BUDS diaries: A view from the sidelines

What is it like going to BUDS purely to spectate? Here’s a bird’s eye view of the weekend by Row Emery

For all the university snowsport enthusiasts and party animals, it was once again the time of year to invade Edinburgh’s dry slope mountain. Unsurprisingly, there was the usual mass of competitors and spectators advancing on the Midlothian Snowsports Centre, but thanks to NUCO’s efficient ticket system, it was like a walk into the park. This meant there was extra time to get sendy in more ways than one.

BUDS is known for being silly chilly and this year was no exception, but the weather was ever so slightly more forgiving (for the Friday anyway.) The sun was beaming down all day long, with the stunning views of Edinburgh and beyond. If you found the right spot on the slope-side, you could soak up the rays like a lizard - wrapped up with a ski jacket or fancy dress attire.

 Ewan Harvey Photography

Ewan Harvey Photography

First thing in the morning, snowsports clubs ascended the slippery slopes of death, transporting gazebos to claim their spot with rival clubs. University of Manchester Snowsports Club (SKUM) soon arrived with their trusty speaker, Barry, dominating the top section of slope-side spectators with tsunamis of drum and bass. At the lower section Leeds Snow Riders were on top of the party game, with a huge speaker rig rattling Buckfast to bursting point. Did they carry them up the slippery slope themselves, or tactically place their club banner for BUCS party points? Either way it was popping!

Before midday, the slope-side party had already become too much for some people. A six legged spoon-a-saurus was spotted in the centre of the slope-side rave, with no desire to wake up for the rest of the weekend. Many people began to take pictures of the rare beast - a species almost extinct in Scotland, due to the strict rules against the purchase of alcohol before 10am.

 Peace out.

Peace out.

On the slope, the freestyle side was beginning to get sendy and on the race side they were starting to get speedy. Some freestyle competitors began to huck inverts on the notorious death-dix, as there was no safe-flex for sends this year. It was a smashing show for the spectators, literally. Not for the paramedics however - they didn’t want to watch at all. Due to several injuries, the BUCS organisers called no upside downers for the rest of the competition. Nevertheless, the madness continued for all competitors and spectators alike.

Meanwhile, the bar opened at 11am, resulting in a stampede of students descending the hill, faster than most of the racers. Unfortunately none of them claimed medal positions, but they had other priorities.

As night fell upon Edinburgh’s dry-slope mountain, the atmosphere became extremely tense for all competitors and spectators. With everyone shouting support for their club’s final sliders that were hanging on to the hope of medal positions, day one came to a close.

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The next morning, everyone was ready (some more than others, as a result of the Friday night’s antics in Edinburgh) for round two of BUDS. Unfortunately, everyone’s hopes and dreams were crushed as they received heart breaking texts telling them that day two of BUDS had been cancelled. Extreme weather conditions known as a haggis infused hurricane put a stop to the competition. The weather phenomenon resulted in the venue being unsafe, forcing it to close.

However, this wasn’t the end. NUCO invited everyone to The Three Sisters pub in the heart of Edinburgh, while everyone waited for it to all blow over, with a juicy warm up for the loose night that followed. It wasn’t long before The Three Sisters was completely overrun with studious senders. Not only that, you couldn’t walk two feet without spotting a member of a university snowsports club across the whole of Edinburgh.

Later that evening it was time to head over to The Biscuit Factory for the final send of the weekend, with no snowsports equipment necessary. It was one thousand(ish) students in a huge warehouse, with DJs spinning the decks and sound waves into the crowd. For those lucky committee members and event staff, there was a lush VIP section upstairs, with a photo booth, chill space and more. So if you’re thinking about applying for your club’s committee, you should probably give it a whirl.

On Sunday everyone made their way home with whatever dignity and legs they had left.

What a brilliant game of BUDS, despite the circumstances. Until next year, that’s a wrap.

Take a look at our other BUDS diaries here and here.