Scotland’s mountain snowsports suffer due to mild winter

Scotland’s mountain snowsports resorts are having one of their toughest winters in years.

Mild weather including a record temperature for February of 18.3C on Thursday in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, has reduced opportunities for skiing and snowboarding at Glencoe Mountain, Nevis Range, Cairngorm, Glenshee and the Lecht.

However, Scotland’s snowsports industry remains optimistic of colder and snowier weather in spring.

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The resorts have been using snowmaking equipment to guarantee skiing and snowboarding on runs at lower levels.

Trafford Wilson, chief executive of Snowsport Scotland, said: “With snow not arriving in any real form until late January, most snow resorts have been finding it difficult to get going this season.”

He said the mountain resorts had been working “really hard” to try and keep ski runs active in the challenging conditions.

Mr Wilson said: “Snowmaking at Glencoe, the Lecht and Cairngorm have allowed lower mountain runs to operate.

“However, a combination of rain and mild temperatures over the last two to three weeks has put a number of resorts on hold until more snow cover arrives.”

The way previous seasons have progressed offers some hope to the snowsports industry.

Mr Wilson said it had been possible to ski in Scotland until early May last year.

He added: “History would suggest that April is the best skiing month in Scotland, as the spring temperatures cool off and the weather settles.

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“Fingers crossed for cooler temperatures and snow fall in the coming weeks.”

Meanwhile, Glencoe Mountain is to hold the Red Bull Homerun on 13 March. The competition, which is to be held for the first time in the UK, involves entrants making a sprint for their skis or snowboard and then sliding the rest of the way to the finish line.

Andy Meldrum, of Glencoe Mountain, remains hopeful for the rest of the season.

He said: “It has not been the best ski season but it looks like colder weather on the way from the start of March, so there is still time for it to come good. We currently have an area of Snowfactory snow for beginner ski and snowboard lessons and sledging and expect to be able to maintain this in the coming weeks despite the unseasonal temperatures.”

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