Ever imagined you could ski Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh? I’m talking about right in the heart of Edinburgh … ?
At 251m, Arthur’s Seat, a natural rock formation in Holyrood Park, is the highest spot in the city and is one of the best vantage points. It is actually an extinct volcano that has been called by this name since the 15th century. Whether this is an oblique reference to Arthur of Camelot or some local hero of the time is not known.
The view from the top of Arthur’s Seat is extraordinary – a wonderful sweeping view of Edinburgh’s Old Town skyline and many’s the person who walks’ up there to appreciate it.
However, the other day it was the site for a very unusual Edinburgh scene – a trio of skiers decided to have a bit of off-piste entertainment…
The skier in this video was Gareth Trayner, Head Coach of the British Children’s Ski Team. He and two friends – World Cup ski racer Finlay Mickel and ex-Scottish team athlete Jimmy Gill – made three “amazing” runs down the slope.
He said: “Finlay had been skiing the previous day at Hillend, and he suggested we go there for some runs. I thought – why not Arthur’s Seat? We originally tried the east side of the hill, but there’s a massive clearing there with a lot of gorse bushes so we decided to shift to the run on the video – skiing through gorse isn’t fun!”
“The best runs in Edinburgh we have ever had,” he said but he did add that “it’s fine for us to do it; we’ve all skied a lot. But it’s a rocky run – you wouldn’t want someone thinking they could do it and hurting themselves.”
There’s also a fairly serious road at the bottom, Queen’s Drive, so you need to know how to apply your brakes! Perhaps it should be left to the experts…
A spokesman for Historic Scotland would probably prefer that it wasn’t done at all … “Although we understand that people want to get out and enjoy the snow, it is important that this is done safely,” he said.