If you are new to the Lake District Ski Club, please read the following frequently asked questions before you set off.
First and foremost, be well equipped for a mountain environment! Inexperienced skiers /boarders should not attempt the climb unless accompanied by some one who is experienced in winter conditions.
When is the ski club open?
The ski club runs the button tow during the winter season, provided there is enough snow and conditions are suitable. The tow runs most weekends and some days during the week, usually from about 11am until about an hour before dusk. For the latest updates, call the Snow Line for a pre-recorded message, check the website or Facebook page, or sign up for the Twitter feed.
What should I bring?
Bring your ski gear, obviously. The walk up to Raise is a steep hike, which will take you about an hour if you are fit - more if you are carrying your kit and the snow is deep. If you're a skier then you're best off carrying your boots, if you're a boarder then provided your boots are comfortable they should be fine for the hike.Increasingly our members are using ski touring kit because of its light weight and versatility.
Try and attach skis and boots/boards to your rucksack or get them on your back if you can as it will make the walk easier. Walking poles are a good idea, especially if it's icy or the snow is deep. Crampons or spikes are advised if it's icy. Bring warm clothing - layers are best because you will need to shed them on the walk up! Bring food and something to drink (there is a kettle and water from a nearby spring in the members' hut).
If you have paid by Paypal, either print out a copy of your receipt, or make sure you can show it to the tow operator on your phone etc. Mobile phone coverage can be patchy but both O2 and Vodafone work at the top of the mountain.
How do I get there?
If you are coming from the South, then the most direct route is from junction 36 of the M6, past Windermere and over Kirkstone Pass. The Pass can get blocked during adverse weather conditions, particularly after a recent dump of snow. If in doubt, take the Northern route, as it won't add a great deal on to your journey time.
Coming from the North, get off the M6 at junction 40 and head for Glenridding, this will take you along the shore of Ullswater. When you get to Glenridding you need to head for Greenside Mines (turn left if you're coming from the South and right if you're coming from the North). You should park in the top car park above the YHA. Please park sensibly and ensure that you display your car parking sticker. If you are a non-direct debit member or guest you will have to pick up your pass from the tow on your first visit. If so, please park on the 'D' in Glenridding (it's free in winter) and hitch a lift up with a member.
The road from Glenridding to the car park is a bridleway, and residents, YHA users and the ski club have concessions to use the bridleway for access purposes only. If you park anywhere other than the top car park reserved for ski club members you will be parking unlawfully - and you must display a car pass. If you don't have one, park in Glenridding and hitch a lift up. Snow chains or winter tyres can make the difference in getting over Kirkstone Pass and up the Mines track. Please car share where possible, respect other users of the access road and avoid disturbance to local residents by driving within the recommended speed limit of 5 mph
How do I get up the mountain?
Please refer to O.S. Map English Lakes 1:25000. N.E. Sheet before setting off and bring a compass – particularly useful for finding your way down to the chimney if it clouds over. Raise (343175) is reached from Glenridding (386169) via Greenside Mines (365174). On reaching the mines follow the footpath for Sticks Pass, up the hill to your right. At the top of the zig zags you will see on your left a steep banking. This is the old chimney: follow this until you reach the remains of the chimney stack. About 200 metres past this traverse Raise to the right (there is no path) and you will come to the ski slope at the top of the valley.Take care on the last section if the snow is hard as a fall and slide could pitch you onto rocks. When reaching the area you will find the club hut (345177).
See the location page for a map. Raise can also be reached from the West by a footpath from the Thirlmere side. Depart from Stybeck (318189) at the junction of the A591 and B5322. Take the footpath for Sticks Pass. When reaching the top of the pass (343183) Raise is due South. The tow is in a South-Easterly direction, approx 140 deg SSE This route is a steeper climb than the Greenside side but offers some great sliding back down.
What do I do when I get there?
When you get to the top, take your Paypal receipt to the hut at the bottom of the ski tow and show it to the tow operator. They will then issue you with your membership and ski pass.You can leave your stuff in the members' hut whilst you ski and eat your lunch in there - there is heating and electricity, with a kettle.
You can also leave your skis/boots/snowboard behind so you won't have to carry them up next time, but please make sure that you write your name clearly on everything that you leave behind. Space is limited in the hut and every now and again we have a clear out of unused and unlabelled equipment. The toilet, AKA The Powder Room, is located at the back of the engine hut at the bottom of the tow.
Skiing on Raise
There is one permanent button tow on Raise. the ground under the tow has a camber to the left for the first few pylons. This can make it quite challenging for snowboarders, particularly if you are regular, where you will have to ride on your toe edge to keep yourself under the tow line. If you do find yourself veering off to the left and you can't stay under the tow line LET GO OF THE TOW! If you pull too hard to the left you risk derailling the tow at one of the pylons, which can take some time to fix.
At the top of the tow is a sign that says 'Danger Dismount'. YOU MUST get off the tow either before or at this sign - if you travel any further than this sign then you risk pulling the cable off the bull wheel. If this happens it's really bad news and probably no more uplift that day for anyone... There are nine runs on Raise, as indicated by the piste map.
Please note, these runs are not groomed pistes, they are naturally occurring parts of the mountain and can vary considerably, they aren't always all complete and can be different every day. Ask the tow operators about which run is the best to start in the prevailing conditions.