Quad chairlifts, Dry slopes, New Clubhouses and All-Weather Snowmaking For Scottish Slopes

Quad chairlifts, Dry slopes, New Clubhouses and All-Weather Snowmaking For Scottish Slopes
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09-Oct
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Scottish ski areas appear to be coming out fighting after one of the worst ski seasons there for decades last winter, as the snow more-or-less failed to arrive all season.

Two ski areas —Cairngorm and Glencoe – have shown an interest in acquiring Snow Factory all-weather snowmaking systems. Glencoe seems to be the more active in terms of actually getting hold of one, launching a crowd-funding campaign with a £200,000 target towards the cost. So far it has reached £40,000. Glencoe say being able to make snow in plus temperatures would be a game changer for Scottish skiing.

Cairngorm has also been progressing plans to build a dry slope, although at the same time has unfortunately had something of a PR disaster by removing the lift towers from a disused chairlift in the Ciste area without public consultation. A grassroots body of Cairngorm skiers had spent years working to get that lift reinstated, claiming it accesses a crucial section of the mountain for Cairngorm's overall viability, so the centre's move hasn't gone down well.

Meanwhile Glenhee ski area has just been given planning permission to build what would be only Scotland's second quad chairlift, some 25 years after the first at Nevis Range.

Planning permission was granted by the Cairngorms National Park Authority with the new lift set to replace one of the centre's T Bars. It will have an uplift capacity of 1,800 people per hour and is expected to open for the 2019 – 20 season.

Finally, southern Scotland's only ski centre, the volunteer run Lowther Hills centre, which has gone from strength to strength in recent seasons, has just raised nearly £100,000 to build a permanent club house. This centre will also have a garage for a new trail groomer which the centre is now crowd funding to try to raise the £10,000 more required to buy it.

All this development comes just as the 'last permanent snow patch in Scotland/Britain' has thawed away for the first time in a decade. The good news though is that there was fresh snow on Ben Nevis at the weekend.


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December 17, 2017

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