Skiing In Scotland

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Re: Skiing In Scotland

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Aug 21, 2010 12:35 pm

Scotland's population is 5 million, slightly more than Sydney's, or the entire country of New Zealand. That should yield more than enough local daytrippers, even if the Scottish ski areas get nothing from the rest of England.
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Re: Skiing In Scotland

Postby HighRustler » Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:36 pm

Scotland's population is 5 million, slightly more than Sydney's, or the entire country of New Zealand. That should yield more than enough local daytrippers, even if the Scottish ski areas get nothing from the rest of England.


Very true. At weekends, in good snow conditions, queues of 20 minutes at key lifts are not uncommon at Cairngorm and Glenshee. Further west, Glencoe and Nevis Range receive less skiers and queues are typically less. Last season at Nevis Range I cannot recall ever waiting more than 5 minutes in a lift line even on a powder day. Midweek is a different experience, vastly reduced numbers mean queues are rarely an issue. Interestingly in the last few seasons, the "average" skier has packed up their skis by the end of March, leaving full cover and much quieter conditions for the remaining skiers in April.

Skier day figures for 2009-2010 season

CairnGorm 144,000
Glenshee 116,614
Lecht 52,147
Nevis Range 34,886
Glencoe 26,135

The total number of skier days last season 373,782 was the highest in 14 years.

Total Skier Days (for all areas) from 1990

1990 360,438
1991 627,995
1992 148,732
1993 375,955
1994 543,005
1995 473,434
1996 430,169
1997 243,486
1998 165,102
1999 299,878
2000 265,426
2001 366,121
2002 237,635
2003 152,681
2004 164,502
2005 147,500
2006 154,816
2007 78,431
2008 165,200
2009 159,885
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Re: Skiing In Scotland

Postby Admin » Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:45 pm

Wow, that's a marked dropoff since the early to mid-90s. And with 2009-10 being a "good" year I don't know how Glencoe can stay in business.
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Re: Skiing In Scotland

Postby HighRustler » Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:06 pm

Wow, that's a marked dropoff since the early to mid-90s. And with 2009-10 being a "good" year I don't know how Glencoe can stay in business.


Indeed. Around the mid-90's cheap flights to Europe started to become more common place and as a result many more skiers from England chose the Alps over Scotland for their school term time family breaks. Glencoe was very close to going out of business before the start of last season. It was taken over in an 11th hour deal by a local businessman and has recently been set up as a Community Interest Company (CIC), which should help efforts to secure funding. Glencoe is a very basic area but it has some amazing terrain for such a small area with its signature run, the Flypaper, an unpisted black which tops out at just under 45 degrees.

Press release – 13th Sept 2010 – Glencoe Mountain Ltd

"Glencoe Mountain Ltd changed its status to a Community Interest Company (CIC) on the 1st September 2010.

The purpose of the CIC is:-

To actively develop Glencoe as a leading provider of outdoor activities. To promote Glencoe, Lochaber and the Highlands of Scotland as the Outdoor capital of the UK and to assist the promotion of economic stability for the local community. To open skiing and other outdoor activities to disabled and under privileged members of the community. Surplus from the activities of the Community Interest Company will be reinvested within the company and specific bequests made to local causes.

The aim is to develop a ski centre which is run by the community for the community.
Profits generated within the CIC will be re-invested within the centre and the surrounding area to improve the experience of all visitors to the area.

The management at Glencoe Mountain resort hope that the new CIC status will open doors to additional funding so that they can upgrade facilities at the centre.

Glencoe Mountain is the countries oldest ski resort established back in 1956. It has a great history and some incredible skiing including the steepest black run in the UK but it has suffered from a severe lack of investment over recent years, with much of its infrastructure very near the end of its life.

With funding and the support of the local community the management team are sure that they can turn around the fortunes of the centre and develop it into a 21st century tourist attraction that the whole of Scotland will be proud of. "
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Re: Skiing In Scotland

Postby Admin » Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:21 pm

Thanks! And you gave me a news item lead to boot.
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Re: Skiing In Scotland

Postby Patrick » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:34 pm

HighRustler wrote:
Wow, that's a marked dropoff since the early to mid-90s. And with 2009-10 being a "good" year I don't know how Glencoe can stay in business.


as a result many more skiers from England chose the Alps over Scotland for their school term time family breaks.


I would blame ones of Tony distant relatives for this, Tony MacCrock.
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Re: Skiing In Scotland

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:16 pm

The Scottish skiers are being sensible, as Patrick alludes. You can tell from those fluctuating skier visit numbers of nearly all daytrippers that conditions are wildly erratic. So it makes sense, as for SoCal and eastern skiers, to hit the locals when they're good but plan the advance weeks elsewhere.
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Re: Skiing In Scotland

Postby HighRustler » Mon Dec 20, 2010 7:20 pm

Thought I would share a video my friend jamie put together of skiing in Scotland 2009-10.

http://www.highland-instinct.co.uk/blog/

This season has started very well so last season's outstanding conditions may well be repeated.
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Re: Skiing In Scotland

Postby HighRustler » Sun Dec 26, 2010 7:05 pm

Following on from my recent post which contained the link to Jamie's Scottish ski video 'Wake' I have now finally completed my own little slideshow capturing the excellent Scottish Ski season 2009-10. I've had it on my 'to do' list since June so it's completion is not before time! :-D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zv2qrFpC_Ac&hd=1 Best watched in HD 1080p or 720p..

The music is also of a Scottish flavour if anyone was wondering...

Merry Xmas!
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Re: Skiing In Scotland

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:51 am

High Rustler wrote:This season has started very well

The British Isles are not exactly lacking in consistent precipitation. So I assume the issue with Scottish skiing is whether that precipitation is liquid or solid. I have read that this December is the UK's coldest in 100 years, which should be good news for Scotland's ski areas.
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Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: Skiing In Scotland

Postby HighRustler » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:31 am

Both last winter and this winter have been ususual to date in that our predominant weather systems have been from the North and East, bringing in Acrtic air and very cold (down to minus 20c on several occasions) settled conditions for prolonged periods. Our normal weather systems are usually brought in from warmer SW air flows. Scotland has been receiving weather that may become the norm if the Gulf stream was switched off or reduced in strength.
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Re: Skiing In Scotland

Postby q » Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:54 am

Several distinct differences last season and this season so far in Scotland some mentioned already.

The lack of serious wind at low levels makes a massive difference. Firstly if it is calm in Aberdeen it will be at worst only a gale in the mountains rather than the usual hurricane force. This leaves the snow on the mountain and not on the roads.

Visitor numbers are 100% centered around the resorts being open every weekend and during holiday periods. Nobody skis midweek here typically so you need good conditions weekends and holidays and in 2010 that has happened continually.

I just don't bother skiing in Scotland, kinda sad really. A mixture of laziness, cost of fuel to get anywhere and my skis being in the USA. Anyway, I think people reading in the USA should remember the crazy cost of fuel here, the rediculous ticket prices in the UK for what can be marginal conditions versus heading elsewhere for what generally will be better conditions guaranteed. I could almost fly to Europe and ski a day cheaper than drive to somewhere in Scotland right now with fuel at ~£1.20($1.92) a litre. Absolute joke. With all my holiday entitlement nearly used in my 4 week trip to the USA the thought of a day in Scotland, on a weekend just does not really cut it. Guess skiing elsewhere spoils you.

I just finished reading jojo's report on Baldy and how bad it was. Those queues remind me of the Lecht when I used to go every week except we had ice and queued 20mins to ski down in 2 minutes. It is all relative.

Happy New Year everyone.
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Re: Skiing In Scotland

Postby HighRustler » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:59 am

Hi q,

Sorry if I'm forming the wrong impression here, but from reading your last post it suggests to me you are a "glass half empty" rather a "glass half full" type of person. There are always reasons not to ski but if I had your view on things I would never leave my sofa! :-P Marginal conditions, fuel prices, lift queues, inertia, skis stored in the US...thats a pretty long list there... I think you may have omitted taxes??

Conditions have been far from marginal here last winter and also this winter....if my slideshow or Jamie's video (both posted a few days ago here on this page) do not show good ski conditions over many, many days skied here in Scotland then I don't know what would convince you otherwise. For the record, I don't just ski here in Scotland, I usually have two or three trips each year to Europe and/or North America but it has never spoiled me from skiing here. In fact the majority of my best ever ski days have been in Scotland as there is far less competition for fresh tracks than any of the other places I've skied. If you know where to go and when to go you can experience some fantastic skiing here. I also work Mon-Fri so almost all of my skiing is done at weekends.

If you are a piste skier only then I can understand a reluctance in comparing Scottish skiing to Europe or the US - however your avatar suggests you enjoy heading off the beaten track.

Just curious but is your Scottish ski experience limited to the Lecht or have you visited some of the other areas?

As I have already mentioned in this thread, Scotland is not a destination someone should consider for skiing. However it has far more to offer in good snow years than meets the eye if you are willing to head off the beaten track. One positive aspect to last winter is that I have been encouraged by the amount of people changing their long held views on Scottish skiing that it's a waste of time and to be avoided. Hopefully another good winter this year will see that trend continuing.
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Re: Skiing In Scotland

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:14 pm

q wrote:I just finished reading jojo's report on Baldy and how bad it was.

His opinion was quite different just last Saturday:
viewtopic.php?t=9275
And also last February:
viewtopic.php?t=8731

I fully understand and agree with q using most of his holiday entitlement to ski in the USA. But complaining about the price of fuel to disdain daytrip skiing? That's ridiculous! You're not paying lodging costs AND you have the advantage of making last minute decisions to cherry pick conditions. The pictures posted and referenced in this thread make it crystal clear to me that Scottish skiing can very worthwhile for the locals if you do the homework and research that many Baldy and Eastern skiers do.
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Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: Skiing In Scotland

Postby q » Sat Jan 01, 2011 1:25 pm

Yeah, I read that Tony, it looked good.

I'm having to stop myself from justifying fanancially on a forum why I dont ski in Scotland. My weekly take home pay minus petrol costs, lift ticket and hire costs for skis and boots = not enough to pay bills.

I spend as little time on the piste as possible, I've skied at the Lecht, Glenshee and Aonach Mor over the years.
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