Time to hit the slopes!
Forecasts indicate that Scotland is set for a fresh dump of snow so it’s time to get those skis out of the loft and look forward to the skiing season.
Scotland has five ski resorts, offering the best outdoor skiing and snowboarding in the UK – with the best views, naturally.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned skier here’s a mini guide to skiing in Scotland. Any tips to share yourself? Add them in the comments, or share with us on social media – links below.
Glenshee, between the Spittal of Glenshee and Braemar
The biggest of Scotland’s ski resorts with 22 lifts over four mountains, and a café that’s open all year round – currently, five days a week from Thursday to Mon (closed every Tues and Weds) from 8.30am – 4.45pm. There are two more cafés further up the slopes too, the Cairnwell and the Meall o Dhar. There are also seven Munros within unbelievably easy reach of the ski centre, but general consensus is that taking a chairlift voids a summit compleation! Don’t miss the 1.5 mile (2.4km) piste down Glas Maol.
Cairngorm Mountain, near Aviemore
Home to the UK’s highest funicular railway which runs up to the highest restaurant in the UK, the Ptarmigan, and the start of the slopes. Unfortunately Enjoy panoramic views with your coffee from more than 1067m (3,500 ft) up before shredding the slopes back down. The centre has a dedicated app, too, so regular visitors can keep up-to-date with weather developments and webcam views, or reserve equipment in advance.
Nevis Range, just north west of Fort William
Here you’ll find transport to rival the Cairngorm’s funicular in the form of the only Mountain Gondola of its kind in the UK. Arrive 650m (2133ft) up the north face of Aonach Mor in just 12-15 minutes, after incredible views across the Highlands – and even out to the Inner Hebrides. Once off the gondola, the extensive network of runs unfold from beginner slopes to the off-piste Back Corries.
Glencoe Mountain, Glencoe
Scotland’s first ski centre opened in 1956. You’ll see why it was an early favourite, with varied terrain to suit all abilities. Beginners can get to grips with the slopes on the wide Mugs Alley, and experts can’t miss the Flypaper, the steepest pisted run in Europe. Although there’s no snowpark, there are plenty of natural freestyle challenges for snowboarders, including the amusingly named Haggis Trap.
The Lecht, between Ballater and Tomintoul
A great area for beginners with a Rotondo Carousel allowing children to get to grips with snow sports safely. The popular Penguin Park is full of fun obstacles for them too, but this place is the slopes get harder the further north you go, ending in the Harrier Lift to the snowboard park and black run. The resort also has the best snow-making facilities in the country!
Before you head out, do check the avalanche risks through the Scottish Avalanche Information Service website. For more information on skiing and snowboarding in Scotland, go to www.ski-scotland.com. All visitors to the resorts should check the Ski Scotland website for the latest snow conditions at each of the resorts before they leave home.