Scottish Skiing, Scotland
Scottish Ski Holidays
Scotland has five main ski areas for you to choose from. In the West there is Glencoe and Nevis Range. To the North are the Cairngorm mountains near Aviemore and in central Scotland you will find Glenshee and the Lecht. Each ski centre has its own unique character and favourite ski runs for you to have fun on. Many of us who live North of the border learnt to ski in Scotland and as the old saying goes "if you can ski in Scotland, you can ski anywhere!" Conditions can be extremely variable between ski centres so it is advisable to call the ski reports before you head off in the morning. It has to be said though that many of us have had their all time favourite day skiing in Scotland and a good day on the mountain just can't be beaten!
Glencoe is one of our favourite ski areas in the world! When I lived in Glasgow, we would jump in the car first thing in the morning and be at the ticket desk waiting for the first lift to start running and for the sun to come up. Definitely some of our happiest skiing memories!
Located on the A82 in the West of Scotland it has to be skiied at least once in a life time. The views are just specatular as you feel as if you are at the top of the world when you stand at the top. The mountain is the grand-daddy of the Scottish skiing resorts, being the country's first commercial area to open with a ski lift in 1956. But this position at the head of the family of five ski centres does not mean that Glencoe Mountain is in any way old fashioned. Indeed, Glencoe, which has always been a popular outing for more experienced snowsports fans, has become increasingly popular in the 21st century among more daredevil snowboarders and skiers.
There is one run in particular called the Fly Paper that offers the biggest appeal to more experienced skiers and boarders. The Fly Paper is the steepest and most thrilling black-graded run in Britain. But there is in fact something for everyone at Glencoe Mountain, also known as the White Corries. Happy Valley and the top runs of the area are good fun and a favourite is also the Spring Run which is just fantastic as it is a bowl that cannot be pisted and just fills up with snow!
Today there are seven lifts and nineteen runs, including four green runs and six blue-graded runs. Glencoe Mountain also caters for more than just the winter sports market, including walking and climbing year-round and mountain biking and paragliding in the summer months.
Nevis Range is located next to Ben Nevis just after the town of Fort William. With skiing up to 1190 metres (3,900 feet) Nevis Range reaches high on to the mountain of Aonach Mor - Scotland's eighth highest - and offers skiing and boarding late into spring. The base of the snowsports area is accessed by the gondola, which is an attraction in its own right, lifting visitors from the car park just above sea level to 650 metres (2,150 feet). Skiers, boarders, mountain bikers, mountaineers and visitors all take advantage of the speedy ride that also boasts stunning views.
Situated around the top of the gondola, close to the Snowgoose restaurant, you'll find the perfect arena for beginners, including a range of green and blue-graded runs. Thanks to an articificial slope there are even skiing opportunities here when snow is lean. Further up the mountain is an extensive network of red and black runs, as well as the acclaimed Boardwise terrain park.
Here you'll also find the imposing off-piste expanse of the Back Corries with steep runs to challenge even the most experienced of skiers. And when you fancy a change, Nevis Range has a wide range of alternative winter activities to offer, from sledging to snowshoeing to the wackier snow biking.
There are plenty of hotels and B&B's throughout Fort William to choose from so please just call or email for details.
Contact details: Phone 01397 705825 Web: www.nevisrange.co.uk
CairnGorm Mountain has a reputation as one of the most beautiful - and sometimes challenging - places to ski in the UK, as well as boasting Scotland's only funicular railway. It's also Scotland's most popular resort and is located just a short distance from the main A9 arterial route which runs between Perth and Inverness. The neighbouring town of Aviemore provides plenty of apres ski and accommodation.
Whether you're a skier or not, the ride on the train to the Ptarmigan Top Station is a unique experience with an opportunity to take in fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding area. However, during the winter season there is an alternative way to descend the 400 vertical metres from the top station to the base station - on skis or a snowboard.
In fact there is a wide range of routes on offer, with the longest run running 3.3 kms. In total, 12 lifts including the funicular train service the resort, which includes seven green runs, six blue, eight red and one black piste.
The resort also has the added attractions of a terrain/fun park for freestyle fans and a sledging park for children and big grown-up kids too (see piste maps (link above) for ski run grading information).
There are plenty of hotels to choose from in neighbouring Aviemore so please just call or email for price and availability.
Glenshee, which takes its name from the Gaelic 'Glen of the Fairies', certainly offers one of the most magical skiing experiences in Scotland. The largest ski centre in the UK, it covers an area of more than 2,000 acres extending across four mountains and three valleys and boasting 21 lifts and tows. Glenshee offers a choice of 36 runs comprising 40 kms of pisted snow. The longest single run, Glas Maol, extends to a fantastic 2 kms of skiing, while the extensive snow-making facilities means the centre is often open for longer.
It hasn't always been this way, however. While skiing has been enjoyed at Glenshee since the 1930's, the uplift service was originally provided by two tractors! Only in 1957, and thanks to Dundee Ski Club, did the resort then take ownership of its first proper tow. But things have moved quickly in the intervening 50 years and these days there is a very modern and distinctively Alpine feel to the area. A buzzing cafe serves hot drinks and food, while skis, boots, snowboards, snowblades, helmets and other kit are all available to hire.
The Ski School is www.carinwellmountainsports.co.uk or call 01339 741 010
Accommodation can be found in Gulabin Lodge. www.gulabinlodge.co.uk or call 01250 885 255
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