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Tough Season for Scottish Ski Areas

24. April 2019
Scottish ski areas are marking the 18-19 ski season as one of the worst in their histories as adequate snow cover arrived very late, and then thawed away due to sometimes unprecedented warm spells soon after providing adequate cover almost every time.

The season started badly last autumn for Cairngorm Mountain with the announcement that its funicular railway, they key access lift to the upper mountain, needed repairs and would not operate. The company that operated the centre also pulled out at short notice.

Cairngorm, along with Glencoe and The Lecht all unveiled new TechnoAlpin Snowfactory snowmaking machines which could make limited snow in positive temperatures and this allowed the cetres to open small areas for beginner lesson and sledging through December and early January before natural snow cover was adequate, to some extent saving the early season.

However Cairngorm suffered a new blow when their machine stopped working.
When snowcover was finally adequate to open some runs at each ski centre it was rarely enough for any of the five Highland areas to fully open, and also largely failed to be there at the busiest periods in the Christmas/New year, February half term and Easter school holidays.

Glenshee was hardest hit only managing to open some terrain for 24 days in total this season compared to around 100 in a good year and an average of about 80.
Andy Meldrum, chairman of Ski Scotland, told the Press & Journal newspaper that the season has been, “pretty dire.”

Glencoe currently has enough snow to be able to keep some runs open to its traditional closing date on Mayday Bank Holiday Monday but has announced it may close on Easter Monday instead due to lack of skiers buying tickets.

Patrick Thorne, also known as the Snow Hunter, is an industry expert in all technical developments in snow sports. In addition to his work Patrick is also father and knows the importance and fun of kids on snow.
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