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Is skiing in Scotland on its last leg?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
In the past, you used to be able to ski across Scotland's five ski resorts from late December. In this season, we barely just got enough snow at the beginning of Feb. Temp is looking to rise again toward the next two weeks - as we approach half term.
Cairngorm's funicular railway is not operational. Even if there is snow up top, you can't get there if the base station does not have enough snow to cover the running of the car park's T bars.
This lack of snow, couples with the maritime weather and strong wind, greatly reduce the skiable days in the season and hence profitability.
If they failed to attach enough visitors in the summer, it is only a matter of time before they all go bankrupt.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Such a shame. Last year I was based in Aberdeenshire, the snow conditions got me back on skis after a nearly 30 year gap. I’m now based in the South-west but have been watching the Scottish snow-cams and listening to the Glenshee snow and road report; (I love how the middle-aged sounding lady sounds so down when it isn’t good enough and like a child at christmas when it’s good!) all rather sad. I didn’t quite appreciate at the time how lucky I was to get the season I did!
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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?
That’s either short term knowledge or rose tinted specs. Glencoe has been open for 60+ years and only opened in December a handful of times. There have been five or six classic seasons in the last decade and one shocker (2017 for me in case there’s any doubt). I think that’s a better average than the noughties or the nineties. The Funicular is far from being fundamental to the skiing and hasn’t done much to suggest summer revenue is going to outstrip winter revenues.
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This isn't the first time that Scotland has had a poor start to the season.

Contrary to what the OP suggests, I think skiing in Scotland over the last decade has gone through a pretty healthy patch. Several good seasons (and only a few bad), a spate of new lifts and investments, a more healthy, more even spread of customers across the 5 resorts, and most recently more investment in snowmaking.

This early season has been a blip, but it's too early to press any panic buttons.

Cairngorm, however, has got itself into a fine old mess, and there are some serious problems there. Not insurmountable though, and fortunately Scottish skiing isn't just about Cairngorm anyway.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Whether all 5 resorts survive, only time will tell. Scottish skiing takes an inner spirit, of which the Scottish have in abundance. I can see it continuing for many years.
Cairngorm is in a bit of a mess but the authorities will always help to keep it open as Aviemore is so dependent on it.
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denfinella wrote:

Contrary to what the OP suggests, I think skiing in Scotland over the last decade has gone through a pretty healthy patch. Several good seasons (and only a few bad), a spate of new lifts and investments, a more healthy, more even spread of customers across the 5 resorts, and most recently more investment in snowmaking.

This early season has been a blip, but it's too early to press any panic buttons.

Cairngorm, however, has got itself into a fine old mess, and there are some serious problems there. Not insurmountable though, and fortunately Scottish skiing isn't just about Cairngorm anyway.


^. This. Glenshee in particular is a great area, I was there last year when the Beast from the East dumped huge quantities of snow! Smile
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
As with wonkyski above I've returned to skiing after a 30 year break & it's been great to go back to my childhood haunts at Glenshee & to see how it's improved.
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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!
No doubt : it has been a poor Scottish season. However that certainly doesn't mean Scottish skiing is on its last legs. Indeed last winter saw one of Glencoe's best ever winters (with record skier numbers).

Fundamentally Scotland is windy island exposed to Atlantic. Variable winters are nothing new : indeed in 1956 the UKs first ski tow (main basin t-bar) wasn't able to run until valentine's Day due to lack of snow.

March and April often bring best snow and weather to Scotland : plenty time for this season to bring some good snow.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
The OP definitely has a glass half empty outlook on life haha.

As someone who lives 90mins from Glencoe and 120min from Glenshee i can tell you Scottish skiing is alive and well...well apart from cairngorm.

Glencoe in the past couple of years has built loads of accommodation at the base station, and bought a 2nd hand chair from Austria, they have built new buildings on the ski area to help with maintenance and even picked up a couple of PB600's!!

Glenshee have refurbished the cafe and has replaced the tiger chairlift and has one sitting in the car park waiting on planning permission...both have diversified to attract summer visitors and it seems to be working.

ok this season is a bit of a late starter but that isn't unusual for Scotland, skiing in December is the exception not the norm
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Haggis_Trap wrote:
No doubt : it has been a poor Scottish season. However that certainly doesn't mean Scottish skiing is on its last legs. Indeed last winter saw one of Glencoe's best ever winters (with record skier numbers).

Fundamentally Scotland is windy island exposed to Atlantic. Variable winters are nothing new : indeed in 1956 the UKs first ski tow (main basin t-bar) wasn't able to run until valentine's Day due to lack of snow.

March and April often bring best snow and weather to Scotland : plenty time for this season to bring some good snow.


Agree HT. Thats twice! Shocked

When it's good it's very very good and when it's bad it's awful....summarises my experiences of skiing in Scotland from school in the early 1980s 'til now.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
When I started skiing, and started going to Scotland (probably 2000s onwards), I always used to have a week up at Aviemore
(but would travel to any resort) over Easter, whether that fell early or late. We always had a good week, rarely got 7 days skiing in but usually got 4 or more, plus walking, driving and scenery. Always had useable snow.
That was usually also one of the best times for winter climbing.
Fingers crossed it won't break the pattern too soon.
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