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Wednesday November 8, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Three of Scotland's snowsports areas are guaranteeing snow this winter. They're using snow factories on some slopes.



CairnGorm Mountain and Glencoe will have the snow factories on site by early December, and it's been announced that The Lecht will carry out a trial later in the season.

It follows several poor winters for snow in Scotland and a dreadful 2016-17 season.

Glencoe has arranged a leasing deal for a factory, which it hopes to make permanent if a crowd-funding initiative proves successful.

Where it's positioned will depend on natural snowfall - if there is early snow cover, then the factory will be used at the base station rather than up the mountain on the Plateau.

Snow FactorySnow Factory














We reported on the plans for Glencoe and CairnGorm in our earlier articles.

The Lecht will install its snow factory on a trial basis during February and March.

It will guarantee snow on the nursery and Osprey slopes during the school mid-term holiday and in the run-up to Easter.

The trial will be operated by The Lecht Ski Company with funding provided by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and will also allow for a groomed cross-country trail.

The Lecht wind turbineThe Lecht wind turbine
















The snowmaking will be powered by the Lecht's own wind turbine, producing environmentally-friendly ‘green' snow.

Ski-Scotland, the body that promotes snowsports in Scotland, says all three snow factories - made by TechnoAlpin - will produce snow using only clean water, with no chemicals added.

They are able to make large amounts of snow in temperatures up to 25C.

The snowThe snow















Unlike conventional snow cannons they can also operate in wet and windy conditions.

While the artificial snow will provide cover only in limited areas, the installation of the factories is a boost after several poor winters for skiing and snowboarding.

"The snowsports areas are all set to welcome the new season's snow, both natural and factory-produced, as well as our skiing and snowboarding customers," Ski-Scotland Chair Heather Negus said.

"We would encourage them to make sure they are ready for some serious snow sliding fun by having their equipment serviced early, working on their muscle toning and buying their season tickets."

Scotland has had some snowfall this week and they're hoping there's lots more of the natural stuff to come.

CairnGormCairnGorm, 6th November












GlensheeGlenshee, 7th November
















What else is new in Scotland this winter?

Nevis Range

A new type of fencing has been installed on most of the lower mountain.

Stronger and taller than the fences it replaces, this is expected to catch 50% more snow.

More user-friendly ‘Get On and Get Off' areas for the Great Glen Chair have been provided.

Other work has included improvements to drainage.


Preparations for the new season include a new roof for the Plateau Café and additional toilets.

Cross country equipment will also be available for hire this winter and cross country trails will be cut on the Plateau.

The Lecht

The Lecht has now completed its lift upgrade project, which includes the Snowy Owl Chair,

Eagle, Osprey and Wren tows and the new Robin Sunkid tow, and there are also some new obstacles for their kiddies' Penguin Park.


CairnGorm Mountain has also laid over a mile of control cable for the West Wall Poma, overhauled and reinstalled the Ridge Poma gearbox and installed a new haul rope for the M1 Poma.

There has also been some reseeding and regeneration work.


Glenshee has been given planning permission for its four-person chairlift to replace the elderly Cairnwell T-bar tow.

The new chair will transport three times as many skiers as the surface tow and will be much more user-friendly for snowboarders.

Work is expected to start as soon as funds are in place, most likely during spring 2018.














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