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Skiing in Scotland for the first time.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Re Braemar I happended to be over there about 2 weeks ago.

Walking past the Fyfe Arms Hotel there were around 6 Range Rovers parked outside, Queenie went back to London early so they weren't Royal protection. Think Fyfe Arms are looking upmarket for the shooting fishing country set who will pay accordingly.
The other big hotel - the Invercauld Arms (used to do Shearings Tours) was still under refurbishment. Might be an option for skiers.
I think those on a normal budget can easy find a b+b, guesthouse or hotel for far more reasonable rates anywhere from Ballater down to Blairgowrie and drive up to Glenshee.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

don't think many people from England will want to do a day trip to ski in Scotland. I certainly wouldn't drive 6 hours, ski all day, then drive for 6 hours back home.



Did a day trip to Cairngorm from Manchester once.

Also did a rather excellent Snowheads trip there in late May a few years back. The lifts were heaving so we made the most of each lap by hiking to the top and doing Coronation Wall endlessly. Two of us were from Manc, one from Moffat and the other guy was from somewhere on the deep south on the way to Dover.... Canterbury or something. I think he has probably skiid more places in more countries than 98% of Snowheads. He was quite impressed and enjoyed himself.

As you do, scoring fresh in May.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
stephen buck wrote:
Hmm... it speaks volumes that a lot of Scots go to the Alps for their annual ski-ing holiday...


The type of comment that just reeks of snobbery Toofy Grin


Just because we have it on our doorstep does that mean we shouldn't bother with a foreign trip or two during the Winter?

I usually manage 20 to 30 days in Scotland between Glenshee, Glencoe and Nevis Range but also do a 2 week trip then possibly another week abroad in late March. This year we've decided that we'll just be skiing/snowboarding on home snow due to Covid. We were planning on a 2 week trip to Canada but it'll just have to wait a year or two. Have taken the usual 3 weeks off work between mid January and late March and fully planning on supporting our Scottish Ski Areas.

It must be really crap being a skier or snowboarder that only gets one week on snow every year on an 'annual skiing holiday'
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On the subject of travel, day trips, etc, it amazes me that at Yad Moss (very NE Cumbria / N Co. Durham borders), usually with very 'interesting' English combat conditions, people come up for a few hours from Wales, Manchester, Brum, etc. (And down from S Scotland too.) That's in a 'normal' year.
Kudos for keenness and devotion to seeking out snow, of course - but I quite suspect that this season a good lot more UK folk will be willing to drive an awful long way (and time) to get a slide or two in. They may not repeat it many times, but the initial attraction will, I think, be very high (as this and other posts - never mind Facebook, etc, interest - demonstrate).
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
rjs wrote:
@Haggis_Trap, Your argument was that the cost of staying overnight in Scotland doesn't matter because people can just do day trips. Most of the 5 million people in the North of England are outside the range that is reasonable to do this.


Plenty cheap places to stay in Aviemore / Fort William and surrounding area Very Happy Winter is off season in the Highlands so generally no need to book in advance.

The point I stand by is that if you live in North part of UK (say Leeds up) then last minute short trip to Scotland will generally be cheaper and easier than Alps for most. No 14 day quarantine either wink
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@Haggis_Trap, indeed. Back in the day I used to slip out of work in West Yorkshire at 16:30, drive up to a B&B in Ballachulish for Friday and Saturday nights; then ski all day Sat and Sun, before driving straight home after last lift; then be back at my desk first thing Monday morning. At one point I did it for 6 weekends in a row. This was before the improvements to the A1(M); dualing of much of the A66 and the closing of the Cumberland Gap - If you tell the kids today that they just...
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 fizzer
fizzer
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It must be really crap being a skier or snowboarder that only gets one week on snow every year on an 'annual skiing holiday'



The type of comment that just reeks of snobbery
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
fizzer wrote:
It must be really crap being a skier or snowboarder that only gets one week on snow every year on an 'annual skiing holiday'

The type of comment that just reeks of snobbery


Trust me : skiing in Scotland not for snobs Toofy Grin
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Quote:

I frequently meet people on t-bar at Glencoe who have come from Newcastle, Lancaster (etc). Manchester about limit people come for a longer weekend.

I think I was told that the piste patrol team live in the Eden Valley (Cumbria) but stay overnight In the ‘staff’ hut in the car park.
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I know (more know of, my sister knows well) one of the PP at Coe, and indeed has main home in Cumbria council area (more Lakes side - is that still Eden?). I believe that they stay up there on a permanent basis if conditions are good, even if some down days, so I presume b&b or similar? Or maybe staff hut? Return home if conditions known to be bad or no cover for a good while.

@Haggis_Trap, depends what you call cheap. Bar Corran Bunkhouse or Coe's cabins, I find £65-75 per night for a double room, usually but not always with breakfast (though they rarely serve early enough for a busy day's start!), is about right - but in March & April onwards it's definitely more expensive and often booked out (or nearly) at the 24hrs in advance stage. Can easily pay £85-90+ then. (And I'm pretty flexible, Crianlarich to FW, don't mind - southern option gives a hack across to Shee if Coe's a no go; northern option to Nevis.) Often stay Newtonmore when up Cairngorm way - better/quicker Nevis access too.
Travelodge or Premier Inn can be much more expensive, or cheaper, but again can get booked up in later season (Perth's usually OK, FW not).
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DidierCouch wrote:
stephen buck wrote:
Hmm... it speaks volumes that a lot of Scots go to the Alps for their annual ski-ing holiday...


Hmmm - that’s a bit like saying the beaches in the South of England must be crap as lots of the residents go to Spain for their holidays.


Great comment! Very true. Very Happy Very Happy
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
stephen buck wrote:
Hmm... it speaks volumes that a lot of Scots go to the Alps for their annual ski-ing holiday...


As daft as saying that it speaks volumes that residents of the Lake District go on hiking holidays in the Alps... rolling eyes
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Rogerdodger wrote:
For those with a motorhome/campervan £10/night on the bowling club carpark Tomintoul, this includes electric hook-up!!!!


Good to know! Very Happy
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Grizzler wrote:

@Haggis_Trap, depends what you call cheap


Fair point!
However highlands have range of options depending on budget and preference. Youth Hostel -> Self Catering -> B&B -> 5 star Hotel <etc>
In a normal (non-covid) winter you can even camp for *free* at Glencoe.
Probably on assumption you would be spending in the bar wink
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I've stayed in a room at the Premier Inn or travellodge in Fort William, never remember which is which, but its built on top of the wetherspoons ,
I'm sure it cost about £30 for the night. The Alexandra Hotel is usually very reasonable too
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I've come up from London on the sleeper train a few times in recent years.
It is actually quicker than getting to the Alps when you do this, as you can be on the slopes by 10am (it's a struggle to be skiing by midday with the earliest flight to the Alps).
The sleeper train is a really enjoyable novelty/experience.
Staying in Fort W, you have the choice of Glencoe or Nevis Range (Glencoe seems to be open a lot more when I've been up there).
I also like doing the train line to Mallaig as a half day trip if weather not good enough for skiing.
So, yes, you can't rely on booking a big ski trip to Scotland, but you can have a great w/e in the mountains and there's a fair chance you will at least get some skiing in.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Haggis_Trap, did you ski at Glencoe on 12th/13th March???

Think most of the tracks here are mine doing laps Smile This was a classic example of a gamble, forecast was wind/rain/snow clearing on 12th March but bluebird on the 13th. I drove to Perth on the 11th so I was within striking distance of Glenshee or Glencoe (and Perth has a Brewdog bar for sustenance!!)

12th forecast/websites showed Glenshee open, Glencoe shut but hoping to open. I set off for Glenshee then turned around and headed back to Glencoe on a huge gamble. Ended up sitting in the Glencoe car park for 2 hours in the rain/wind, until they opened. Got up and only the plateau lifts were open, plenty of fresh snow around. Then I saw them running the Wall T Bar, so headed over and was first in the q whist the lifty when up and skied down. Shared the first T bar up with a telemarker and was second into the Wall in fresh light powder!! Spent 4 hours lapping and getting fresh tracks!

Next day dawned bright and sunny, place was mobbed, maybe queued 2 hours in the car park to get up the Access chairlift but then had a great day, still finding fresh tracks at 3pm!

Pic from the 12th and video from the 13th.




http://youtube.com/v/Ov5_NjiSDTc
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Its shite. Stay away. You'll hate it. It will be a wasted trip. You'll wish you hadn't bothered. Its all icy and rocky. It rains all the time. The queues are huge. The lifts are really slow. Its really expensive. The staff are really unfriendly. Accidents are common. The hills are shut more often than they are open. the wind chill makes it almost unbearable. The runs are very short. The locals do not appreciate you being there. It gets dark really early. The ski hire is awful. Theft is common place. The infastructure is ancient. All in all, definately not worth the effort, stay at home and do not come skiing in Scotland.
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@scotspikey, I suspect you may have an ulterior motive in posting that! Toofy Grin
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

Theft is common place.

dangly bits. Everyone's skis are si shagged from the heather, ice and rocks that they're not worth stealing.
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TheGeneralist wrote:
Quote:

Theft is common place.

dangly bits. Everyone's skis are si shagged from the heather, ice and rocks that they're not worth stealing.


I was refering to the gangs of neds, high on a coctail of smack and buckfast that roam the ski areas terrorising the tourists.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
scotspikey wrote:
Its shite. Stay away. You'll hate it. It will be a wasted trip. You'll wish you hadn't bothered. Its all icy and rocky. It rains all the time. The queues are huge. The lifts are really slow. Its really expensive. The staff are really unfriendly. Accidents are common. The hills are shut more often than they are open. the wind chill makes it almost unbearable. The runs are very short. The locals do not appreciate you being there. It gets dark really early. The ski hire is awful. Theft is common place. The infastructure is ancient. All in all, definately not worth the effort, stay at home and do not come skiing in Scotland.


The funny thing is that almost all of the above is true, and yet it's still great! Very Happy
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Roguevfr wrote:
I've stayed in a room at the Premier Inn or travellodge in Fort William, never remember which is which, but its built on top of the wetherspoons ,
I'm sure it cost about £30 for the night. The Alexandra Hotel is usually very reasonable too


It’s the Travelodge that has a spoons below and a very nice Black Isle Brewery Bar next to it in the square too that opened last autumn, has a nice all year beer garden which means cheering still permitted - it has a couple of rooms too.

I’ve stayed in that Travelodge for £19, but I’ve seen it over £190 a room Skullie !! Broxden Junction TL by Perth nearly always has cheep rooms in winter.
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Ricky B wrote:
Hmm... it speaks volumes that a lot of Scots go to the Alps for their annual ski-ing holiday...


Woooosh.... contender for joint winner of most missing the point and most ignorant post of the year!

I could just add another snide comeback about the difference between skiers and people that go on ski holidays. NehNeh

There’s lots of North American ski areas that have less vertical descent than the Lecht, some are even owned by Vail Resorts and on the Epic Pass. They’re busy, they’re popular, but they’re not somewhere to go on a two week holiday!

The difference is at these places as at the Scottish Ski Areas, skiing isn’t something we just do on a holiday, snowsports is part of our normal day to day life through winter and spring!

Of course people who ski a lot in Scotland are also the ones likely to more frequently go on a ski holiday, it should hardly be a surprise that people might spend their hard earned on a holiday based around an activity they enjoy that still gives opportunities to visit many parts of the world.

I’ve long suspected that the people that hate Scottish Skiing the most have had their egos bruised by a Scottish Mountain!

One thing for Alpine piste bashers, not only can conditions be much more variable, there is no meaningful concept of on or off piste - more akin to the North American model of in/out of the patrol boundary (except with a very specific restriction at Glenshee on Glas Maol there’s no restrictions on where you go from the lifts).
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kitenski wrote:
@Haggis_Trap, did you ski at Glencoe on 12th/13th March???


Yes, remember it well. Glad your trip was rewarded!

Next weekend went touring up on Creag Megaidh
Conditions were all time - then lockdown hit....

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Quote:
a normal (non-covid) winter you can even camp for *free* at Glencoe. Probably on assumption you would be spending in the bar
Er, what bar?Confused After the fire, will it be rebuilt for this winter?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@admin do you think you could put together a Haggisbash '21 ?
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@WASHOUT, it's already been suggested, somewhere back on a thread earlier thus season (Scottish Conditions?). Lots were keen, but the weather's so unpredictable... Yah de yah de yah. Would be nice to be able to organise a last minute one in due course tho'. Maybe 2022?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
haggishunter wrote:

I’ve stayed in that Travelodge for £19, but I’ve seen it over £190 a room Skullie !! Broxden Junction TL by Perth nearly always has cheep rooms in winter.

I've managed to find rooms at Broxden or the other Perth TL most times that I've wanted to be over the East side, usually around £40 or cheaper, with a very handy McDs next door (except the annoying year when it was being refurbished).
But FW is often either sold out or, as you say, ridiculous price. Premier Inn there ditto. FW is much more tourist-attracting come early spring onwards, I think, so more expensive, less availability (generally, not TL only) - and I assume not all hotels & guesthouses fully open either (?). Even last March, only a couple of days before an obviously commitment lockdown, it was quite hard to get anything under £80 + breakfast anywhere between Crianlarich and northern FW.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
mountainaddict wrote:
Quote:
a normal (non-covid) winter you can even camp for *free* at Glencoe. Probably on assumption you would be spending in the bar
Er, what bar?Confused After the fire, will it be rebuilt for this winter?


Was up at weekend - there is a portacabin in place at bottom of carpark.
Though it is small and covid will limit its use.
Will be 2022 before cafe gets replaced Sad
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Nevis Range has announced the business is closed until further notice. Season Passes already sold for 20/21 are being refunded. Skullie
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
haggishunter wrote:
Nevis Range has announced the business is closed until further notice. Season Passes already sold for 20/21 are being refunded. Skullie


Assume due to gondola and impossibility of distancing etc?


eta - where are you seeing this? Last I saw was they shut for routine maintenance.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Not been skiing in Scotland for many years, since I did the sums and realised I could be in the Alps 2 hours quicker for the same price. rolling eyes

I do have some (fond??) memories of freezing my but off on a drag whilst the wind hurled lumps of ice the size of golf balls at my head, and skiing everything from ice to powder to thick porridge in 1 day.

One thing that you can guarantee is that you will not get bored repeating runs. NO run is ever the same as the last one, even if it was only 15 minutes ago. Toofy Grin Toofy Grin

Hoping to do the BB and preBB, but if we can't, I know somebody who has just bought a fully insulated and heated camper van. Might be going cap in hand to borrow it for a little trip North Jan/Feb. I'll be visiting here to check out best conditions. Hopefully meet up with some of you for a Beer or 3.

Assuming of course, that wee Mrs Krankie lets us in....... Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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@Owlette, hi owlette, for what its worth, im in a similar boat...work in a school and have 3 kids. We drive from Ireland to Alps for either half term or Easter every year. This year we changed to VT at Easter instead(if its no quarantine obviously). We went to scotland twice, and it was slightly underwhelming. Best snow was at the indoor slope in Glasgow on way back to ferry home. The only snow at top of BN was patchy, icy and the kids and wife hated it. Also that high alpine UV blast is part of the attraction, and that is not easy found in Scotland! You could maybe consider an easter trip to a high option like LA Plagne or VT perhaps, easter is earlyish this year so plenty of snow in a good few places. We got a very good bargain on an apt in a hotel in VT, the dates for our easter hols are the week before French schools and so the prices for the 3rd to 10 April are reasonable on a few sites. For us the ski trip is too expensive a treat to be shelling out for unreliable conditions...so for us its go high dont go....all academic of course with a quarantine, but by April it will be fine...yours truly. Mystic Meg...
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Yeah bit of a surprise from Nevis but does make sense for them. Glencoe has reiterated it will open on 19th Dec. Glenshee cafe now shut until Dec as well but they are saying opening 19th Dec with snow on the dink dink and plastic. Cairngorm, well who knows, assume Lecht is gearing up as well.
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I got shredded on here about 10 years ago for saying this but to summarise; when it's good it's very good but when it's bad it's awful.

Two things to be consider in your plans and avoid if you can;

Firstly, changing to milder weather which means you're probably skiing in the rain on deteriorating snow. This is sadly quite common.

Secondly, weekends, with huge queues, sometimes just to get to the carpark. I dread to think what it'll be like presuming we're still social distancing.

A repeated combination of the two can put you off skiing, or at least for a few years as it did with me from the early 90's for about 10 years until I had the means to go to the Alps every year. (admittedly this wasn't helped by then then acquisition of a since ex-wife who point blank refused to try it)

To end on a positive, in midweek, after lots of fresh snow that's followed by a proper cold spell it's brilliant. In a magically natural way that you rarely find in the Alps.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
fizzer wrote:
It must be really crap being a skier or snowboarder that only gets one week on snow every year on an 'annual skiing holiday'



The type of comment that just reeks of snobbery


not at all, howd you come to that conclusion? For some people they go on a skiing holiday for others the go to ski, huge difference between the 2
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:
Nevis Range has announced the business is closed until further notice. Season Passes already sold for 20/21 are being refunded
Bad news Sad ...So another year (or a serious day out) before Mrs MA and I get the chance to repeat one of the best bluebird day, fresh tracks, off piste runs we've ever done anywhere - ie from the far end of the Back Corries back to the bottom of the Braveheart Chair. Far from civilisation and pistes and reminiscent of a mini Vallee Blanche - but without the crowds. World class! Very Happy

Another negative will be that this will divert would-be Nevis skiers and boarders elsewhere - so even more crowded.... rolling eyes
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mountainaddict wrote:

Another negative will be that this will divert would-be Nevis skiers and boarders elsewhere - so even more crowded.... rolling eyes


Nevis can accommodate twice the number of skiers Glencoe can, but the Coe and the Shee being closest to most of the population will be online advance tickets only for day tickets. Chaos level crowding thus shouldn’t be an issue but I can see a mushroom cloud where the Glencoe web server used to be the moment a batch of tickets go on sale ! Toofy Grin

There will a be a few pretty downbeat accommodation providers around Nevis who’ve been hoping the circumstances of the upcoming winter might have gone at least a little way to making up for 2020.
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@haggishunter, are you 100% sure about this news on NR closing?

I have seen nothing anywhere since you reported it yesterday - I would have expected something, even a random comment on twitter, newsfeeds etc but cant see anything.
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