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Skiing Scotland - by Caravan

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Just throwing this one out, I've been dreaming about getting a caravan for years and was wondering about taking one up to scotland for a two week roadtrip. Where would be the best places to stop to balance access to the ski areas versus minimal pcaking / moving versus access to town. West cosat, I suppose somewhere around fort william would be good as it's a 30 minute drive to Glencoe, and clser to Fort william - it's even conceivable to do Cairngorm from Fort William. However I know there are caravan sites at Rothiemurchus and GLenmore which would be a better base for Cairngorm. What about Glenshee and The Lecht? Is it worth trying to get to all five areas in a two week roadtrip or is that poushing too hard?


It might happen, it might not. WOrth talking about though!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
springtime - maybe, deep winter not so sure - campervan a bit more practical no?

Lecht easily doable from a rothie / glenmore pitch. Glenshee not so much.
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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?
Hey seems that trip last season had an affect eh! Toofy Grin

I'd be hesitant to stay in a caravan in current conditions, would be very cold indeed and although not as bad as canvas a caravan would still be darned cold - you'd certainly need some winter sleeping bags and hot water bottles wouldn't go amiss either! I think you'd be better off in March/April to be honest, more hours of daylight and often great conditions with the lambing snows.

Glenmore campsite is fine but the one at Rothiemurchus is more sheltered and probably preferable IMHO. You have all the services in Aviemore and can get to most of the ski areas (apart form Glenshee) in decent time if the roads are clear.
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roga wrote:
Hey seems that trip last season had an affect eh! Toofy Grin

I'd be hesitant to stay in a caravan in current conditions, would be very cold indeed and although not as bad as canvas a caravan would still be darned cold - you'd certainly need some winter sleeping bags and hot water bottles wouldn't go amiss either! I think you'd be better off in March/April to be honest, more hours of daylight and often great conditions with the lambing snows.

Glenmore campsite is fine but the one at Rothiemurchus is more sheltered and probably preferable IMHO. You have all the services in Aviemore and can get to most of the ski areas (apart form Glenshee) in decent time if the roads are clear.


I really enjoyed that trip Smile

I'd been hoping to borrow my parent's caravan but they're away in it every weekend from New year through to easter - admittedly in north west england, though, not scotland. We use hot water bottles at home, so they're a definite for a caravan!

I was thinking some time in march it must be said - although thanks to Will & kate, a trip over easter and mayday is a possibility, we can always go biking if there's no skiing! If we can find somewhere to leave it at reasonable cost, we could even take it up there in march, then leave it till we return in april. Hmmm, there's a thought...

The other thing I was askig about it the roadtrip aspect - I've done a 2 week roadtrip in Canade, we did

3 days in Fernie
2 days in Panorama
2 days in Kicking Horse
5 days in Banff ( Lake Louise / Sunshine / Norquay)


WHile I njoyed the trip, we did move a little too often. Doing a trip in a caravan might exacerbate that as it's easier to pack a suitcase and throw it in a van than it is to pack up a caravan! HOwever, the beauty of a roadtrip in scotland is the proximity of resorts. As I said, I htink a single base would suffice for Nevis range and Glencoe, unless someone knows better? Is there a single base that's usable for for eastern skiing, or should we consider a third move? Any recommendations for specific sites would be appreciated too

cheers
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I'll be hitting Scotland in my black 2 berth caravan this winter doing demos. Have a generator for extra heat and a fan heater. No worries re the cold. See you up there.
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nbt, just curious as to why you'd go for two weeks to Scotland as opposed to Europe? At the cost of a days driving, you'd have your pick of the best of the Alps Confused
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Ray Zorro, although I grew up caravanning every weekend, I haven;t stayed in one for almost 20 years now. I wouldn't like to take a (fairly) new (to me) caravan to the continent without gaining a modicum of familiarity with towing and using it. It would certainly be an option for future trips though - might want to think about a more powerful towcar for europe, and a longer trip than two weeks.

Of course, there's also the fact that I really like Scotland, and not just for skiing.
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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!
Dot., hey are you up over Xmas/New Year?

Ray Zorro I'm just curious as to why there's usually at least one person on any thread about Scotland trying to persuade the OP to go elsewhere? Confused
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there's a highly rated site in Grantown which gives you easy access to Gorm and Lecht and puts you a bit closer to Glenshee - but still a fair schlep to Glenshee (puts you say 20 minutes closer than staying in Aviemore)

The site at rothiemurchus seems to be going through some change right now in that many of the static vans are gone - dont know if it's just a replenishment of the vans in the "off-season" or something more, you should probably check soon if you're thinking of that one
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roga, Don't get so defensive about Scottish skiing snowHead . I often read the Scottish threads and my question was prompted because I don't recall ever reading of anyone planning a two-week trip up to Scotland. I wasn't trying to persuade him otherwise, I was just curious as to his thought process.

FWIW I've actually got two short trips planned to Scotland this winter and no short trips to Europe.
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Ray Zorro, sorry not meaning to be defensive (or offensive).

TBH the question you ask is a perfectly reasonable one and I think nbt's reply is a good one too Toofy Grin

Enjoy your trips ... but why on earth are you not going to Europe? Wink
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
roga, No, first of the weekend trips in Jan.
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Hello,

In my opinion the most convenient caravan park for access to Cairngorm is The High Range.
My family have used it for years and continue to do so.
Great pub/taverna on site that does excellent pizza too.

I stayed there for the entire season Dec-Apr (in a touring caravan) 7 years ago. Magic fun!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Dot. wrote:
roga, No, first of the weekend trips in Jan.

OK, anything planned in Feb?
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 brian
brian
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nbt, I think you'd need 3 stops or you'd end up with a lot of daily driving. Maybe near Braemar for Shee/Lecht, then Aviemore area somewhere, then somewhere over in the west for Coe/Nevis. This place is in a lovely spot with amazing sunsets over Loch Linnhe and Ardgour:

http://www.invercoe.co.uk
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
nbt, I know there is a caravan club site ( Invercauld) at Braemar which is only 10 mins away from Glenshee and I'm pretty sure it's open all year.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
roga, yeah during the 2nd part of Feb. First 2 weeks in Feb I'll be at ISPO.
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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?
Writing this as I sit in my cosy caravan at Rothiemuchus, have been here when the temperature has been as low as -19c. Electric heater, 15 tog quilt and hot water bottles when needed. Caravans are a lot easier to heat than many people realise, been winter caravaning for years.

barry, Its a case of replenishment.

at0mic, Did they have the cards for electric then or the swipe cards for the toilet block, we found them really annoying
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Hey all,

First post here, but I couldn't help it as this thread is about winter caravanning. Just to add to those that have already posted, winter caravanning is great, I've stayed in my tourer down to -12 on electric hook up which means there is a heater on 24/7 and I have an electric duvet just in case it gets too cold, with two small (argos specials) electric heaters going I can maintain an indoor temperature at 20+ and sometimes it gets too hot. Electric hook-up is a preference because it'll be included in the site fee, but running it on propane is also an easy one if electric is not available. I've got all the mod cons, fridge, oven, shower, hot water, toilet etc, the van is german made and fully winterised meaning it has better insulation properties than UK vans. Also the water is inboard and all pipe runs are inboard meaning the water shouldn't freeze, a small amount of anti-freeze goes into the grey water container to keep it liquid. I also use a winter porch awning that has a steel frame, extra poles and extra guys for snow and storms, great for storing kit and wet clothing.

Another consideration is the tow car, foreign vans are slightly heavier than UK vans due to their construction and if you are staying on pitches that are not hard-standing you may be towing out of a muddy field, this time of year ice is also a consideration, I run a Discovery 3 which does the job without any trouble, I'm sure others get away with 2WD vehicles this time of year though.

Now I just need to take it on a ski trip! Laughing
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
skitim, thanks for that. plenty to consider
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Getting more and more likely now, as we've been out and bought a caravan! I'm beginning to look at sites. Braemar looks good, although I hear (on winterhighland) that glenshee were supposed to be putting in a toilet / shower block for campers - does anyone know if that went ahead?

I also need to think about the order in which we visit places. Glenshee looks biggest, but many people seem to say glencoe is their favourite. So, do we do east or west first, then?

Also, does anyone fancy meeting us for a day's gentle skiing (or even not so gentle skiing, after all we did ski Coire na ciste on May 3rd 2010 long after the lifts had shut and the snow had mostly gone...). We very much enjoyed the company of II, AndyTB, Moffatross at Cairngorm and if we can get enough snowheads together this could turn into a mini-bash! Dates yet to be sorted but at the moment I reckon we'll head up in early to mid-march for a two week trip. We'll bring bikes in case the skiing is not possible - now snow, too much snow, too windy etc, and I'll start stockpiling DVDs to watch on the laptop...
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nbt wrote:
I've been dreaming about getting a caravan for years



Tragic wink
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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!
Whitegold, you;re boring now. you;ve been boring for years. Get a new joke
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bump
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If you're looking to stay in one place, and are looking for a mid-point, it's difficult due to the topography. You've got ski centres on different sides of huge expanses of impassable, roadless terrain (Cairngorms, Rannoch Moor etc), so there's always going to be large distances involved.

Taking The Lecht out of the equation (for no other reason than it 'out on it's own' location wise), I'd say the best location would maybe be Pitlochry. It's approx 70 miles from Cairngorm, Nevis and Glencoe, and approx 45 miles from Glenshee. Go any further North or West from here, and Glenshee starts to become inacessible. Any furhter north along the A9, Glencoe gets further away.

Pitlochry a really nice town to base yourself, and there's a good caravan park about 1 mile outside, the Faskally Caravan Park:
http://www.faskally.com/index.php

On the other hand, if you want to travel about, I've got another few recommendations. I can't speak for anything around Glenshee, The Lecht or Cairngorm however.

For Nevis I'd highly recommend Glen Nevis Holiday Park in (believe it or not) Glen nevis. I think they open the 11th March. The scenery is immense, looking towards the Mamores, and Ben Nevis's Five Finger Gully towering above you. It can almost look Alpine, especially in winter. You're also within walking distance of the Ben Nevis Inn (albeit up a muddy track):
http://www.glen-nevis.co.uk/

For Glencoe, I can recommend The Pine Trees Lesuire Park in Tyndrum (opens 1st March). There's a few that are closer, but I don't think they open until April:
http://www.pinetreescaravanpark.co.uk/index.htm

I've stayed in all 3 of these campsites, and they were all excellent.

Hope that helps!
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Hi nbt, thought i would share this with you, it may be useful it may not be! I stayed on a lovely Campsite at Glencoe (the town not the ski area) a few years ago. It is open in the winter as well which is good news!!! It is a lovely location, has great facilities and the views are lovely. Glencoe skiing is on the doorstep and up to nevis range isnt' that far. Certainly worth considering for either of the 2 ski centres listed above. You can camp right up to the shores of the loch, and the towereing peaks of the mountains are the backdrop. It is the most beautiful place i have ever camped at, you could do a lot worse!!! http://www.invercoe.co.uk/ When are you thinking of heading up there, im at Cairngorm/Nevis for 3 days skiing 9th Feb onwards? Very Happy
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
shoneyman, I realise one stop is not a realistic idea, we're looking at 3 stops in total. The ones I had in mind were Braemar (for Glenshee and the lecht), Rothiemurchus (Cairngorm) and then somwhere near invercoe - maybe not the exact site recommended by Ricklovesthepowder, as I had though we'd the Caravan Club site. Will definitely check out the sites mentioned, though

ANy thoughts on whether to do east or west first?

Ricklovesthepowder, dates not fixed yet, just "march" sometime.
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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
nbt, Yeh, one stop's not really that practical. Being 70 miles from the ski area kind of defeats the whole purpose of having a caravan!!

The Glen Nevis Holiday Park could serve as a base for both Nevis (5 miles) and Glencoe (30 miles). I can't praise this campsite enough, I've stayed there many times. You've also got the facilities of Fort William just 1 mile down the road.

I would suggest doing west first, but not for any particular skiing reason. The drive from the central belt to Fort William (up the A84, 85 & 82), is just amazing, with the scenery getting more and more spectacular with every mile you cover. You really feel like you're travelling 'into' the Highlands, finishing with the climax of Rannoch Moor and the descent down Glen Coe. It really is a brilliant drive and still one of my favourites (having done it loads of times).

By comparison, the plod up the A9 is a bit boring. The Grampian hills might have their attractions, but they don't look particularly great (in my opinion).

The only slight downside with this theory is that it means doing the most challenging ski centre first (Glencoe)!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
shoneyman, That was my thinking to - Loch Lomond on a saturday afternoon as we drive up might be lovely!

However I think we've pretty much decided to try east first, following advice over on winterhighland

If things go to plan, we will be stopping fairly near you (CL @ Carr's hill) on the way home, visiting friends in Larbert Very Happy
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
nbt, Hey mate, I've started my Scotish caravan trips in the mobile distribution centre (30 year old 2 berth adria caravan). I park up in ski fileld car parks with their permission (the folks at Glencoe super friendly). I use a 3kw generator to run a fan heater and a dehumidifier (a must have for the winter caravan)and all the electrics. Very comfortable.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Bought the caravan, been to pick it up today. Time to start packing it with all the things we'll need, and start thinking properly abot how we're going to do this!


Does anyone know about multi-day lift tickets? I know you can get a 5 day pass valid at *any* ski area, but do the days have to be consecutive? Any other option apart from buying a ticket each day?
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nbt, The Ski Scotland website says the five day ticket has to be used consecutively. Have you decided when you are coming up yet, if its March it should be milder with longer daylight as at the moment it is dark by 5pm.
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Yes, March 5th-19th booked off work. We'll be bringing MTBs as well as skis I expect so that should conditions be less then hoped for we can go biking instead!
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Bumping this with the trip report

Intro:
After many years of me making hints and suggestions, Mrs NBT finally gave in and agreed to let me buy a caravan, with the aim of using it on a two week trip to scotland to try to ski all 5 ski centres. Having asked around snowheads and winterhighland, I had the rough plan of starting at Glenshee and moving anticlockwise round the resorts, staying at Braemar for Glenshee and the Lecht, either Aviemore or Grantown-on-Spey for Cairngorm (and The Lecht if necessary) then somewhere around Fort William / Glencoe for Nevis Range and Glencoe.

DAY 1: Saturday – The trip up
According to the various route planners, the plan was 6 hours driving. In the end, we drove for 7.5 hours, and it took 9 hours including stops. As we only left at 10.30am this gave us a reasonable 7.30pm arrival time. It was slow going up some of the hills, especially the final hill over the Glenshee pass in the dark. It was quite good though as we saw 8 mountain hares, their white coats stood out brightly in our headlights! A couple of downpoints, on setting out I didn’t get the exit from the drive quite right and I have scraped the side of the van against the fencepost, then when setting up we had a couple of issues: It took me ages to get the pump working, although I did get it eventually, and I’ve brought the wrong lead for the telly! The good thing is I’ve found the aerial lead in the gas locker, but the internal socket requires a male-male lead and I’ve brought a male-female. Grrr. 27 mpg average on the trip which was nice. The Invercauld, the Caravan Club site in Braemar, is excellent – right at the entrance to the village when coming down from Glenshee, it is only a few minutes walk from the village centre and has excellent facilities including a bootroom! It’s also a bargain at £13.50 per night including electric hook-up. We didn’t book before arriving, and luckily there was enough room, but we probably would book in advance if we were to do this again.

Day 2: Sunday – Glenshee
Not a hugely early start, after sorting out the campsite fees and so on it was 10.30 by the time we got to the lifts, and the first person we saw was MoffatRoss who we met on the Mayday weekender at Cairngorm last year! The snow was not great, bulletproof ice for the most part, and visibility was limited as we were in low cloud, but it did brighten up as the day went on and the snow got softer where the sun had a chance to do some work. We packed in just after 3pm in the end. The good news came from Ross who told us the forecast was for a reasonable front to arrive on Wednesday bringing 20cm in the west and 10cm or so in the east – a much needed topup. Lunch was eaten in the Meall Odhar, limited choice but passable food – baked potatoes were great, burgers were, well, edible. No hooks to hang gear from.

On the way down we kept an eye out for mountain hares, Jane spotted one, but we spotted two BIG herds of wild deer, fab sight! In the evening I ran the aerial lead through a window so we do have some TV and radio reception, and had a pint in the Fife Arms hotel. Very early night, I fell asleep in front of the TV so we retired at 10pm. As an experiment we left the gas fire on low, and we both seem to have slept better for being just a little warmer.

Day 3: Monday – day off
Webcam for the lecht showed no snow left so we decided to have a day off early in the trip. weather was fabulous so we walked up creag chionich (sp?) and got a beautiful view of the area, including balmoral. Nice tea & cake stop in Taste in Braemar, as the weather got a bit colder.

Day 4: Tuesday – glenshee and travel
We went up to glenshee, arrived about 10.30 to find about half a dozen cars in the carpark. It had been trying to snow but with little success and it was mostly sleet. lift tickets were reduced as there was limited uplift due to winds up at the top – glas maol was closed, and cairnwell was “closed due to lack of snow cover” – we later found that they don’t run cairnwell lifts during the week, but to be fair the cairnwell was looking very bare by that time. We decided to give it a go even though there wasn’t much open and the weather wasn’t great but lasted only one hour before we were soaked through as the sleet turned to rain. We decided to go back down (saw the deer herds again Smile ), pack the van and drive to aviemore one day early. We asked at the tourist office whether we should use the A939 through the Lecht pass (the caravan site warden couldn’t advise as he was a stand-in from Essex as the regular warden was away at conference!), but decided not to risk it and instead went down to Pitlochry and back up the A9. It was this route that made us decide to stay in Aviemore, rather then carrying on up to the Caravan Club site in Grantown. As we were staying in Aviemore, we decided to stay at the High Range on the edge of the village rather than up on the Rothiemurchus or Glenmore sites up the ski road. Facilities lovely and warm and very clean,but sadly no boot room! Rather more expensive at £23 per night (reduced to £21 as we stayed 5 nights)

Took 3 hours to drive round and we got 30 mpg, excellent! The forecast storm was moving in early and quite a lot of the drive up the A9 was in rain and wind, but a nice drive nonetheless. I even managed to pull into a layby and let the traffic pass! As we’d set off at 1pm, it was 4pm when we arrived and Mrs NBT was desperate to eat. In my haste to get the caravan set up I asked Mrs NBT to move the car before I’d disconnected everything and we found out how the breakaway cable works – Mrs NBT moved the car, the breakaway cable did it’s job and yanked the handbrake on before snapping. Eeejit. Nice food in the Taverna, though, they do do nice pizzas Smile

day 5 (wed) – cairngorm
The forecast storm had arrived properly and high winds and low cloud meant some lifts weren’t running, according to the snow report on the answerphone. When we arrived we found only one run open, served by two lifts – the green car park run served by the car park t bar and the funicular mid station. As the lift pass was reduced (not massively but still less than the cost of a session in a fridge) we decided to give it a go and lasted a couple of hours doing practice runs. Food in the cas bar was great, but again they need hooks for hanging gear. They also need to think about how much room people need, it wasn’t particularly busy yet the cas bar was packed. I hear the queues for tickets can also clash with queues for the funicular – sounds like another case of designers thinking more about how things look rather than how they’ll be used. Anyway, back on topic, the snow arrived around 1pm as we went out after lunch, so we called it a day around 2pm. The snow was sticking as we drove down the access road, Mrs NBT drove as she says she’s a better driver than me in snow, and I agree.

day 6 (thu)
Everywhere closed due to the weather – high winds and snow falling up at the resort, although it was quite calm in the village. We drove to inverness to pick up a new breakaway cable for the caravan and have a walk around. Just another city, really, although we did find a pizza express next to a Laura Ashley so Mrs NBT was very happy, shopping then lunch! The snow was falling quite heavily in Inverness, not a very pleasant drive back to the caravan but as we passed over Slochd it stopped and there was *nothing* on the descent to Aviemore! In the evening, we went up to try our hand at the pub quiz at the hilton with AndyTB – shockingly we won! Even more shockingly, the snow had come in *again* while we were in the pub and there was about 2 inches lying on the road. Sleep somewhat interrupted by the accumulated snow dropping off the trees onto the caravan roof!

day 7 (fri)
cairngorm shut, too much snow! They needed to dig out the funicular and the car park, which had three feet of snow on it at 7.30am! Luckily the Lecht was open despite radio reports saying the snow gates were closed. Andy drove up as he has snow tyres. On arrival we saw two ptarmigan wondering around, plumage fully black already which suggests the snow had disappeared some time before!

Limited uplift but full price lift tickets – how does that work then? The lifts running allowed us to access half the runs, but the northern end was out of action which meant the longer, harder runs were not available. Annoyingly, a slalom course had been set up on one of the runs for the group of instructors doing some training, and a pair of rather useful skiers wearing “team australia” jackets with junior lift passes. Juniors from a rather hot place they may be but those girls knew how to slalom – sadly though it meant that run was not really available for us as I consider it bad form to crash someone else’s course, and it was set up in such as way as to render the run less fun than was worth the hassle.
Andy’s iphone app said we did 1400m vertical over 20 runs in 2hrs 34m actual skiing time. We practiced carving and rolling side to side rather than up and unweighting. The new daylodge at the lecht looks great from the outside, the setup is a little odd as the tickets and food are upstairs, and sadly the food did not live up to the expectations set by the facilities. Again we found there were no hooks to hang gear – this is becoming a theme, facilities managers at scottish ski resorts should go on a discovery tour to north american resorts to see how customers should be treated and facilities should be run!

We ate at Dalrachney lodge over in Carrbridge in the evening, excellent food at very reasonable cost, especially when most of the cost was covered by the previous night’s pub quiz winnings Very Happy

Day 8 (sat)
Cairngorm re-opened, so we had a very early start for us – Andy picked us up at 8.15, planning to get up and get a good parking spot and have breakfast in the cas bar. Unfortunately everyone else had had the same idea and at 8.30 we were halfway down the main car park! There’d been plenty of snow but also plenty of wind, so the very top of the mountain was scoured bare. We’ve often claimed to have skiied ice when in reality it was nothing more than hard packed snow – well this was proper ice! the Ptarmigan and Ciste were closed to start with and although the Ptarmigan opened later we spent all day in the Cas bowl. The scottish kids championships were being held and kids had 1 to 1 priority on the M1 poma so we often used either the t bar or the funicular to get back up. Mrs NBT wasn’t very happy as the weather which had started well was closing in as the day went on and visibility was decreasing, however there was good snow to be had as there was fresh snow falling. Ended the day with a couple of off-piste runs down from the top of the Fiacaill ridge poma with Andy’s friend Jamie, snow was lovely but the weather was getting so bad they were doing a “soft” closing where we were “invited” to make our way down off the hill. From the car park the plough would be doing laps up and down the access road, allowing a train of cars to follow it down. We left the hill at about 3pm and drove all the way down at five miles per hour, not sure what was leading the queue but it was really slow. We turned off at Rothiemurchus and went to the Inshriach nursery tea rooms – yummy cake and a vast array of birdfeeders with hundreds of small birds fluttering around, plus a pheasant on the ground and a greater spotted woodpecker!

day 9 (sun)
We should have driven to Fort william but so much snow fell, we decided on saturday evening to stay in aviemore as the roads were covered in snow. Went shopping in Aviemore, the pavements were terrible but the roads were clear – looking back, maybe that was a bad decision. Still, it meant we looked round the shops and Mrs NBT did buy a new helmet. We’d have struggled to move as the caravan was blocked in by a wall of snow that had been pushed in front of it by the mini tractor snowplough. Bumped into a couple of photographers in town, they'd hoped to see snow bunting but hadn't managed to see them - we'd seen a few flying around cairngorm carpark that morning before

Day 10 – monday
As the tractor had a puncture, we had to wait for the guys to dig us out manually, but we were away around 10.30. Drove to fort william, lovely drive through the countryside. scary moment when pointing out a bike trail at laggan where the road changed direction and I almost drove off the road! Then we called ahead to the campsite only to find out they weren’t actually due to open for another two days! Thankfully they told us to come along anyway and sorted us out, great location near the lochybridge junction which gave us easy access into Fort William and to the ski area. Beautiful day with proper sunshine, we had a great view of ben nevis from the site and could even see the ski lifts! Went into Fort william and managed to get internet access at the library. NO heating in the toilet block so it was a shock after a nice hot shower!

Day 11 – tuesday
Up to Nevis range. Visibility awful. Snow brilliant! Monday was busy so lots of pisting overnight, then a layer of fresh snow on top, proper hero conditions. We skiied loads and the last run of the day for me was from the top of the summit tow down the east wall of Goose right back to the restaurant at the top gondola station, using the fresh snow all the way. Fabulous!!! Nice bird feeders outside the bottom gondola station with loads of small birds including siskin and bramblings Smile

Day 12 – Wednesday
Nevis again, this time we met up with Andrew II. We skiied the goose side all day, as Andrew doesn’t like the button lifts, and we were happy enough to walk up a little way to avoid them and save the time in any case. Snow not quite as nice, a tad crispy in places and quite a lot of detritus (death cookies? but from the piste basher, not an avalanche) made it juddery and shaky early in the day. Softened up quite a lot in the afternoon and by 3pm was beginning to get a bit heavy so we called it a day. Down in the car park, we saw a strange bird that looked like a crow but wasn;t the right colour - later research reveals it was a hooded crow! We went back to the caravan having mostly packed before skiing, and set off for the campsite at Invercoe, just outside Glencoe village. A beautiful location right on the shores of loch leven, fantastic view of the sunset. We popped down the old road to have a very nice meal at the Clachaig Inn.

Day 13 – Thursday
Glencoe, a pretty late start as we were feeling tired, about 10.30 by the time we sat on the access chair – how slow is that chair?! Great skiing though, excellent conditions on all the parts of the mountain we managed to reach, although visibility was in and out as the clouds drifted across. We mostly skiied the blues on the main basin side in the morning, before a disappointing lunch in the hut – packet soup and a plasticky cheeseburger, at least the prices were reasonable considering the captive market. After lunch we got in a couple of laps of spring run which offered fab conditions before skiing all the way down to the car park which is not a common thing, I understand. Hot chocolate in the café at the bottom shows that they do know how to serve well at Glencoe. The trip back down the pass was one of the highlights of the entire holiday - the view down the Lairig Gartain towards Glen Etive was fabulous in the evening sunlight, the Buchaille Etive Mor was glowing. Further down the road past the falls of GLencoe, as the road opened out into the pass of Glencoe itself we looked out to out left where the land falls away from the road to see a Golden Eagle flying! It was level with the car, no more than forty feet away, descending into the valley. Stunning, really stunning. Saw some deer on the way down including a dead one at the side of the road, looks like it got hit by something. Maybe the eagle had been drawn in by that, not sure really.

Day 14 – Friday
Glencoe again. Better visibility today, but the wind picked up as the day went on and by early afternoon it was downright unpleasant going up the top T-Bar, so we did Spring Run then skiied down to the car park. Snow conditions on this last run a lot better than yesterday. More food at the Clachaig Inn Smile

Day 15 – Saturday
Homeward bound, doing the journey upward in one day had been too much so we drove to Falkirk and stayed just outside Denny so we could visit friends before driving the rest of the way home on Sunday.


Edit to include loads more wildlife sightings


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Tue 5-04-11 7:18; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Great TR nbt but you forgot to mention the eagle! Shocked
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roga, that's what comes of writing it up almost two weeks after the fact - I made notes as the trip went along but only fleshed it out when we got back. will update when I get chance
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Edit the following days to include loads more wildlife sightings
Day 2: Sunday – Glenshee
Day 4: Tuesday – glenshee and travel
day 7 (fri)
day 9 (sun)
Day 11 – tuesday
Day 12 – Wednesday
Day 13 – Thursday
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!
nbt, wow - sounds like a great trip, with varied conditions. Must have been amazing to see a golden eagle flying alongside you - hope you had your windows shut Toofy Grin And we too thought they could do with hooks under tables or on walls - there was just nowhere in the Ptarmigan to put anything when eating. Hard enough to find somewhere to put yourself!
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
cathy, thanks, yes we had a true scottish ski experience - no snow, too much snow, no visibilty, blue skies, great snow, awful snow, the works. I'm *so* glad we made the effort, it really was overall one of the best holidays I've ever had
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
It certainly was a great adventure and one I won't forget in a hurry.
The 2 days we skied Nevis range were comparable to some of the days spent in places like Whistler. In fact we asked a young chap who appeared to be on his own if he'd like to join us on our first Neivs morning. At lunch time he declared " that was the best morning's skiing I've ever had", as the conditions under foot were fantastic.

Thanks to all the Andrews who joined us and made it a very pleasent trip.

I'm still undecided about this caravanning lark though! We'll have to see what the summer brings.
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