those that can already ski or snowboard, understandably so due to obvious health and safety reasons, as perfectly demonstrated in this clip.
Not to worry though, book a lesson or two, learn the basics – pizza slice and fries, I mean how hard can that be?! Complete the lessons and away you are!
Personally, I have been a regular attendee of the Chill Factore in the past (pre moving to Canada) but since being home I kind of forgot it was there and haven’t actually been until last Thursday.
The Chill Factore’s corporate events team invited us for a tour of their facilities & to showcase their Christmas party packages. Honestly, I accepted the invitation not really knowing what to expect but with a promise of food and access to the snow park it was a no brainer!
It ended up being myself and my favorite person in our offices attending the event so the night was already off to a fabulous start!
The mere mention of food played a big role in our attendance that evening but we were ready for a few butties and some crisps, imagine our surprise when we walked into the Eiger Room, which makes you feel like you’ve been transported into a winter wonderland, a top a mountain in far away lands where the snowmen sing, there were snowboards on a table with a full Christmas Dinner buffet laid upon (including some tasty vegetarian dishes), complete with slush puppies to drink and an amazing selection of Christmas deserts. it was so good we almost forgot that outside it was sunny, warm and September, heck we almost forgot the reason we were there in the first place!
The snow park. Ah the snow park. surprisingly, once you are stood in front of it is bigger than it first seemed!
Helpful hint: get your snow boots 2 sizes smaller than your normal shoe size! Those things are monstrous!
After getting kitted up, protective head gear and all. We were lead to the slopes for free run of the snow park.
Guys, when you get out there, don’t go crazy and follow the crowds, hang back for a moment and let them all run off, chances are they will all go to the same slope giving you clear access to the others! That’s efficiency right there!
We have all done sledging before on various bits and bobs we have been able to get our hands on, on the odd occasions we have been in snowy conditions so this activity was not top of our list. Especially given it was a pretty straight run. Thankfully, that was the first activity everyone headed to.
Naturally, my friend and I headed in the opposite direction. Well actually, I followed her and for some reason she led us straight to the luge, walking up those stairs I felt like I was walking to my death. We have all seen the “we are Jamaica we have a bob sleigh team” movie (Cool Runnings) so you can imagine how I felt staring down that tunnel of ice. Okay, okay, maybe this is a little dramatic, it is a minute run in comparison and it’s not quite a bob sleigh but more a body board that you lie on. Nonetheless, the luge is terrifying.. terrifying and one of the most fun experiences you’ve ever had whilst lying down!
Helpful hin: on the luge, keep your hands turned in or risk losing your knuckles. You have been warned!
By this point, people had cottoned on to the ‘free roaming’ aspect and each activity was equally as busy as the next so we headed for the dohnut run.
If you haven’t already drawn the conclusion that I am a bit of a wimp, let me tell you that I am a bit of a wimp! The dohnut run has 2 tracks, a smooth and a bumpy. Of course, we took to the smooth first. Gotta suss these things out before you throw yourself down a bumpy track right?! Good job really, given that the next time up the only option was the bumpy track, where the guy overseeing the safe operation suggested that we take a running jump down the track, which we did and we regretted.. until we got to the bottom and ran straight back up to do it again. Only this time, the ‘safety guy’ pushed us down backwards! Yeah that one, way more terrifying than any of the other. Genuinely thought we were going to take off, legs were flying everywhere! Not even being dramatic for once.
There is so much fun to be had on this big-little snow park and it is definitely worth the visit. If you’re a little nervous or fancy changing things up a bit, chat to the ‘safety guys’ they are full of good ideas!
If you want a bit of a sneak preview, I have uploaded a video or 2 to my instagram (@contourallure).
For an even better time, get some pre-agreed forfeits ready for the losers of the races! Take it from me, trying to plan some at the top of a slope is just too much pressure!
Oh also, if you go to the Christmas party here you get access to the snow park too! There are changing rooms so you can get pretty again afterwards but honestly, who cares about being pretty when you can be racing down slopes! Hands down beats any other Christmas party. Can’t wait to get the friends on board and hey if you wanna join, it’s a shared do so why not?! Call the Chill Factore and speak to Jen or Lori in the corporate events department.
But even if you’re not feeling getting in on our Christmas shindig make sure you still get down and experience this place! Further details of events, times and prices can be found Here.