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Snowboarder hits the slopes in the Sperrins after Storm Eunice

Winter sports fans leap at chance to practise their skills

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Shredding in the Sperrins

Shredding in the Sperrins

Alan Bennett took to the slopes on Saturday with Kieron Black.

Alan Bennett took to the slopes on Saturday with Kieron Black.

There was nothing but blue skies as skiers and snowboarders took to the slopes

There was nothing but blue skies as skiers and snowboarders took to the slopes

Snowy slopes in the Sperrins

Snowy slopes in the Sperrins

Kieron Black in action

Kieron Black in action

Snowboarding in the Sperrins

Snowboarding in the Sperrins

A snowboarder in the Sperrins

A snowboarder in the Sperrins

A blanket of snow over Lisnaskea

A blanket of snow over Lisnaskea

Shanna and Fianna Black build a snowman near Divis mountain in west Belfast

Shanna and Fianna Black build a snowman near Divis mountain in west Belfast

Thomas Sullivan enjoying the snow on Black Mountain

Thomas Sullivan enjoying the snow on Black Mountain

Dominic Good, looks at the roots of a 400-year-old oak tree in his garden, which was uprooted by Storm Eunice and fell onto his property in Stondon Massey, near Brentwood, Essex. Picture date: Saturday February 19, 2022. PA Photo. Mr Good, 57, was in the middle of a work conference call at his home on Friday morning when he was interrupted by an "almighty crash". The father-of-two said his family are "very lucky" that no one was injured after the huge oak tree crashed through the roof of their detached house. See PA story WEATHER Storms. Photo credit should read: Nicholas.T.Ansell/PA Wire

Dominic Good, looks at the roots of a 400-year-old oak tree in his garden, which was uprooted by Storm Eunice and fell onto his property in Stondon Massey, near Brentwood, Essex. Picture date: Saturday February 19, 2022. PA Photo. Mr Good, 57, was in the middle of a work conference call at his home on Friday morning when he was interrupted by an "almighty crash". The father-of-two said his family are "very lucky" that no one was injured after the huge oak tree crashed through the roof of their detached house. See PA story WEATHER Storms. Photo credit should read: Nicholas.T.Ansell/PA Wire

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Shredding in the Sperrins

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.

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Alan Bennett took to the slopes on Saturday with Kieron Black.

Alan Bennett took to the slopes on Saturday with Kieron Black.

Alan Bennett took to the slopes on Saturday with Kieron Black.

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?”

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A snowboarder in the Sperrins

A snowboarder in the Sperrins

A snowboarder in the Sperrins

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.


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