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.

Snow no-show spells disaster for north and north-east ski centres

‘Working day and night’: HIE head of business development Susan Smith said it was working hard to ensure snow sports at CairnGorm
‘Working day and night’: HIE head of business development Susan Smith said it was working hard to ensure snow sports at CairnGorm

Scotland’s ski resorts have suffered one of their “worst seasons” – with mild winter weather and the continuing troubles at CairnGorm Mountain combining to have a major impact on their fate.

An April cold snap has resulted in some snow cover in recent days, providing much-needed late cheer as the season comes to a close.

But despite snow machines now operating at three of the five centres, the resorts are still reporting a poor winter.

Bosses at Glenshee, in Aberdeenshire, admitted: “It is one of our worst seasons. It has been difficult.”

CairnGorm Mountain was hit with an early season shock with the closure in November of it funicular railway over safety fears.


>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The P&J newsletter


Last month operators Highlands and Islands Enterprise also revealed they were also experiencing technical issues with a new £1million snow factory.

The ski resorts have reported an overall decline in the number of runs opening.

While the latest snowfall saw the Lecht in Aberdeenshire, Glencoe Mountain and Nevis Range open some runs yesterday, Glenshee was closed due to a lack of snow.

Finanace manager Sarah McGuire said: “It could be the season over for us.

“In terms of runs open it is one of our worst seasons. We have only managed 24 days opening this season compared to around 100 in a good year and an average of about 80.”

A spokeswoman at Glencoe Mountain said: “It has been a difficult season. We are well down on a normal season. We are hoping these [current] conditions continue now to May Bank Holiday, when we traditionally close.”

The resort yesterday had, until recently, only managed three days of full opening – and only 20 partial openings – compared to around 100.

Nevis Range said it had “lots of fresh snow” which had improved conditions, but more was needed.

Andy Meldrum, chairman of Ski Scotland, described the season as “pretty dire.”

He said the artificial snow had worked to some extent, adding: “It has meant that beginner’s lessons and sledging has taken place but to have fuller skiing more snow cannons are needed.

“In Glencoe’s case we would need 16-20 cannons instead of the two we have. They cost £30,000 each, plus £1m in necessary infrastructure. This is Scottish skiing – it is very weather dependent.”

Aberdeenshire Council’s deputy leader and infrastructure chairman Peter Argyle, whose ward includes the Lecht and Glenshee ski centres, said: “It’s been one of the worst seasons we have had for a while.

“It seems every time the snow has come it has disappeared as soon as it has arrived. It’s been very frustrating, particularly for businesses that have spent so much money on snow-making equipment.”

Scottish snow sports boosted the economy by almost £31 million last season, according to estimates.

It is estimated that for every £1 spent on the Scottish slopes, a further £4 is spent in the surrounding areas.

VisitScotland figures estimate that snow sports support over 600 jobs.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]