Skier to tackle 20 European slopes in month

Jamie Stevenson has his sights set on the Continent. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Jamie Stevenson has his sights set on the Continent. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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SKI whizz! Dedicated instructor Jamie Stevenson is attempting to set a Guinness world record by taking to the top pistes of 20 countries in fewer than 31 days.

The 28-year-old will begin his record-breaking challenge in March in the Cairngorms and will cover 6500 miles in a month, visiting Serbia, Slovakia and Estonia among others.

The previous record for most countries skied in a month is 15, so the Ski Independence worker’s aim to smash the record is clearly going to be a downhill struggle.

“I wanted to push myself and do something different,” he said. “As I’m Scottish, I wanted to start in Aviemore and head south and finish up in Norway.

“The people from Guinness have been very helpful in guiding me and challenging me to set and break this record. It is something I hope that in years to come I can look back on and be proud of.”

The former George Watson’s pupil began skiing aged six at Hillend. He qualified as a ski instructor in 2009 and has already seen the world thanks to the sport, having completed full ski seasons in Japan, New Zealand and the United States.

However, the 20-country challenge he faces will be his biggest yet.

Mr Stevenson will travel to each country by car, sometimes covering more than 700 miles a day, before racing up mountains – and back down them – in the most challenging of sub-zero conditions.

His solo trans-European dash will see mean no time for enjoyable apres-ski and fondues.

Instead, he fully expects the whirlwind dash to be a white knuckle ride of weather and traffic problems, particularly as he will doing the driving in his regular car.

He added: “The conditions might not be ideal in Estonia especially because it’s only 200 metres above sea level.

“But getting to the countries is the difficult part. The daily mileage count and the navigation between cities is going to be the real battle; any sort of mechanical failure in my car will be disastrous.

“It’s a 2008 VW Golf, so it should be OK. Nevertheless, my car is my only method of getting between resorts – sometimes several hundred miles in distance. If my sat nav breaks or I need to ask directions, I’m stuck.”

To complete his arduous task, Mr Stevenson, of Liberton Brae, will have a GPS locator on him at all times which will relay his position from a satellite to a computer tracking his progress.

He must also collect and keep a ski pass from each of the slopes he visits.

His efforts are expected to raise at least £20,000 for Disability Snowsport Scotland, which teaches people with disabilities to ski.

The charity, which looks after the Scottish Paralympic ski team, relies on public donations.

A spokeswoman said everyone at the charity was rooting for Mr Stevenson.

“We’re really excited about his challenge and we obviously wish him the best of luck and really hope that he succeeds,” she said. “The money that he is raising is a substantial amount so if he manages to hit his target it will be greatly appreciated by Disability Snowsport Scotland and will be used to help more and more of our disabled skiers access the snow.”