Professional athletes are often forbidden from carrying out certain activities due to the risk of injury. Motorbikes, amateur bullfights, sports that are not compatible with their own… In my case, all such restrictions ended eight years ago when I retired from professional sport and I’ve since become totally hooked on one activity which I had never been allowed to enjoy – skiing.
I now go skiing almost every weekend. Each season, I spend around 25 days skiing, depending on the year, snow and work. Since I took up the sport, I’ve been skiing in the Alps, the Rocky Mountains and, of course, Spain.
Much to my surprise, some of the best skiing I’ve enjoyed this year was at Valdesquí last week, in Madrid’s Sierra de Guadarrama mountains, specifically on the north face of the mountains known asLa Bola del Mundo and El Cerro de Valdemartín. The conditions were amazing, the best I’ve seen for a long time, with lots of untracked powder snow just like in the Pyrenees.
I certainly recommend going up during the week to avoid heavy traffic and long queues for the ski lifts. You can drive up on the A-6 as far as Collado Villalba and then take the M-601 to Puerto de Navacerrada and Puerto de Cotos. You can also take the bus (from Moncloa station) or the train (Cotos C-9). Do it soon! Because Easter traditionally hails the end of the snow.
To get the most out of your trip, I also recommend topping off your day with a little recreational tourism around Rascafría, La Granja, Valsaín or Segovia, where you can enjoy the most delicious lamb and suckling pig in the world.
Another of Madrid’s excellent ski resorts is Puerto de Navacerrada, in the municipal district of Cercedilla, also in the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains. You can easily get there from the city centre via the same route as for Valdesquí. It was one of the first ski resorts to open in Spain, back in the late 1940s. Madrid never ceases to amaze!