Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Changing climate ‘a threat to ski resorts’

ICE FACTOR 3/2/16 Jamie Smith outside the soon-to-re-open, Ice Factor. PICTURE IAIN FERGUSON, THE WRITE IMAGE
ICE FACTOR 3/2/16 Jamie Smith outside the soon-to-re-open, Ice Factor. PICTURE IAIN FERGUSON, THE WRITE IMAGE

The owner of the Ice Factor visitor attraction in Kinlochleven has warned that climate change may have hampered the start of the outdoor ski season in Scotland.

Lochcarron-born Jamie Smith, the businessman behind the Ice Factor Group (IFG), which also runs the Snow Factor indoor snow sports and ice climbing centre at Braehead, Glasgow, was speaking as the start of the 2018-19 ski season.

His real snow slopes have been operating normally, while many traditional ski centres have been forced to use fake snow to help keep them viable this winter.

Mr Smith said: “We are only at the very start of the traditional snow season and, hopefully, Scottish skiers and snowboarders will again enjoy a bumper season in the mountains.

“Scotland isn’t immune to the impact of climate change that seems to be bringing warmer, wetter and windier weather to our shores.

“It is this general reduction in natural snow cover – both at home and abroad – that over the past 20 years or so has seen the increased development of popular indoor snow centres like Snow Factor.”

The “genuine mountain resort experience” is hard to beat during winter but indoor centres are ideal for beginners and improvers, he said.

He added: “Like everyone in Scotland’s ski industry, I am hoping we will soon see significant snowfall return to our mountains.

“However, I also welcome the decision by the likes of the Lecht and Glencoe Mountain to invest in snow-making technology.

“It’s a step that can only help to ensure Scotland’s many skiers and snowboarders – and the many Highlands-based service businesses that also benefit from our winter tourism – can look forward with certainty to snow cover in our mountains each winter.

“Admittedly, there is perhaps an irony that the technology developed for the ‘great indoors’ may yet prove to be an instrumental part of ensuring the future success of Scotland’s outdoor ski industry.”

Indoor snow sports are a fast-growing business around the UK.

In addition to Snow Factor, indoor centres with real snow include: Chill Factore in Manchester, SnoZone in Castleford, SnoZone in Milton Keynes, the Snow Dome in Tamworth and the Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead.

Earlier this month, plans were unveiled for a new £270 million indoor ski and winter sports centre in Swindon, Wiltshire, while IFG will operate a further planned indoor “snowdome” which is being created as part of a massive urban regeneration programme in Middlesbrough.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]