Tuesday 25 July 2023

Northern Roll roller ski series - Lancaster one-hour challenge (6 August 2023)

The third event in the 2023 Northern Roll roller ski series - organised by Lakeland XC Ski Club - takes place at the Salt Ayre cycle circuit, Lancaster, at 2pm on Sunday 6 August.

Details of how to take part can be found on the Forthcoming Events page.

The series comprises four one-hour challenge events - one from each of the four northern cross-country ski clubs (Lakeland, Manchester, Tyneside and Yorkshire Dales)

Friday 7 July 2023

  Prom Night roller ski sessions 2023

Our summer Thursday evening roller ski sessions on Morecambe Prom begin again on Thursday 14 July and run until Thursday 3 August.

These 90-minute sessions are suitable for beginners to cross-country skiing as well as those with more experience. Instruction and equipment hire are free, but we ask our participants to join our club (or another club affiliated to Snowsport England or Snowsport Scotland) after a couple of sessions.

 You can find out more on our booking form

Monday 1 May 2023

Northern Roll roller ski events

The four northern cross-country ski clubs have joined forces for a series of one hour races/challenges, collectively grouped together under the heading ‘Northern Roll Roller Ski Race Series’.

It’s the second year the series has been held, with this year Tyneside Loipers adding to the three clubs which organised last year’s inaugural series.

The dates and locations are:

  •         Yorkshire Dales XC - Sunday June, York
  •         Manchester XC - Saturday 1 July, Preston
  •         Lakeland XC - Sunday 6 August, Lancaster
  •         Tyneside Loipers - Sunday 3 September (provisional), Hetton le Hole, Co. Durham

These dates should be regarded as social events, rather than super-competitive races.  Experienced skiers will obviously want to ski as many laps as possible. For newer, less experienced skiers, the challenge will be to see how long you can ski for, and then try to do a little better at the next event.  You don’t even have to ski continuously, but take a break if you need it.

Any type of roller ski may be used, as well as any style of skiing, skate or classic. Safety, however, is paramount. All skiers must wear a helmet and eye protection (safety/cycle/sunglasses). Knee and elbow pads may be worn if wished.

Further details of each event will be announced nearer the time. We hope to see as many skiers as possible taking part.

These events, and others forming the GB Roller Ski Calendar, can be found at: https://www.bmccsa.org.uk/calendar-2023

Friday 15 April 2022

 Prom Night roller ski sessions

Our regular summer Thursday evening roller ski sessions on Morecambe Prom begin again on Thursday 5 May and run until Thursday 19 August.

These 90-minute sessions are suitable for beginners to cross-country skiing as well as those with more experience. Instruction and equipment hire are free, but we ask our participants to join our club (or another club affiliated to Snowsport England or Snowsport Scotland) after a couple of sessions.

 You can find out more on our booking form

Saturday 12 March 2022

 Club trip to Braemar

A rare thing...blue skies and perfect snow in Scotland. Thankfully it coincided with our club trip to Braemar - delayed since 2020 due to COVID-19, with the weather being some compensation for the wait.

A total of 12 club members (accompanied by a select squad of mountain hares) enjoyed ski tours to the east and west of the Glen Shee ski slopes from 4-7 March, with (hare-less) lower-level walks taking place as well. 

Club members were on a mix of Nordic touring, Telemark and Ski-mountaineering equipment.  

Tuesday 29 June 2021

Prom Night roller ski sessions

From 22 July, we'll be holding regular Thursday evening roller ski sessions on Morecambe Prom (meet at The Battery car park). 

Details of how to book free instruction and equipment hire can be found on the forthcoming events page.

 COVID-safe arrangements are in place and details can be found when booking. 

Sunday 27 December 2020

 Ski-touring on Nordic equipment - by Stephen Johns

We're grateful to club member Stephen Johns for providing this summary of ski-touring locations. You can also find Stephen's write-up on Nordic ski-touring equipment on this website's Equipment page.

If you're the sort of person that naturally gravitates to the mountains in summer and explores them on foot, you may want to consider acquiring a skiing skill as a way of getting into and enjoying the mountains in winter. Skiing on crowded pistes in a ski resort may not be for you. But you don't have to put up with noisy lifts, lift queues and loud people posing in the latest outfits on the sun terrace. You can get away from it all.

If you find yourself nodding in agreement - this is your page.

You will already know that whilst arriving at your destination is important, it's the journey that counts and journeying in the mountains in winter is a wonderful, blissful and rewarding experience. It's also extremely dangerous and if you do it often enough you will be tested beyond your comfort zone both physically and mentally. Get it wrong and you will die.

This page does not purport to teach you anything about mountain safety. You have to take personal responsibility. You must seek out and take advice about awareness of mountain safety and equipment. Avalanche is a possibility in every mountain area. None are exempt. You can never learn enough about avalanches or about how to assess snow conditions and avalanche risk. Please ensure you have the correct equipment when embarking on a tour.

If you live in England, four areas with the easiest access in which to ski tour will most likely be Scotland, Scandinavia, the Alps, and the Rockies. All have mountains and snow but they're all different.

Scandinavia - The home of ski touring and where it all started thousands of years ago as prehistoric rock paintings found in Scandinavia depict. These folks were the first to discover that skis are the best and quickest way to get around in snow.  Ski touring is a Scandinavian's birthright and they are fully geared up for it.  As well as hundreds of kilometres of prepared tracks through the forests there are hundreds of kilometres of marked routes over the mountains.

In Norway the routes are marked simply by birch twigs stuck in the snow every twenty metres of so. In the more safety conscious Sweden you'll find big thick poles painted red and white with a large red cross on top every few metres. Scandinavia also has extensive mountainhut systems for ski tourers to use. In Sweden you'll find gleaming stainless steel and sparkling clean white surfaces. Norway is more homely with lovely old wooden huts.

Food and lodging is available at nearly all the huts and in Sweden all the huts that have food are manned. In Norway, as well as manned huts that provide meals and accommodation, there are many unmanned self service huts that stock food. You may follow the marked routes from one hut to another but there are countless opportunities to test your navigation skills and create your own routes. Whilst global warming has had some impact, it's still a long way north and you will always find snow covered areas to explore in winter. Scandinavia has some steep and sharp looking mountains but for the most part the mountains are nicely rounded and great for touring. As a consequence the most suitable skis will be metal edged and a bit wider than track skis.


The Alps - Ski touring in the Alps has traditionally been based on the use of heavier alpine skis used with heavier alpine ski boots. There's good reason for this. The ups and downs are a good deal steeper than in Scandinavia and because it's further south, the range of snows encountered will be very wide. On the same trip in different places you may get powder snow and boiler plate sastruggi. Ski touring in the Alps on alpine skis is often referred to as randonnee.

Until recently, alpine gear was the sensible choice. In the last few years, developments in boots but especially in bindings means that you can now use telemarking gear with the same confidence that was once reserved for alpine equipment. Climbing skills and glacier craft too will be desirable if not essential in the Alps because of the terrain you'll be crossing.

Several of the alpine countries have their own extensive hut systems with accommodation and food so that there's no need to have to descend to the valley. The huts in each country are all a little different in character, often reflecting the characteristics of the country you're in.


Scotland - This is bit of mixture of Scandinavia and the Alps but without the huts. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, global warming has had a rather more significant impact and snow cover is far from reliable. The maritime climate means that weather changes quickly and even in one day it could throw every type of condition at you.

Whilst a few tour in Scotland on alpine gear most prefer to use lighter Scandinavian style equipment. Blue sky and powder snow conditions are not unknown in Scotland but expect wet snow, ice or both. Unless you camp, you're restricted to day tours as there are no alpine or Scandinavian style huts. There are some stone bothies that you can use but they're not generally ones that you would want to take your mother to!


The Rockies - These are big mountains similar in many ways to the Alps. So far as touring is concerned the main differences are the snow conditions and the huts. In the Rockies trees grow up to altitudes of over 3000 metres. Trees are much better at holding the annual 13 metres of cold powdery snow so that big wide skis will be essential if you are not to sink out of sight. For the same reason modern, high tech snow shoes are very common. There is little tradition of using alpine touring equipment in the Rockies. In fact you can buy tee shirts that say "Randonnee = French word meaning can't Telemark". Don't forget that most of the modern Telemark equipment is developed in the Rockies so it's not surprising that most touring will be on modern tele gear.

There is a small system of huts which are quite minimal so far as amenities are concerned. The 10th Mountain Division Hut Association in Colorado is the most famous. Whereas in Scandinavia and the Alps you can roll up and expect accommodation as of right, the huts in the Rockies you'll need to book in advance. You'll also need to cart in all your own food.