Happy St. Patrick’s Day! What better day to explore the possibilities for skiing in Ireland? Are you ready to go skiing with leprechauns?
Pour yourself a green beer, butter up some soda bread, and read on.
Is There Skiing In Ireland?
To answer this question, I googled. Here’s what I found.
“We are many things, but not a winter sports nation,” explained Paul Smith answering a 2014 query about skiing in Eire, adding that while it does snow in Ireland, skiing is largely confined to indoor and outdoor dry slopes.
Another respondent, Mark Whelan, counters this position — probably because he doesn’t mind uphilling — chiming in that the Wicklow Mountains have about 50 snowy days a year for off-piste skiing.
The Wicklow Mountains
South of Dublin, the Wicklow Mountains are the largest mountain range in Ireland with more than 190 square miles above 980 feet in elevation. In fact, the Wicklow Mountains boast a total of 39 peaks over 2,000 feet, the tallest being Lugnaquilla, at 3,035 feet. Despite being only the 13th highest peak in Ireland, Lugnaquilla is considered the snowiest.
The Wicklow Mountains receive an average of 79″ of precipitation per year, but the temperate coastal climate ensures that only a small amount of this falls as snow.
Or, as Rory Alsop, in the same online posting puts it, “Ireland is not generally good for skiing at all, unless you want to trek up yourself and be prepared to ski in the rain.”
He then goes on to recommend skiing in Scotland.
Where Can you Ski in Ireland?
Still, the dedicated skiers and riders of Ireland do not despair, amusing themselves with learning to ski and ride on dry slopes, before heading to Scotland, or better yet, the Alps.
Dry slopes are a much bigger deal in Europe than they are in the U.S., so it always surprises me when I realize how many people learn on these slopes, build strong skills, and even train for high-level ski racing on plastic.
Ireland has three dry slope ski centers, two near Dublin in the Republic of Ireland and one near Belfast in Northern Ireland.
The lesson here is that you do the best with what you have.
And then you call it the Luck o’ the Irish that you’re fortunate enough to be skiing or snowboarding.
A turn, is a turn, is a turn. Especially when you’re wearing green.
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