Winter sports fans leap at chance to practise their skills
You’d be forgiven for thinking these pictures were taken in the Alps, but they were actually captured in Co Tyrone.
For some, a warning for snow might mean disruption to travel plans and layering up before going outside, but for winter sports fans, it was time to hit the slopes.
As Stor m Eunice wreaked havoc across much of the UK on Friday and Saturday, things were more sedate in the Sperrins, with a blanket of snow falling before skiers and snowboarders descended on the mountain range to practise their skills.
Kieron Black, an artist from Killough, Co Down, was one of a number of people who took to the slopes on Saturday.
He told Sunday Life that it wasn’t all plain sailing, but after a two-hour hike, he had enjoyed five 20-second descents.
Kieron was joined by friends Alan Bennett and Paddy Doogan, who often go on skiing holidays together, but since the pandemic have been unable to get away as much as they’d like to.
On Saturday, they decided to look a little closer to home for their snow fix.
“We started out our hike in a total white-out, but as soon as we hit a certain altitude, the weather cleared and there was nothing but blue skies,” Kieron said.
“I mean, how often do you have a ski slope to yourself under a beautiful blue sky?”
Preparation, he said, was the key to a successful day on the slopes.
“This type of skiing or snowboarding is of course only for the more experienced. You need to know the mountain and know what to keep an eye out for,” explained the Co Down man.
Kieron is currently creating a comic book called Gerald the Annoying, about a snowboarding goblin called Ogie. It a follow-up to his hit children’s book The Goblin’s Blue Blanket.
“There is a lot of me in my characters and much of the inspiration actually came from a skiing trip to the Sperrins,” he said.
You can sponsor Kieron and see Gerald The Annoying come to life exclusively on patreon.com\kieronblack.