One of the five main skiing locations in Scotland is the Nevis Range, a ski resort that is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. It’s located seven miles north of Fort William, in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, and on the mountain of Aonach Mor. It’s only two peaks away from the famous Ben Nevis and is the eighth highest peak in Britain.
If you’re accustomed to skiing at continental European resorts where you are guaranteed good conditions, you can be forgiven for perhaps overlooking the idea of skiing in Scotland. But whilst the weather and snow may be a bit more unpredictable, Scottish skiing should be experienced at least once – and you may even find you like it.
This winter, the skiing season at the Nevis Range opened on 12th December 2009, with the season running until May 2010. The Nevis Range has 12 lifts in total and stakes its claim as having the only mountain gondola in Britain; whisking skiers from the car park up to 2150 feet in only 12 minutes.
They have 24 ski runs, with a mix of slopes for all abilities. The green (7) and blue (12) slopes are ideal for beginners and intermediates, or those who haven’t skied for a while. These slopes will give you the chance to practice or polish your skiing skills. There are also 11 red and 5 black runs, offering challenges for the more experienced skiers.
The Nevis Range offers ski and snowboard equipment hire, plus appropriate clothing hire if you need it. And, there are some good facilities on the mountain for unwinding before or after skiing, including shops to browse and bars and restaurants in which to refuel.
The Snowgoose Restaurant and Bar is located at 650m, at the top of the gondola station, while at the base of the station, you’ll find the Pinemarten Coffee Shop. It’s a great place to warm up, as the wood burning stove will be fired-up and a variety of hot foods and drinks will be served. When the slopes are busy in the winter, the Goose T Hut also opens up to serve additional customers.
With any planned skiing in Scotland, it’s important to check out the weather conditions before you set off, especially if you’re travelling a great distance. There’s no point in going all the way to the resort only to find out that conditions aren’t great and skiing is canceled for the day. Sadly, it’s not possible for resorts like the Nevis Range to predict that they’ll definitely have enough snow on any one day, but they’re dedicated to providing rigorous daily reports, which you’ll find on the Nevis Range website, or on the Ski Scotland website.
The Nevis Range is open seven days a week, from 08.30 on weekends and 09.00 on weekdays, until 16.30. There’s a bus available from Fort William and Spean Bridge, or it’s easily reachable by car via the A82.
Ski Scotland has daily ski reports throughout the season giving you all the essential information