HUSKY SLEDENG Stand aside Lara Croft . . .

Think of husky sledding and you probably think of bearded explorers and SAGA holidays in Finland. Think again. Imagine crossmg the crisp snow of the Cairngorms at over 20mph. pulled by a team of echted dogs. Think Lara Croft in Tamera/(fer. Girls are seizing upon the thrill of dog sledding on hen nights. cerporate lads are uSing it to bond Out of office hours and skiers give it a go when they're looking for apres-ski with a difference. And the good news is you don't have to go to Finland or Alaska to do it.

Far from being the coriimerCial circus it might be. this is a truly personal and fulfilling way to give the sport a go. Original. exCiting and fun. husky sledding is the ultimate addition to an active weekend in the Cairngorms. There are trips into the forest in the early morning and early evening. combined with an exhibition. videos and bonding to give yOu a real feel for the game. 1 you're really keen. you can do a two-day training course. by the end of which you'll be ‘mushing' ldrivntg; your own team of dogs.

The Cairngorms Dogsledding Adventure Centre tAIan Stewart. Rothiemurchus Estate. 07767 270 526. stewartsledk9iataolcomi is the only way in Scotland to get hands-on experience of dog sledding if you are not already into the sport.

For more information. contact the Sled Dog Association of Scotland. 01882 832383. bridgetmacpheisonia; iSu/annah McMickingi

Go to the dogs on your hen night

j the piste off the piste


Slope off for some apres ski action

St Moritz it ain't. You y'xon't find the resort-based. cltam;)agrie-guaffing. yar(l-s\.v:|ling. near-Uncovered boo/e excesses of the riche-Alpine playgrounds here. Thank goodness for that. Instead. Scotland's apres ski is largely what you make of it; think mulled wine. roaring fires. fine ales and good chat.

Intact. the ctos 2st you'il come o rlevil-niay—care hedonism is an impromptu ceilidh or pub singalong. Whale most of the entertainment -s hotel-based. the best after- hours action is to be found in Ayiemore. Serying the Cairngorm range. Aviemore's year-round tourism means a good selectioi‘ of pubs. The infamous Crofters 1011179 8100211 is the social focal point. fed by pubs sucl‘. as Cafe Mambo 011179 81 1070. x-xhich offers live acoustic music and '.'.ieekend [)Js. Cl‘ewy's i014 70 810250. the Illicit Still (213.70 8‘0771.. «non-1n for its karaoke. and the hue riiusic of the Freedom Inn 1017179 810781:.

The newest >‘ Scotland's ski resorts also offers good 'iightl'fe. Evenings at the Nevis Range be-g:n wt'i a drink at the on- slope Snoxxgocse Bar 01397 705825». The Range is seven iniies from Fort \."‘.’i|iiaiii. ‘.'.’ill(li‘. again boasts the faciiities exnectc-d of a year round tourist :lestinat:on. It's worth poop ng into t'te Ben Neyis Inn @1307 701227: or tie Greg 8. Gruel 01397 705378 to :irtnk in the atmosphere.

Glencoe and the Lecht aren't recommended for night out/is. in both areas. it's a case of find a pub and stay put. N > great harm t’iere. Those staying l’1 the Lecht car‘ venture .nto the picttiresgue top-xii of Tomentotil .vlvct‘ boasts '.' hostelries ir‘. ;ts sguare. such as Glenavon .01807 580218.. the Richmond r01807 5807773 and the Gordon Hotel 01807 :380208i.

Finally. the closest towns to Glenshee haye some excellent :.:."atering holes. in. the Spittal of Glenshee there's the Spittal Hotel '01250 1 :3: and the Dulmunzie House Hotel 012550 88532241. while furtt‘er afiexi l." Braemar. the Fife Arms Hotel '013307 3.10:1‘Zi holds lively weekend knees—tips. iMaureen Ell:si

not just for “Juniors' "it's more a frame of mind' according to the club president. Open to anyone. whatever their ability and age. this club is well organised and meets regularly mid- week and at we 2kends. Check Out its very comprehensive website.

Annual Membership: 812—5217.

If winter spOrts were like fashion then climbing walls wOuld be the new black. Replacmg pool tables as the recreational actiVity. climbing walls are cropping up all over the place.

Glasgow Climbing Centre lbrox Church, 534 Paisley Road West, 0141 427 9550 . www.glasgowc| Opening hours: noon-10pm (weekdays); 10am—8pm (weekends).

This is the most popular climbing wall in the west of Scotland incorporating climbs of up to 40ft with constantly

24 THE LIST 2' 71f. '3- ‘\l',. .7"

See Shopping, page 122, for winter accessories from innovative snowboarding boots to fashionable hooded tops.

changing variety and challenges. Suitable for both beginners and regular climbers. it offers tuition for individuals and groups with weekly club meetings offering a great opportunity to meet up with like-minded folks.

Prices: Membership (which entitles you to unlimited accessi: E40 linonthly‘i; 5:250 lannual'i. Entrance: €5.50 iconcessions available). Equipment hire: boots 5:2: harness 82: belay deVice $21: helmet ifree‘i. 1‘4 all-in for students.

Alien Rock and Alien Rock 2 Alien Rock, 8 Pier Place, Newhaven, 0131 552 7211.

Opening hours: noon-10pm (weekdays); 103m-9pm (weekends). Alien Rock 2, 37 West Bowling Green Street, 0131 555 3650. Opening hours: 4pm—10pm (weekdays); noon-7pm (weekends). Alien Rock was Edinburgh's first indoor climbing centre and remains as impressive as ever with 700m sg of wall of all shapes. textures and

colours. The centre is Suitable for climbers of all abilities and offers tuition for grotips and individuals. Alien Rock 2 was completed last year this time it's 300m so of pure bouldering wail covering every conceivable angle. Prices: Membership: $3240 for one wall; $3380 for both unlimited access. Entrance: £5.50 ipeaki. 5.7/1 ioff peak). Equipment hire: harness and boots $33.50. Tuition: two-hour beginners c0urse: $225 or £120 for groups of up to Six: three-week extended beginners course 980 per person.

Hadrian’s Wall Grangemouth Road, Falkirk, 01324 637 733. Open: 11am-10pm (weekdays); 10am-6pm (Sat); noon-8.30pm (Sun). The biggest indoor wall in Scotland and more like the real thing than any other. Entrance: $181535).

Ratho Quarry Keep an eye but for this one. Not open until the end of the year. this unique adventure centre set in a disused guarry promises to be the most exciting addition to Scotland's adyenture sport facilities. With 2«1()()iii sg of artif:cial climbing rock and £3000m sg of natural rock face. it will be the largest indoor clzmbing arena in the world. The centre also houses bouldering walls. ice climbing facilities and a range of surfaces for practising all aspects of the sport. Experts will offer training and adVice. With 1’ -- years planning and 537.5m behind it. can't fail to impress. See i'atlio.shtiii|.