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Tuesday December 27, 2016 - Email this article to a friend

The Scottish skier & coach died in an accident in April 2016 and has been posthumously awarded the title by Fall-Line skiing magazine. Parasnowsport athlete Menna Fitzpatrick was voted Britain's Best Up-and-Coming skier.

Leading UK ski magazine Fall-Line has announced the winners of its first-ever British Skiers of the Year awards, following the results of an online poll.

Aaron McLean, a 26-year-old Scottish freerider and inspiring ski coach, who died while coaching in the French Alps in March, won the title of Best British Skier 2016.

He beat the likes of alpine skier, Dave Ryding, and freeskier, James Woods, to the title.

He took 41% of the 3,618 votes cast.

He was an inspiration to many and we reported in full upon his tragic death at the time.

"Aaron's endless positive energy helped me and a huge number of others to the top of many mountains over the short time I knew him. Not only did he share his love of the mountains with others he was able to rip down them when the time came," said Rob Kingsland, friend of Aaron McLean and co-founder of British Freeride.

"Particularly in Scotland, he tackled the remote descents with more speed and grace then any others before him."

"The work he did on and off of the slopes will live on in both the formal organisation of British Freeride and in the spirits of hundreds of individuals who he shared the mountain experience with."

Aaron in actionAaron in action















Aaron McLean, 1989-2016Aaron McLean, 1989-2016




















Welsh parasnowsports athlete, Menna Fitzpatrick, won the title of Best Up-and-Coming British Skier 2016.

She received 40% of the 5716 votes cast.

18-year-old Menna competes in the visually-impaired category, and along with her guide, Jennifer Kehoe, became the first ever Brit to win the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) 2015-16 overall skiing World Cup Visually Impaired title at the World Cup Finals in Aspen, Colorado. 

Menna (right) with her guideMenna (right) with her guide















She has also been doing rather well lately with good results and a summer award from the Ski Club of Great Britain.

Aaron McLean, 1989-2016Aaron McLean, 1989-2016
















"It's with celebration and sadness that Aaron McLean gets our Skier of the Year Award; the coach, freeskier and all-round inspiration died in France in March this year, but left his mark on many over the seasons to claim the award," said the publisher of Fall-Line,  Richard Fincher.

"Menna Fitzpatrick won the Up-and-Coming category for claiming an overall World Cup victory. The visually impaired skier - just 18 - took the Giant Slalom title too, proving the depth of talent we have across the board," added Richard. 

Menna in actionMenna in action


















"I am over the moon to have been voted as Best Up-and-Coming British Skier. I'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to vote and let them know that I really appreciate their support on my journey," said Menna Fitzpatrick.

"It was a privilege just to be nominated amongst such high achieving athletes and to win overall is amazing, and a great boost for parasnowsports. I would like to thank Fall-line for giving me and my guide, Jennifer Kehoe, the opportunity to increase awareness for parasnowsports and encourage more young people like myself to get involved," added Menna.

The full result of the polls are as follows:

Best British Skier 2016 (3618 votes cast)

1.  Aaron McLean - 41%

2.  Dave Ryding - 31%

3.  Alex Tilley - 8%

= 5 James Woods 6%

= 5 Millie Knight 6%

= 7 Madi Rowlands 3%

= 7 Katie Summerhayes 3%

8. Paddy Graham 2%

Best Up-and-Coming British Skier 2016  (5716 votes cast)

1.   Menna Fitzpatrick - 40%

2.   Cara Brown - 34%

3.   Sam Allen - 8%

= 5 Kirsty Muir - 6%

= 5 Jasmin Taylor - 6%

6. Justin Taylor-Tipton 4%

= 8 Charlie Raposo 1%

= 8 Andy Pelton 1%

How the vote was done

Members of the UK ski industry nominated skiers for the categories "Britain's Best Skier" and "Britain's Best Up and Coming Skier". After whittling both lists down to eight skiers voting was opened this autumn to the public , who voted in the thousands. The winners were announced in the January 2017 issue of Fall-Line ski magazine.

About Fall-Line

Fall-Line skiing magazine was established in 1991 by a bunch of expat Brits in Chamonix, dedicated to delivering the best ski pictures, reviews and stories.

PlanetSKI editor, James Cove, was a contributor back in the day and 25 years later it remains one of the most respected magazines in the UK ski industry.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

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