Successive warm winters and a poor snow record have seemed to sound the death knell of skiing and snowboarding in Scotland but the reality is that the sports are very much alive and kicking.
There's snow place like home
The principal snow resorts - Cairngorm Mountain, Nevis Range, The Lecht, Glenshee and Glencoe - are situated in some of the most magnificent scenery in Scotland. All centres offer ski and snowboard lessons as well as equipment hire.
Scotland has a thriving club network with more than 32 different ski and snowboard clubs covering the country and all different aspects of the sports.
The national governing body for Snowsports is 'Snowsport Scotland'. Started in 1963 by a group of ski clubs, the organisation exists to encourage participation in snowsports, whether it be Nordic, alpine skiing, snowboarding, ski mountaineering or telemark skiing. It also runs the Scottish national ski team.
Snowsport Scotland also administers the national coaching scheme providing awards for ski leaders, coaches for ski racing and instructors for artificial slopes. The coaching scheme has over 2000 members and Snowsport Scotland qualifications are highly respected world wide.
Snowsport Scotland is at the forefront of encouraging new developments in snowsports, such as freestyle. Freestyle competitions do not require huge areas of snow, so they can still go ahead even when conditions are poor, as they occasionally can be in this country.
For all ages and abilities
The organisation also employs a number of development officers whose job is to encourage snowsports at grassroots level. Programmes take place annually throughout the country giving schoolchildren the opportunity to try skiing and snowboarding.
Scotland also has a network of 28 dry slopes and the Sno! Zone at Xscape in Braehead, Glasgow, which allows year round participation in the sports. The Nordic centre at Huntly in Aberdeenshire and a thriving Nordic and biathlon scene at Glenmore in the Cairngorms are catering for a renaissance of this fantastically aerobic sport. There really is no excuse for not practicing and competing in snowsports all the year round!
Page first published on Wednesday 7th November 2007
Page last updated on Wednesday 11th June 2008