We spoke to the Telegraph Ski & Snowboard Festival's Event Director Stephen Morgan about to what to expect at this year's event, plus Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE, getting the family involved, and the ski and snowboard industry.
Can you tell us what the Telegraph Ski & Snowboard Festival has to offer its visitors? What is there for people to see, do and experience?
The Telegraph Ski & Snowboard Festival is a celebration of wintersports, a fun wintry day out for families, and the perfect place to find out about the latest ski and snowboard trends, travel and tech - and all this under (and outside) one roof. There’s mountains of fun with ice-skating, curling, dog-sledding, an action sports zone, a vintage ferris wheel and Mount Battersea, the UK’s largest real snow ski jump. And there’s a whole variety of food and drink from craft beer to Norwegian Huski chocolate - and an International Street Food Village bursting with culinary delights from all over the world.
You have announced Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE as a speaker for Friday 25 October – what are you personally looking forward to hearing from his talk, and what do you hope he will bring to the event?
We are delighted to be welcoming Sir Ranulph Fiennes to this year’s festival; Sir Ranulph has a lifetime’s worth of amazing adventures to share with us, from the first unsupported crossing of the Antarctic to climbing Everest, which he conquered at 65 years old. As a snowboarder and mountain-lover I’m personally looking forward to hearing Sir Ranulph talk about his experience of climbing the notoriously difficult North Face of the Eiger, which took 3 days and nights.
What does the event offer for anyone new to skiing or snowboarding?
You can’t fail to be inspired by the epic tricks by skaters on Mount Battersea, the UK’s largest real snow big air, and children will be able to try skateboarding at the Action Sports Zone. Those new to skiing can find out about resorts across the globe, from Norway Home of Skiing to the Japanese Alps, as well as browsing the latest kit and tech all in one place. And visitors on Saturday can hear 2018 Pyeongchang Olympians including Billy Morgan talk about their rise from also-rans to medal success, showing how determination and a will to win can elevate results.
The Festival takes place during October half-term. Are there activities that families can enjoy?
The Ski & Snowboard Festival has always been very popular with families and we have even more wintry fun at this year’s event. For smaller children there's Esprit’s Kids Zone with 4 activity areas, and for those aged 4 - 10 year there will be ski taster experiences at the foot of Mount Battersea with Snow Centre. Older kids can try out tricks and build their skills in skateboarding and parkour in the action sports mini arena. And for those eternal big kids there is also a chance to try ice-skating, dog-sledding and a spin on the vintage ferris wheel.
What kind of growth are you seeing in the overall ski and snowboard market in the UK?
Experienced and novice skiers alike are always on the look-out for exciting new destinations and we’re delighted to be welcoming so many resorts to showcase their unique charms. And snowboarding just goes from strength to strength; it’s enjoying a higher profile thanks to the GB team’s success at Pyeongchang in 2018, and its thrilling mix of speed, skill and style is attracting ever-growing audiences and participants.
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