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Rory Southworth By Rory Southworth

Seasoned skier and GetOutside Champion, Rory Southworth, explores the slopes around the Lake District to give him that ultimate skiing buzz!

In the Lake District we have one lift. It's a Pomer lift run by volunteers in the winter on Raise mountain, there is a webcam, a piste map, a small hut and even ski club that operates and maintains it all.

But what about when you leave the little ski mountain to search for other hills to ski in the Lake District?

Rory on the ski slopes
Rory ascending a ski slope

Skiing has always been an expensive hobby, the flights, accommodation, lift passes and the latest ski kit. But I wanted to ski a season in the Lakes and see if it can be done on the cheap.

A search on eBay and a few "buy it now" purchases allowed me to pick up a pair of 2007 All Mountain skis for £50 and a pair of Salomon boots for £9! Add a pair of poles for £10 and a quick wax and I was set to ski for £69! Not the latest and greatest kit, but when the Lake District skiing isn't the most rock free terrain, a cheap pair of eBay skis are a good alternative to your alpine skis.

Snow covered slope in the Lake District

Clothed in a mixture of running and mountaineering clothes, skis strapped to my pack and only the petrol money spent to get there, I spent last winter season budget skiing.

After-work with my headtorch, early on a weekend morning. Whenever the snow looked good, I would hike up carrying my skis and ski down, only to then swap shoes and hike my skis back up to ski down again

Rory with skies on his back
Rory  skiing after nightfall

The snow is variable, and Lake District Skiing isn't that beginner friendly. There are also lots of hidden rocks very close to the surface as well as think tufts of grass that slow you down. However, linking turns from the Summit of a Lake District Mountain and skiing back down to the road is a pretty special feeling, especially when it's free!

For more information, check out The Lake District Ski Club.

Published 01/11/2019

Rory Southworth By Rory Southworth


Rory is a red race short wearing mountain runner, climber and long distance hiker.

Find out more about Rory Southworth.