World Snow Day 2015 was the first time when all of Scotland’s mountain ski areas were able to open and celebrate
Following a brilliant blue sky day on Saturday, however, fickle Mother Nature interfered with plans providing the best overhead weather in the west, where it was cold and blustery but also sunny.
Both Glencoe Mountain and Nevis Range reported a great day on Sunday, with lots of skiers, boarders and people coming just to enjoy the snow events, including snowman-building competitions and sledging – more than 1800 between the two resorts.
Glencoe could have had even more taking part, had their car park not been partly buried under snowdrifts, despite staff’s best efforts to clear as much as possible. Nevis Range also reported the “wrong sort” of snow for snowman building – much too dry and powdery to stick together, but absolutely ideal for skiing and boarding!
Farther east, more than 1300 skiers and snowboarders took up the World Snow Day discount at CairnGorm Mountain, despite poor visibility on the higher mountain.
The story was very different at Glenshee and The Lecht, however, where high winds and snow showers throughout the day made it hard for roads to open, and stay that way.
Skiers and boarders enjoyed a cold, blustery and short half day at Glenshee, while the Lecht was able to offer almost a full day before Police asked for both centres to evacuate and roads were closed as a precaution.
Perversely, on Monday of this week, both centres reported sunshine and blue skies again!
Chair of Ski-Scotland, Heather Negus, said: “We were delighted that all centres, including indoor real snow centre, Snow Factor, in Glasgow, were able to open for World Snow Day.
‘‘The mid-late January timing is not ideal for Scotland, so it is hardly surprising that not everything went quite as planned.
‘‘Look out for our Ski-Scotland SnowFest event in late March, when we hope to be able to offer more fun in more settled conditions.”
Ski-Scotland is the marketing partnership which has promoted snowsports in Scotland, in collaboration, for around 30 years. It comprises the five mountain ski areas (CairnGorm Mountain, Glencoe Mountain, Glenshee, The Lecht and Nevis Range), the sport’s governing body Snowsport Scotland, indoor real-snow centre Snow Factor in Glasgow and VisitScotland, the country’s tourism agency.
Scotland’s five mountain ski areas are CairnGorm Mountain, near Aviemore; Glencoe Mountain Resort between Tyndrum and Ballachulish; Glenshee Ski Centre between Blairgowrie and Braemar; Nevis Range near Fort William; The Lecht Ski Centre, between Strathdon and Tomintoul
Snowsports form a significant part of Scotland’s winter tourism economy; for each £1 spent at a ski area, a further £4 is spent “off the hill” in local businesses, such as accommodation, places to eat and drink, shops, filling stations etc.
Using current data, the excellent 2012-13 season was worth more than £29.27M to the Scottish economy. Of this, only £5.85M was spent at the ski areas themselves.
World Snow Day is part of the wider Snowkidz project, launched by the Fédération Internationale du Ski in 2009, recognising that children are the key to the future of snowsports.
More information: www.world-snow-day.com