Ski Club

A new Ski Club is now being established at Crickhowell High School, organized by one of our parents, Mrs Julia Hawkins, who has been organizing ski teams at other schools for the last 7 years.  The first team to be set up will be a girls team and the plan is to enter into the South East Wales Regional Schools Race, which is due to be held at the Pontypool Dry Ski Slope at 5.30 pm on Thursday 21st June 2018.  The race itself is entry level, involving a simple slalom course.  Teams comprise 3 to 4 girls of mixed ages and there is no limit on the number of teams that may be entered.  We would then go on to enter a team / teams in the Welsh National Schools Championships, which will be held at the Llangrannog dry ski slope on Sunday 14th October 2018.  Secondary schools come from all over Wales to complete in these championships.  In time, we would also hope to qualify a team for the British Schools Dry Slope Championships, which are held in November every year.  The best 25 schools from all over the UK are invited to compete at this level, based on the results of the national championships in Wales, England and Scotland.

Torfaen Ski Club Ski Training at Pontypool Dry Ski Slope

Pontypool Ski Centre boasts a 230 metre main slope, a novice / beginners area, a Poma ski lift, sprinkler system and mogul run.

What do I wear?

Your legs and arms must be covered, so you need trousers and a long sleeved top. You must have gloves. Water is sprayed on the slope, so if you have waterproof trousers, it is worth wearing them.  If not, tracksuit bottoms are fine for most of the year and old salopettes or ski trousers are good for when it is cold in winter.  If you don’t have old ones, buy some cheap ones from Aldi or Lidl in November and use them for the dry slope.

What equipment do I need?

None.  All equipment will be provided by Torfaen Ski Club as part of your membership.  However, if you have your own helmet and boots, take them.  Don’t take your own skis – the dry slope will wreck them.

How much money will I need?

You must pay in cash.  On your first visit, you will need £15.00 for annual membership of Torfaen Ski Club plus £7.50 for your evenings’ skiing. For subsequent visits you will need £7.50 a night.

What information do I need to give to get skis and boots fitted safely?

If you know your weight in kilos and your height in metres it will speed up the fitting of your skis. You can be measured there but it is quicker if you know already.  When they set up your skis they will give you a setting number. You need to write this down and give it each time you go so that your skis are set to the correct setting.  As you grow or as you get better, your setting will change to reflect this.

When is Pontypool Dry Slope open? When should I get there?

From April to October it is only open on Wednesday evenings for Torfaen Ski Club.  From October to March, it is open at evenings and weekends too and run by the Leisure Trust.  You can be on the slope at Torfaen Ski Club between 18.45 and 20.45 on a Wednesday evening.  Instruction tends to run between 19.00 and 20.00 but can run on later and may also start later.  Get to the slope by 18.30 if possible, to get kitted up before it gets too busy.

Snowsport Wales Schools Skiing Events 2018

The annual schools skiing events are organized by Snowsport Wales and provide an ideal opportunity for children of all skiing abilities to participate in an organised skiing event.  The local or regional events are designed as introductory events, with the aim that as many children as possible go on to participate in the Welsh Schools Championships at Llangrannog ski slope in October.

The Race & Costs

The South East Wales race is only 5 weeks away, so the Crickhowell High School team will need to start training straight away.  Ideally we’re looking for those participants who already have some skiing experience.  But don’t worry if you don’t have any ski equipment.  It’s all taken care of.  Bear in mind that even if you’re a good skier, skiing on a dry ski slope is rather different to skiing on snow.  The race we’re preparing for consists of a simple slalom course (skiing between two poles).

The first training session takes place on Wednesday 23rd May 2018 at the Pontypool Dry Ski Slope at 6.45 pm to 8.45 pm.  Tuition is provided on a voluntary basis by qualified instructors from Torfaen Ski Club and all necessary equipment will be provided.  You won’t have to attend training every week.  You can do as much or as little as you like depending on your progression.  Annual membership of the Club is £15.00.  Each ski sessions costs £7.50, to include both equipment and tuition.   The cost of entering the race is £50.00 per team.  This equates to £12.50 per head for a team of 4 and £16.67 for a team of 3. 

For those who would like to try it out for a couple of weeks without committing to a full year’s membership, you can go along as a day member at £11.00 per day. 

Parents of participating students will need to take their daughter to and from Pontypool for each training session.

Key Dates

Thursday 21st June, 5.30 pm:  South East Wales Regional Schools Race at Pontypool Dry Ski Slope.

Sunday 14th October:  Welsh National Secondary School Championships at Llangrannog, West Wales.

So if you’d like your daughter to be involved, please contact Mrs Julia Hawkins on 01873 810577 / 07840 217446 or email her on for further details.  And you never know.  One day this might be you!

South East Wales Regional Schools Race – Thursday 21st June 2018


Crickhowell High School girls ski squads took part in their first ever race on Thursday 21st June in the South East Wales Schools Ski Championships and were a great success.  There were 48 entrants from 8 schools and our first team – Saskia Henry-Davies (captain), Bethany Woollard, Arwen Hobson and Lauren French – managed to win silver medals in the team event.  The second team of Isobel Pearce, Megan Fryer and Jess Dykes, although unmedalled, skied exceptionally well, just missing out on the bronze medal to Brecon High School.

Amazingly, given that the squad have only been practicing for a few weeks, there were also some individual medals:

  • Saskia Henry-Davies won gold for the fastest U14 female skier
  • Arwen Hobson won silver for the fastest U14 female skier
  • Saskia Henry-Davies won silver for the fastest unregistered female skier in the whole secondary school competition
  • Arwen Hobson won bronze for the fastest unregistered female skier in the whole secondary school competition
  • Bethany Woollard won bronze for the fastest U16 fastest female skier

The girls’ ski squad will now prepare for the Welsh National Schools’ Championships and we are aiming to enter at least 2 teams for Llangrannog on Sunday 14th October.  We are always looking for new members and you can even start learning to ski as a total beginner.  Email  Julia Hawkins on if you are interested in joining the squad.

Welsh National Dry Slope Ski Championships – Sunday 9th September 2018


Congratulations to Erin and Manon Higgins from Year 7 who competed in the Welsh National Dry Slope Ski Championships at Pontypool Ski Slope on Sunday 9th September 2018.  Incredibly, the twins got exactly the same time to the hundredth of a second, taking joint silver medal with a time of 27.81 seconds.

Welsh Schools Ski Championships – Sunday 14th October 2018

Crickhowell High School Girls Ski Team (Arwen Hobson Y9, Saskia Henry-Davies Y8, Erin and Manon Higgins Y7) took part in the Welsh Schools Ski Championships at Llangrannog in West Wales on Sunday 14th October 2018. Fabulous skiing by all 4 team members earned them a team bronze medal in their first ever entry in the competition. And they were only one fifth of a second off a silver team medal! As the third fastest team in Wales, they have now qualified for the British Schools Championships, which is attended by the top 25 school ski teams in Britain.

There were individual medals too, with Arwen coming third in Wales in the unregistered Under 14 girls category, Erin coming second in Wales and Manon third in the Registered Under 12 category.

Despite being ill, Saskia also posted a great time, ensuring team success. The team had to brave Storm Callum and floods to compete and some of them returned to Crickhowell on the back of a recovery lorry, but they loved every minute. With such a young, enthusiastic team, competing against teams with students up to Y13, the future looks bright for Team CHS.

Girls of any age who’re interested in joining Team CHS, please contact Julia Hawkins on  We’re always looking to welcome new skiers.