Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better! Registration's totally free, of course, and makes snowHeads easier to use and to understand, gives better searching, filtering etc. as well as access to 'members only' forums, discounts and deals that U don't even know exist as a 'guest' user. (btw. 50,000+ snowHeads already know all this, making snowHeads the biggest, most active community of snow-heads in the UK, so you'll be in good company)..... When you register, you get our free weekly(-ish) snow report by email. It's rather good and not made up by tourist offices (or people that love the tourist office and want to marry it either)... We don't share your email address with anyone and we never send out any of those cheesy 'message from our partners' emails either. Anyway, snowHeads really is MUCH better when you're logged in - not least because you get to post your own messages complaining about things that annoy you like perhaps this banner which, incidentally, disappears when you log in :-)
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or: Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Family ski holiday in Scotland?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We usually head to the alps for a week at Feb midterm, but I'm thinking we could spend the week skiing in Scotland instead. We've only done odd days and weekends here as it's been so unreliable. Weekends have backfired before, you take time off work, pay for travel and accommodation only to find the road to the hill closed and no skiing Sad
Would it be daft to consider a whole week in Scotland? Should we just go abroad again? Are the cost savings worth the unreliability?
Puzzled
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Canuck, Personally I wouldn't plan in advance a weeks skiing holiday in Scotland and think of it as similar to an alpine holiday, the weather is more maritime and may not play ball. If you want a weeks holiday in the highlands that may or may not involve skiing you can have a good time and the weather may play ball and you can have some great skiing but it ain't reliable.
ski holidays
 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’m about 2.5 hours from Scottish slopes & never go, that’s what I think of them.
By all means it could be a great weeks holiday but maybe not a ski holiday, plan backup activities
snow conditions
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Quote:

We've only done odd days and weekends here as it's been so unreliable. Weekends have backfired before, you take time off work, pay for travel and accommodation only to find the road to the hill closed and no skiing

you've answered your own question, @Canuck.
snow conditions
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I still don't understand why the hills don't invest in a plow to chuck on the front of a pick up and just plow the access roads themselves. Councils don't give a toss, so time to take matters into their own hands. Last year we saw an ARMY of 2 staff trying to dig out the train tracks at Cairgorm on a Sunday when the cues for the platters were easy 100 people deep. It would be nice to stay local and support the hills here, but it looks like it'll be the alps again.
ski holidays
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Canuck wrote:
We usually head to the alps for a week at Feb midterm, but I'm thinking we could spend the week skiing in Scotland instead. We've only done odd days and weekends here as it's been so unreliable. Weekends have backfired before, you take time off work, pay for travel and accommodation only to find the road to the hill closed and no skiing Sad
Would it be daft to consider a whole week in Scotland? Should we just go abroad again? Are the cost savings worth the unreliability?
Puzzled


It can be unreliable abroad too, athough people tend to ski in poor weather abroad regardless as they booked it. (although it is usually less unreliable than Scotland)

If you come to Scotland for a week, plan to do something else for the week. Then if there is any skiing, on a few days, it will be a bonus.

Other options in Scotland in February, for which to plan to do which do not rely on weather? I live here, and in February I would go running in the rain and generally all weather with the exception of icy snow packed paths. (when it is usually good for climbing and skiing if the weather is good and winds are low) You can go hill climbing, provided the weather is reasonable. Lots of great hills for climbing, walking, cycling, which you can do in February when there is no snow or little snow. However, you have to watch the weather too, as high winds and storms can stop play (in February/ March the winds are usually less intense and the days are longer which is better than the limited light in Scotland in December/January.)

I might also go swimming if it is really bad weather, and sit in a sauna and steam room when I get really cold.

Places like Aviemore and Fort William are geared up to offer alternatives when the weather is bad. Indoor ice-scating is something I remember from my youth, but I do not know if they still have an ice-rink.

In the Alps when the weather was bad, I would go swimming and sit in a sauna. All the things you might do at home when the weather is bad. Just have a holiday, which you plan to do lots of things in bad weather. Just imagine the bonus if there was skiing, and good skiing!

You do not have to stay in Aviemore to ski there if the weather is good. You can go anywhere, by the sea, by beaches, and then drive there in the morning if the weather is good according to forecasts and lifts are open. Plan for a 2 centre holiday, like skiing and beaches. Get some extreme cold weather neoprene diving suits, and go swimming in the sea in any weather.

Laughing
latest report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Canuck, I love skiing in Scotland, but I wouldn't go for a week's holiday, and especially not at half term (one of the busiest weeks). Weather and snow are certainly less reliable than the Alps and if conditions are good then queues will probably be large.
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Canuck, the hills do have ploughs. But it’s not uncommon for the wind to fill in a ploughed path before the plough reaches the end of the road.
I wouldn’t book a week of hard earned holiday time in advance.
snow report
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
If you want a cheap week go to Borovets in Bulgaria. Have a look into it. Loads for the kids to do, great skiing if the snow's good (IF!) and everything costs 10p.
snow conditions
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I doubt that the season in Scotland is reliable enough to commit to as said. It's great for a mid-week day when the snow is good & it won't be too busy & I can get to Glenshee in under 2 hours. I'm also lucky enough to have a mother that lives about 20 miles from Glenshee if I wanted to stay for another day. I rented a 'cottage' (large house) for a week by Braemar during the summer & we had 3 families in which would make it extremely good value for a week, say £250 per family at current prices.
ski holidays
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
One of the best week's skiing I ever remember was an independent trip to Cairngorm as a 6th former. We booked a "package" at Loch Morlich YH. Got blown off the hill a couple of days, one day was totally closed out so we spent the day at the Stakis in the pool, curling and drinking lots of diesel while shooting pool. Rest of the time we were getting tutored in the fine art of combat skiing by an instructor attached to the YH and learning his version of the q&p tune by night which has servef me well the rest of my life.


Ahh jumpers for goalposts...
ski holidays
 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.
As a Scot I can recommend Borovets. I f you want to ski in Scotland wait to much nearer the time before booking. Good luck
latest report
 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
Check out winterhighland.com for the definitive guide to Skiing in Scotland.
snow report
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Only skied once in Scotland at Glenshee late January back in mid 90's after a decent week of snow, it was awful and I vowed never to return. Huge queues, narrow windblown ice slopes (not pistes), patches of bare earth that you had to hike over, lousy accommodation/ beer and food. Never been back, head south to the Alps is my advice unless its great conditions in which case give it a look and take a gamble on Cairngorm but be prepared to be constantly queueing unless its midweek. Was once working in Glasgow and had a down-day, drove up really early midweek to Glencoe and carpark rammed with huge queues at lift, turned around and left.

We love Scotland for hiking and the western Isles but a ski-destination its a non-starter imo as a viable alternative to the Alps, unless you live in the Highlands and can pick your days and are really local/ flexible.

That said a bad day in the mountains is better than a great day behind the desk, but its a 7-8 hour drive for me and we can be in the Alps in similar time.
snow report
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I'm getting my Glencoe pass shortly and I love the place. But I'm only 90 mins away.

I would NEVER book a weeks skiing in Scotland. Go to mainland Europe.
ski holidays
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thanks folks, we already live in a very picturesque part of Scotland, just not near the ski hills, so the trip would be specifically for skiing. I think I might book something refundable in the cairngorms then wait and see for a last minute deal in Europe or if the Scottish season is looking good Smile
latest report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

Was once working in Glasgow and had a down-day, drove up really early midweek to Glencoe and carpark rammed with huge queues at lift, turned around and left.

@Markymark29, That is seriously unlucky I have never seen Glencoe rammed midweek and not very often at weekends. Glenshee and Aviemore have a reputation for being busy at times but the west of Scotland resorts rarely are in my experience.
snow conditions
 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?
Markymark29 wrote:
Only skied once in Scotland at Glenshee late January back in mid 90's after a decent week of snow, it was awful and I vowed never to return. Huge queues, narrow windblown ice slopes (not pistes), patches of bare earth that you had to hike over, lousy accommodation/ beer and food. Never been back, head south to the Alps is my advice unless its great conditions in which case give it a look and take a gamble on Cairngorm but be prepared to be constantly queueing unless its midweek. Was once working in Glasgow and had a down-day, drove up really early midweek to Glencoe and carpark rammed with huge queues at lift, turned around and left.

We love Scotland for hiking and the western Isles but a ski-destination its a non-starter imo as a viable alternative to the Alps, unless you live in the Highlands and can pick your days and are really local/ flexible.

That said a bad day in the mountains is better than a great day behind the desk, but its a 7-8 hour drive for me and we can be in the Alps in similar time.


Yeah I went somewhere in the 90s and never went back because nothing changes in 30 years does it ?
snow conditions
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@Roguevfr, not from what friends have said, no it doesn’t. Hence I’ve never been back, hope that clarifies 🙄, maybe you need a maths course btw, then you can work your dates out. Spend a great deal of time in Scotland but not on the snow.
ski holidays
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Its fine, you're not missed.
ski holidays
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@Roguevfr, glad about that I wouldn’t waste my money! Enjoy it....my points were not intended to put down Scottish skiing however travelling up from North Yorkshire and staying over for 2-3 nights pre-booked accommodation to ski in frequently dodgy conditions doesn’t make sense. If you live locally then great stuff it probably makes sense as I said above.
latest report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Canuck wrote:
we already live in a very picturesque part of Scotland... the trip would be specifically for skiing. I think I might book something refundable in the cairngorms then wait and see for a last minute deal in Europe or if the Scottish season is looking good Smile


You know the fickle Scottish weather already. It's not just road closures but visibility, wind, amount of snow, etc, etc.
Your plan has merit, but I'd base yourself Scotland-wise somewhere so that you can drive to any of the 5 possible resorts on any given day - maximises the chance of getting something in. Don't bank on Cairngorm only.
If you are stuck with specific dates, want only skiing and want a continuous ski holiday (especially if with kids) then I'd probably just book a European trip on the grounds of what others have said. Even this year I've gone up last minute with good forecasts and had very disappointing days due to bad vis and wind. In other years when I've pre-booked a week, I've never managed more than 4 1/2 out of 6 possible days even when driving everywhere to get something: and that was April, and being prepared to ski in bad conditions. In February you would have to be very lucky, I think ( which doesn't mean that it can't happen, nor that Europe might not be bad too).
snow report
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Grizzler, while Europe can indeed be bad, your probabilities are also indeed way more on your side.
snow report
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
From this end of North Yorkshire Scotland is in relatively easy range. I’ve had some Superb skiing there over the last 8 years or so, at least as much fun as the Alps and far more friendly.

This was Glencoe in late April this year.

snow conditions
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Quote:
weekends have backfired before, you take time off work, pay for travel and accommodation only to find the road to


You'd be insane to plan a family week ski holiday in Scotland in February. I love skiing Scotland and have done maybe 100 days there. We did two prebooked week ski holidays there and they were both utter shite.
Unless the kids also like kayaking or mtbing or Fortnite then don't do it in Feb. Easter is a completely different matter. We've done loads of pre booked easter trips and they were generally good.
latest report
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
generally the recurring theme with scottish skiing is that you have to just be ready to go at the drop of a hat - when decent conditions occur, are weekends (thinking Glencoe mainly) usually rammed to the extent that its not enjoyable, or is it worth jumping in the car post work friday night, staying in a motorway hotel on a bit further south (around glasgowish) then up early to head to the slopes on saturday morning?
ski holidays
 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.
@MountainIdiot, Glencoe's usually bearable as long as most of the lifts are open - as the car park limits customer capacity. That's not to say there won't be queues... but they're not normally too bad.

The best weekends are usually ones where the snow's been good for a few weekends in a row (so there's no pent up demand), especially later on in the season.
latest report
 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
@denfinella,thanks - going at the weekend, i'd expect some sort of queue however having been to Bansko a few times i'm fairly sure that nothing Scotland can offer will compare to the queue for the gondola there! tbh i'm really intrigued to give scottish skiing a go. its mentioned above briefly , are the MTB trails open in winter if the snow just isn't there, or is there a "worst case scenario" generally, where its not snowy enough to ski, but too much snow to MTB?
snow report
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I can beat some of these, "I went once, 25 years ago and it was rubbish" tales.

I have a friend, who has snowboarded abroad every year for 20 odd years, who tells others not to bother with Scottish ski areas as they are rubbish - yet he's never been!

Me thinks he listens to his mates too much! (But ignores me when I tell him how great it is up there... rolling eyes )
snow report
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
MountainIdiot wrote:
generally the recurring theme with scottish skiing is that you have to just be ready to go at the drop of a hat - when decent conditions occur, are weekends (thinking Glencoe mainly) usually rammed to the extent that its not enjoyable, or is it worth jumping in the car post work friday night, staying in a motorway hotel on a bit further south (around glasgowish) then up early to head to the slopes on saturday morning?




Saturday 20 January 2018, in a queue to turn off to Glencoe car park on the main road. I started queueing in the car queue at 8am, and reached the turn off at 10am. The car park (and the access road) was full when I reached the turn off. I drove on to Nevis range. Got there and found a parking space, but as I was the second car to be turned away from Glencoe (which blocks the road for all cars heading to Nevis range) I was lucky. Got on the piste before the pm ticket, so I bought a full day ticket as there was snow piled up in the car park.

The lifts in Nevis range kept stopping, as they had too many people falling off. I completely avoided the beginners lifts as they had enormous queues.

Despite that, the day out cost me about £50 as a solo skier. (I did buy a can of zero coke on piste as it was a hot day with tons of fresh snow) People were very calm in lift queues, and enjoying the sunshine, no wind, and the great conditions of packed snow on the way to the lift.

I had a few runs from the top down some unpisted areas, which was enough for me and I spent the rest of the day going down some beautifully pisted snow.



Lets face it, if you lived here and can get crowded skiing like this, for £50, would you want loads of families clogging up the car park and lift queues?

NB. Virtually no cars were heading south on that road at that time!

The main reason for the slow moving traffic was the road from the main road to Glencoe car park was very very icy. Cars were moving very slowly, and one at a time for safety reasons. Some may have got stuck at certain points.



Thursday 11 January 2018, Glencoe. No such problems on the road, the access road to the Glencoe car park was not very icy. Not as much snow at Glencoe, it was early season conditions with some bare patches. Not as busy either, but it was fairly busy.




Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Mon 20-08-18 10:45; edited 1 time in total
snow report
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Bergmeister wrote:
I can beat some of these, "I went once, 25 years ago and it was rubbish" tales.

I have a friend, who has snowboarded abroad every year for 20 odd years, who tells others not to bother with Scottish ski areas as they are rubbish - yet he's never been!

Me thinks he listens to his mates too much! (But ignores me when I tell him how great it is up there... rolling eyes )


Anyone who has done their time up there can tell you that when its on it can be ****ing magic - slaying powder laps on the face opposite the White Lady mid April or launching off Lemming Ridge into cold Feb pillowy snow. But you also have to serve your time and the combat skiing, laying face down in burns and supermanning over heather is also part of the charm. Could be that these fancy dan European skiers are too soft - you can always tell a Scottish skier who has learnt their craft on home snow:

Me (rolling out out from a lesiurely reggae breakfast at the Oxalys) - You been for a warm up lap?
AB Ski in hs usual understated way) - Yep just a wee one
Me: Where did you go?
AB Ski: Just Courchevel and back
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Bigtipper, There seem to have been a few days like that this year on the road to Glencoe and Nevis. Was that the day when the road and Coe car park was snowed also, or was that another chaos day near the same date? (It may not exactly be a novel occurrence either, year on year.)
Fortunately I avoided those days: but it is a major issue, just for road access as much as anything else.
Nevis range lift issues were also a problem around the same time, big queues and many people combined with drag lift and chairlift breakdowns. On Saturdays in January, with the good snowfall this year and with a couple of bluebird days, the western resorts were, sadly, places to avoid. Mind you, I think that Glenshee was totally full by 10am if not earlier, Cairngorm probably also.
Moral is to avoid going on bluebird days at weekends! (Or do very very early starts and get to the top of the mountain and stay there - for Nevis at least.)
I too have had many lovely days at all 4 major resorts this year between early January and mid April, many in wonderful snow and sky conditions - although some also in more typical weather... But again, I was in a position to be able to get up in 3-4 hours' drive on any day I wanted, booking last minute accommodation: and even then, the weather forecast was not always accurate and the accommodation got more and more expensive (ludicrously so, sometimes) and harder and harder to get as the season went on. I avoided weekends until late season, when they didn't seem majorly busy. Taking that into account, I don't think that there were any times when I could really have done more than 2 or 3 days in a row before the weather caused the journey and cost to be questionable or the trip just a write-off. (Maybe a few days when we were busy, and a few where adding in a Sat or Sun would have given more time.) Wind is often the limiting factor stopping them opening or giving very limited uplift capacity. You would have to check actual stats for how much the resorts were open - but technically open and what most people would consider reasonable skiing conditions are rather different things in Scotland! I think that Glencoe was open most this year, great snow and limited least by the winds. But not necessarily a typical year either, in terms of which resorts had the best snow and when, and which lasted longest. But that's Scottish skiing: unpredictable and changeable.
I'm not sure that I ever paid £50 for a lift pass for a day (or was that including travel costs for you?) Had some cracking days at Glencoe when they had reduced price passes at Glencoe, I think earlier on at Nevis too (hence even more queues!) Coe also gave discounts for return visitors buying passes on subsequent days, which was nice.

Another factor which hasn't really been pointed out to the OP, well-known as a bugbear to me, is that most Scotttish resorts run mainly to only on drag lifts, and many of those lifts are long. What chairlifts exist are mainly old and small and fast to mount. This is improving in some places, but is also an issue limited by the winds. To some people this isn't a problem; to others it may be. Certainly compared to some European destinations, it is a big difference.
snow report
 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?
@MountainIdiot, you're probably right that it won't be as bad as the Bansko gondola (unless you visit CairnGorm in school holidays!).

I think having MTB trails open during the ski season is rare except at the very end of the season (i.e. Easter or later). In the main season there are likely to be patches of snow on the MTB trails even if there's not enough for skiing, and rain / snow / temperatures would tend to make them icy.

Having said that, there are lots of other things to do nearby the ski centres, such as walking, indoor ice climbing, museums, distilleries etc.
ski holidays
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Scotland has some of the worst customer service on Earth, the roads are chaos, and the weather is unpredictable beyond 12 hours.

But the scenery is among the best in the world.

If you do a trip, you need to have at least 2 backup plans for every day.

For example, option 1 is to go to Glencoe and ski... but if it is closed, then option 2 is to go to Cairngorm and ski... but if all ski areas are closed, then option 3 is to go visit the Highland zoo.
snow conditions
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Markymark29, as an opposite view from Yorkshire, I've had epic trips to Scotland, but the decision to go is usually taken after 5pm the night before when the forecast and snow conditions are good!

However I certainly wouldn't plan a family ski week there. My wife went with me at New Year once and said never again due to the wind and cold.

This season I got a Travellodge in Perth for £29, drove there, quick bite to eat in pub next door, then early start and off to Glenshee. No queues, fresh snow and made fresh tracks even at 3pm!



latest report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@kitenski, fair play to you, I don’t have that flexibility, and if I did I’d be going south not north and adding a few days on, each to their own.
snow report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Markymark29, yeh for >2 days pre-planned I'd also be heading to the airport! I was lucky I had a meeting in Glasgow.
snow conditions
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Canuck wrote:
We usually head to the alps for a week at Feb midterm, but I'm thinking we could spend the week skiing in Scotland instead. We've only done odd days and weekends here as it's been so unreliable. Weekends have backfired before, you take time off work, pay for travel and accommodation only to find the road to the hill closed and no skiing Sad
Would it be daft to consider a whole week in Scotland? Should we just go abroad again? Are the cost savings worth the unreliability?
Puzzled


I had the best season ever for day trips in bluebird sunshine in Scotland, cant recommend the skiing up here enough.

That said, I can pick and choose my days, go only midweek and avoid holiday weeks, and hence get empty slopes, no queues, and cover loads of ground.

Personally, I wouldnt do a kids week, if skiing is all you want to do, as you cant really nail that the weather will be good all week. Also, the infra will be stretched and the kids will get bored waiting to get up the hill.

The only resort with enough to do non-skiing is Aviemore, so I guess you could potentially base yourself there and take it as it comes? That said, due to Mountain Retreats or whatever they are called attitude to skiing and the area, I dont ski Cairngorm any more.
ski holidays
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Yes the flexibility to nip up for a weekend’s skiing is a big bonus. Shame we don’t have that sort of convenient access to the Alps. Instead we have to book ahead and take the chance that the weather and the snow will be good for a week Confused
latest report
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@Peter S, well, technically, grab a very last minute deal, say 2 hours' drive to several accessible airports, say 2-3 hour flight, say 2 hour transfer... Quicker than driving Manchester to Cairngorm, for instance.
Only, somehow, even if you can get any if those times down, it somehow never seems to work out that easy Confused
ski holidays



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy