Simon first went skiing with a group of friends in the French Alps aged 23 and took to it straight away. The snow, exercise, scenery, and mountain way of life have been lifelong attractions. He enjoys the larger commercial European resorts but also finds smaller French and Spanish resorts in the Pyrenees an authentic contrast. Apart from skiing Simon enjoys spending time with family and friends over long meals, learning French, reading, the gym, and walking.
What First Sparked Your Interest In Skiing and How Did You Get Into It?
My love of snow started my interest in skiing. I grew up in Norfolk, England, which had some very hard winters and plenty of snow for me and my brother to mess around in. Also, as a family, we went camping around Europe, which introduced me to the larger mountains. So, skiing just became an extension of those experiences.
What Is Your Favorite Type of Terrain to Ski On and Why?
I stick mostly to groomed terrain although I enjoyed getting the hang of ungroomed runs in Austria. Variety is the spice of life and that’s how I like my runs. One of my favorite things is to find a run at my limit and ski it repeatedly. It’s a great way to build confidence and technique.
What Has Been Your Most Memorable Skiing Experience and Why?
Spending a week in Zermatt, Switzerland. Very high mountains with ice caves at the top and all in the shadow of the dramatic Matterhorn. The skiing is very varied and most runs are wide. The skiing infrastructure is Swiss engineering at its best and you can ski down to Cervinia in Italy for a great pizza.
What Is Your Favorite Ski Resort and Why?
Bacqueira, Spain is a hidden gem. 95% of visitors are Spanish and little French or English is spoken. It’s quite an extensive resort spread across different areas with very different terrain. It’s very easy to get to with a hire car from Lourdes.
What Is Your Go-To Ski Gear and Why Do You Love It?
I treated myself to an Eider ski jacket, which I really like, and which should last well.
It’s well-designed and has the right sort of pockets in the right place. It’s very warm but also has plenty of vents for when things warm up.
Do You Have Any Ski-Related Goals or Aspirations for the Future? If So, What Are They and How Do You Plan On Achieving Them?
I’ve been to the United States and Canada a few times but, so far, I never skied. It would be great to go over on the West Coast and maybe up into Alaska. It would be good to try some proper backcountry skiing.
Do You Have Any Tips or Advice for New Skiers Looking to Improve Their Skills and Enjoy the Sport More?
Take lessons; even if you have to save up to pay for them. On your own, you can learn a few things by trial and error, but you will probably make slow progress, which can be very frustrating. A good instructor will know how to identify the problems you have and how to rectify them straightaway.