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Scotland snow reports 2020/21

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Inboard wrote:
@mountainaddict, yep - enough snow for Scottish avalanche forecast to be issued!


I think that this was more BBC 'fake news'. Although the headline said 'warning of potential avalanche risk' the piece was just announcing that they were making warning announcements earlier than usual this year - not that there was actually a current avalanche risk.

They also added the helpful note that this was 'possibly' due to climate change without providing any evidence- thereby using it to further their own political agenda. Just surprised they didn't also link it to cows farting, eating beef or shooting grouse.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I was up in Glenshee today, zero snow!

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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?
I was at cairngorm today, a sliver of resilient white was all I could see. I spent a while watching a helicopter moving bags around up the mountain. That must be a fun job on a beautiful day like today.
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This was the only snow I spotted, near Devils Point at the east end of the Lairig Ghru, was an incredible walk today. Very hot weather and November? Unbelievable! 6 mile walk in, 6 miles back out. We could have gone all they way over if we had been better prepared.

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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

I spent a while watching a helicopter moving bags around up the mountain. That must be a fun job on a beautiful day like today.

Yes I watched them doing that a week last Friday. They were moving stone to a path below the Corrie Cas car park.
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https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/lecht-2090-snowmaking-fundraiser

Here is a UK skiing project worth supporting. A LOT cheaper than fixing the funicular and directly beneficial to family skiing.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
ropetow wrote:
Inboard wrote:
@mountainaddict, yep - enough snow for Scottish avalanche forecast to be issued!


I think that this was more BBC 'fake news'. Although the headline said 'warning of potential avalanche risk' the piece was just announcing that they were making warning announcements earlier than usual this year - not that there was actually a current avalanche risk.

They also added the helpful note that this was 'possibly' due to climate change without providing any evidence- thereby using it to further their own political agenda. Just surprised they didn't also link it to cows farting, eating beef or shooting grouse.


Sorry - i spoke to soon - the cows farting fake news is on the BBC Scotland web page today.
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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!
If I decide to buy a season ticket (anticipating mass queues, increased numbers, etc), do I go for Coe or Shee? Both seem to be reduced price until end of this month: or do I hold off and buy as and when there's definite useable conditions and the travel & accommodation situation's better known? (If they are still selling STs then.)
Which in your opinions/guesses offers the better chance of overall useable conditions?
Which is more or less likely to be affected by Scottish regional restrictions (can't remember offhand which area Shee falls into, close to or straddles a border doesn't it?) Ditto for nearby accommodation areas/towns.
Hoping that at least March onwards there'll be a fair number of useable days, maybe earlier too, fingers crossed.
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@Grizzler, Glencoe is in Highland; Glenshee is in Aberdeenshire. Highland probably marginally the safer bet re. covid tier restrictions, but I wouldn't say there's a lot in it (currently Highland is level 1 and Aberdeenshire level 2).

For a season pass, I would opt for Glencoe assuming you don't mind unpisted terrain. Glencoe said the other day that they plan to stay open even if official restrictions only allow locals to visit - i.e. less likely they will shut down like Nevis Range. Glencoe also tend to stay open until later in the season than Glenshee, which may help particularly if restrictions ease through the spring. Glencoe is probably also slightly more reliable for snow than Glenshee, and its access road isn't prone to getting blocked by snow.

The only main advantages of Glenshee are that it tends to be less affected by wind than Glencoe, and it's a bigger area when it's all open.

P.S. with a season pass you should get 30% off day passes at all the other centres except Cairngorm, so if you fancied a change...
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Quote:

and it's a bigger area when it's all open.

Even when it isnt fully open it has a far larger area.

As you say, Coe maybe more snowsure but I got bored too easily with the size - I will be buying mine for Shee.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
If there is early good snow cover , Glencoe will be full to capacity due to proximity to the main population area of Glasgow and central Scotland.
There are more than enough keen skiers in Scotland to fully overwhelm the existing capacity at all the resorts without any additional visitors from further south.
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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.
Are they not about the same distance?
Glasgow to Glencoe and Glenshee take about the same time in the car if I remember rightly.
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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
davidhammy wrote:
Are they not about the same distance?
Glasgow to Glencoe and Glenshee take about the same time in the car if I remember rightly.


Both take approx same time from Edinburgh, but Coe is closer if you live in Glasgow.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Glencoe is directly beside the main trunk road north from Glasgow to the west Highlands. Glenshee is adjacent to the highest , single track road in the UK. That makes a significant difference.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
GreenDay wrote:
Quote:

and it's a bigger area when it's all open.

Even when it isnt fully open it has a far larger area.


Well, that depends. There have been many days in the past few seasons where Glencoe has had a decent proportion of its area open, but Glenshee has been limited to a couple of drags on the Cairnwell side due to poor snow cover. In this scenario Glencoe has offered the bigger area. I am a big fan of Glenshee when conditions are good, but they often aren't.

One thing that makes a big difference is where the snow is coming from. The past few seasons have been heavily dominated by westerly storms, which favours Glencoe over Glenshee. Glenshee benefits more from easterlies.

I agree about travel times - Glencoe is closer from Glasgow (and the access road more reliably open), but both are equidistant from Edinburgh.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
?
Almost 100% of Scotlands "weather" comes from the west.....

I say this as someone who commuted by bike for many years going from east to west Edinburgh then back
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
GreenDay wrote:
?
Almost 100% of Scotlands "weather" comes from the west.....


That's not correct. And it oversimplifies how different parts of Scotland receive precipitation / where the ski centres get the bulk of their snowfall from.

It is true to say that westerly winds are more common than other wind directions in Scotland, but "almost 100%" of the time is wrong. I don't know the exact proportion, but let's say that winds from a westerly quadrant are three times more likely than the other quadrants. Even if that were the case, because there are three other quadrants, westerlies would only occur for 50% of the winter (and even less if you add in periods of static high pressure).

The other 50% (easterly, northerly, southerly) is important for Glenshee, The Lecht and Cairngorm - esp. northeasterlies for The Lecht, and southeasterlies for Glenshee. These directions are typically less frequent than westerlies, but can deliver more snow because of typically lower freezing levels and slower movement of the precipitation centres (less jet stream influence). The start of October was a good example, when parts of eastern Scotland (Angus, Aberdeenshire, Fife) had an enormous amount of rain.

Meanwhile, during westerlies Glencoe and Nevis can get a load of snow while the other centres are in the rain shadow of the hills further west (Cairngorm less so, but many of the slopes face northwest, so westerly winds can scour the pistes). That's why is possible to have excellent conditions at one ski centre, but insufficient snow to open even a single piste at another.

So I'm sticking to my guns here - the past few seasons have been heavily dominated by westerlies, which has favoured Glencoe over Glenshee. In some winters of old, there have been significant easterly storms which have favoured Glenshee and the other east coast centres. This winter? Who knows...
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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?
Ah, jolly good... Laughing Not really news, of course. I recall many times when Shee has had better conditions, also when Cairngorms outlasted them all and Coe had nothing - but that's not been the case the past few years. And, of course, the art of Scottish skiing to me is to be able to pick and choose and travel to whichever one has not only the best snow but the least wind and best visibility. Hence have never previously bought a ST, though ski there as frequently as I can.
I love Coe but hate the blinking summit T bar (especially sharing with a boarder) and its queues. Shee has more user-friendly lifts (especially if I'm on a board too) and the potentially bigger area on 2 sides of the road. Both are about the same journey time for me, both have no immediately available accommodation (never managed to get the planned camper van, so it's b&b or sleep in car), both can get very full/busy very quickly.
Swings & roundabouts... Coin toss time? Or wait and not buy ST pre end November at all?
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A dusting! and news that Nevis aren't planning to open Sad but Glencoe are Smile

Wondering if Scottish skiing will just be overwhelmed when conditions are good!

Updated 13/11/2020 at 10:43am
Nevis Range Gondola
Like many other Lochaber businesses we have been reflecting on the current situation with COVID-19 and unfortunately we have reached the very difficult conclusion to suspend the sale of Season Tickets for Snowsports and temporarily close the business.
Due to the incredible challenges we have faced this year (our trading loss due to COVID-19 was £1m) we are concerned that while there are restrictions in place, we simply would not be able to trade in December and January without losing significant amounts of money, which would put jobs at risk.

We can’t wait to be back open and as soon as we have great conditions and less travel restrictions, we will be back out on the hill with you all!

Following the announcement at Nevis Range today we just wanted to re-assure all our customers that we plan to open for skiing and snowboarding on the 19th December as normal.
While we appreciate there are likely still to be travel restrictions in place in many parts of the country we plan to ensure the lifts can run for those that are able to travel (even if it's just a few locals).
Lift passes and ski hire this winter will all need to be booked online in advance of your visit so we are extremely confident that we can control numbers on the mountain and provide a safe environment for you all.
After the year we have had getting out in the fresh air is going to be more important than ever for all our mental health so we will do everything in our power to make sure the lifts can run.
See you in December.
Coe Crew


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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
There was indeed a dusting in Glencoe today. We were hillwalking nearby on a beautiful pre-lockdown day. Certainly not enough to ski, but good to get the boots in the white stuff. Fingers crossed for a return in the not too distant.
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The Lecht today with a dusting of snow......

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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

Glencoe is directly beside the main trunk road north from Glasgow to the west Highlands. Glenshee is adjacent to the highest , single track road in the UK. That makes a significant difference.

Erm. The first bit of that is dangly bits. There is a smal but significant bit of very narrow singletrack road.

Which I have to thank for my best ever day skiing. Lapping the dark side endlessly whilst half of Scotland slipped and slithered and stuck on the access road in the snow. In the end loads of them just abandoned their cars on the A82 and walked up. Best. Day. Ever.
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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!
The ski area at Glenshee is at the highest point on the highest public road in the Uk but the private road up to the summit of Great Dun Fell is the highest tarmac road snowHead
https://roadcyclinguk.com/sportive/13-highest-roads-ride-uk.html
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Glencoe plan to open 19th Dec for skiing/boarding. With Nevis closed reportedly until at least end Jan, it's going to be very testing for Glencoe to manage numbers of people desperate to ski. Think it'll be a bit of head game this season, just accepting that queues will be very long and accepting it. Expecting to have to arrive very early indeed if you want to get parked etc.

Think a system of mandatory buying of tickets in advance could be the way to go to control numbers, none sold on the day.

Only a skiff of snow above 3000ft yesterday I could see on Ben Cruachan and Beinn Sguilard tops, west coast is back raining quite hard now, bit warm but forecast getting colder into next week so there could be some accumulation on higher ground at Glencoe.
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Re queues.... that depends on COVID restrictions surely. At present much of the central belt isn't supposed to leave their local authority area, and travel to/from England isn't allowed either.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Klammertime wrote:
Glencoe plan to open 19th Dec for skiing/boarding. With Nevis closed reportedly until at least end Jan, it's going to be very testing for Glencoe to manage numbers of people desperate to ski. Think it'll be a bit of head game this season, just accepting that queues will be very long and accepting it. Expecting to have to arrive very early indeed if you want to get parked etc.

Think a system of mandatory buying of tickets in advance could be the way to go to control numbers, none sold on the day.

Only a skiff of snow above 3000ft yesterday I could see on Ben Cruachan and Beinn Sguilard tops, west coast is back raining quite hard now, bit warm but forecast getting colder into next week so there could be some accumulation on higher ground at Glencoe.


This is what they are doing in most of the USA ski resorts. No day tickets. Pass holders only, and you must make a reservation. We shall see how things unfold as several ski areas have opened this week, and more opening next week, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday and massive COVID spike across the entire country. Lovely timing...
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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.
It will not be possible to buy ski tickets on site at Glencoe this season, numbers will be constrained by both snow cover / conditions and prevailing covid restrictions. Catering and toilets, plus avoiding a rammy incompatible with any semblance of social distancing at carpark / base will be major constraints.

I can foresee an army of skiers hitting refresh waiting for tickets to go on sale and some impressively short times to sell out promising days !
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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
https://planetski.eu/2020/11/22/what-may-new-covid-19-restrictions-mean-for-skiing-in-scotland/

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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Whitegold, Which basically says: " er, we dunno yet", doesn't it?!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Even if Highland enters level 4 lockdown - uplift can continue to operate, but it would leave CairnGorm and Glencoe competing over the Highland based skiers and boarders with no-one outwith the Highland Council area legally allowed to travel.

The Lecht by virtue of straddling the Moray / Aberdeenshire boundary can effectively operate to the lowest tier of the two council areas based on the 5 miles beyond the local authority boundary and single start/finish point for outdoor exercise rule even in level 3 and 4. (Though facilities available in the base lodge will be determined by the restriction level applying to Moray).

For those travelling from elsewhere in the UK - the current travel regulations which are law rather than merely advice, would prevent travel from the equivalent of level 3 or 4 in Scotland. An important question looks like how tier 2 in England will be considered post the end of the national lockdown. As a positive note the Scottish 5 level system started at 0 in part so level 1,2,3 were to some extent matched to tier 1,2,3 in England. That would suggest if you are outwith tier 3 restrictions you would be able to travel to areas of Scotland in level 0,1 and 2 - which currently covers all the snowsports areas.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@haggishunter, I don’t believe there is any English law at the moment stopping travel just advising against non essential journeys, and similar level 2 downwards. Indeed someone I know is taking a holiday in Scotland this week!

Can/does Scottish law prevent English folk crossing the border and travelling to the slopes??
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
The travel restrictions were out into Law on Monday and having been pulled yesterday for transiting between level 3 and 4 (twice) I can confirm the Police are sort of enforcing it gently. If people are choosing to defy the advice and requests then the fail Rule #1 and could well be putting rural communities with feck all hospital resources at higher risk. But then those that will continue to travel will do it anyway with scant regard for the consequences.
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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?
@orange, law for where? The UK, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland???
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Scotland, the previous travel advisory notice was slapped into some legislative change i.e. its not advisory now, its enforceable.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Interestingly one of the exemptions for travel allows for travel for the purpose of professional sports people engaging in competition or training. Whilst I’m not suggesting that anybody does anything that might spread the virus, it does create an opportunity for anyone holding an instructing qualification (not necessarily just for snow sports) to travel to ski stations to engage in that training.
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I bet the Queen still goes to Balmoral ! Might try and hitch a ride!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
kitenski wrote:
@orange, law for where? The UK, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland???


Scots Law currently prohibits anyone entering Scotland who is ordinarily resident somewhere under restrictions comparable to our level 3 or 4 restrictions except for permitted purposes.

The original draft regulations allowed travel for outdoor sports, but that is currently restricted to starting 5 miles beyond your local authority area. There is some chatter that the 5 mile thing maybe removed - to the effect that you can travel outwith your area for an outdoor / sport activity not available in your local authority. That would allow anyone to travel to the Scottish Ski Areas.
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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!
the travel restrictions are the least of our worries, you are only allowed to exercise outdoors from ‘level 3’ (quotes from draft legislation):

v) exercise outdoors, provided that the exercise -
i) is not organised

3) activity, sport or exercise is ‘organised’ if:
a) it is organised by
i) a person who is responsible for carrying on a business or providing a service

so I think they need to drop more than the distance restriction for us to be allowed to go skiing!
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From the webcams it looks like they have been making snow at Glencoe this morning as well as having some natural stuff at the top.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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malks wrote:
the travel restrictions are the least of our worries, you are only allowed to exercise outdoors from ‘level 3’ (quotes from draft legislation):

v) exercise outdoors, provided that the exercise -
i) is not organised

3) activity, sport or exercise is ‘organised’ if:
a) it is organised by
i) a person who is responsible for carrying on a business or providing a service

so I think they need to drop more than the distance restriction for us to be allowed to go skiing!


You could argue that they dont provide the activity or sport - but just a transportation system that then could be used for going for a walk, mountain running or going up to the top of Cairnwell to loose off a few arrows.

Its the same as getting on a bus - if you get on a bus to go xmas shopping its illegal - but if you get on the same bus to go to your work its fine. Running the bus service is ok.
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