Skiing/snowboarding in scotland.

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  • Skiing/snowboarding in scotland.
  • highlandman

    Ok, stand by for the pro-Scotland balance, from someone who has skied maybe 500 days in Scotland and 250+ across a wide range of overseas destinations: I love skiing in the Alps but have been nearly priced out of it over recent years.

    There are some surprising comments on here with reference to the difference in costs between Scotland and the Alps. Despite the messages of those who would wish it otherwise, Scotland at around £1k for two folk for a week will offer a lot more for your money than the same cash spent in the Alps. if you think spending £25 a head on a simple lunch and one drink is fine, then head for the Alps. Lift passes in main resorts are around £250-300 for your six days and with even the most bargain basement last minute packages coming in at £500 a head, you’re not going to drive, park, fly, ski and actually eat or drink anything for less than £1700 a couple.
    Even in smaller Austrian resorts, everything costs more than you’d expect and the snow in Eastern Europe is, if anything, even less reliable than Scotland. The piste preparation is dodgy and the lifts can be even less reliable too.

    Scotland is not perfect, far from it. It will however be different, in many ways. Yes, the snow can be variable and frustrating; it can also be the best in the world and the piste preparation at Glenshee for example (with two new state of the art PB600s added to the fleet in the last two years) is some of the best you will encounter anywhere. As mentioned above, recent seasons have been very good indeed, with regular dumps of powder and some simply fantastic blue sky days. Midweek and away from half-term holidays, there is virtually no queuing whatsoever and with rapid laps available, the shorter pistes are much less of an issue. Travelling between resorts is easy if you’ve driven up, so choosing where to ski today can be done to make the best of what is available and the changeable weather. You can take other kit with you in the car, walking or biking kit and will be driving straight to your accomodation, not sitting in a bus doing a tour of six other resort hotels before you get dropped off. Unless you live in Cornwall, the car journeys out and back to Scotland will be much quicker too as door to door from home to Alpine property will realistically take you around 12 hours.
    Just remember that wind, slush, cloud and snowy days happen in the Alps too. More often than many folk would admit!
    Be realistic about your choices and I hope you enjoy your trip whatever you do.


    Dmorts- +1 for Nevis Range backcountry, where there is a range of terrain up to the highest possible challenge, plus a patrol with a great attitude. Glencoe as stated above has some really great fun terrain too although it is a wee bit more limited in terms of extent. Glenshee has some fantastic backcountry bowls and nearby steeps to explore and as they’re spread across all aspects, there’s nearly always someething worth doing, no matter what direction the laast storm came in from. Many longer routes end near the road well below the resort and can be hitch hiked back from.
    Cairngorm is more of a ski-tourers place, as the best steeps are a little bit further away in Sneachda, around the Loch Avon basin and on Cairn Lochain. Can still be accessed by hiking though so if you’re a boarder, consider getting snow shoes. And a full set of safety gear, as the terrain takes no prisoners.


    spin, are those your pics of creag meagaidh?
    easy gully is on my to-do list for sure….a beautiful spot.


    Even in smaller Austrian resorts, everything costs more than you’d expect

    Not IME. A beer at the top of the mountain in St Johann was less than in half the pubs round here.

    Also, lift passes were nowhere near £300 even in St Anton which is one of the more expensive resorts. In fact a 6 day pass for 2014 is 235 euros.


    I had a fairly inexpensive week in Kaprun/Zell am See earlier this year. Ryanair flights were about £50 each way, return transfer on the train was about 30 euro and b&b (with just me in the room) was 30 euro per night.

    Lift passes aren’t cheap but you get a LOT of lifts on a area pass.

    Food and drink in Austria aren’t expensive either.
    I like France too, but would say that Austria would be better value of the two.

    That said, I’ve never been to Scotland. For all the reasons stated above.


    are those your pics of Creag Meagaidh?

    Yup. The top one is Easy Gully but the second is Tower Gully on the Ben.

    Easy Gully is good but the top slope can carry a lot of windslab and the run out from there is grim. Proper grim.

    id agree with the pro scottish chaps above…i actually did a full season of teaching this year at glenshee…only days i didnt work was when the resort shut cos of too much snow…had a nice 4 day trip to chamonix and i swear the conditions were better when i got back to the shee..its the largest resort in scotland,nice pubs for food about and you can get cheap digs locally..
    but when its bad it can be awful…but the rest of scotland is pretty cool! i was amazed how many folk came up from england during the half term…theyd mostly worked out it was cheaper than a foreign trip..

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