THE world’s largest indoor ice climbing centre – based in the Highlands of Scotland – is set to reopen after being damaged in a blaze last year.
The £3.4million facility, sited at Kinlochleven, near Fort William, has been closed since 29 July due to extensive smoke damage caused by a fire in the sauna area of the 120 year-old building.
The centre offers enthusiasts of all abilities to tackle some gruelling climbs indoors, avoiding the dangers of Scotland’s mountains, which have claimed a number of lives so far this year.
Annually attracting in excess of 100,000 visitors, climbers and adventure seekers come from throughout the UK and abroad to scale the 14 metre high ice-walls that are designed to replicate winter climbing conditions on the likes of Ben Nevis.
Sandwiched between the classic mountaineering terrain of Glencoe and the Mamores/Ben Nevis, Ice Factor also offers rock climbing for climbers of all standards on its gargantuan indoor walls and the chance to tackle an outdoor aerial adventure course complete with 50-metre swing.
The centre, which is also designated the National Ice Climbing Centre, is also less than 200 metres from part of the West Highland Way long distance walking trail.
Owner Jamie Smith said: “It has taken almost eight months but after a huge effort by all of the team I’m proud to announce that an even bigger and better Ice Factor Kinlochleven will reopen on 18 March.
“I’d like to thank our many customers for their patience and we now look forward to welcoming them back before Easter for loads of vertical fun.”