Skiing in Scotland in Covid-19 Times
2nd November 2020
Last modified on May 13th, 2021
With the Alps looking increasingly difficult and North America near impossible some skiers and snowboarders are looking at following their passion in the UK this winter. Resorts are preparing but Covid-19 restrictions remain unclear.
Scotland has 5 ski areas– Cairngorm, The Lecht, the Nevis Range, Glenshee and Glencoe.
Skiing can start in late November and continue into May, however the weather is unpredictable.
On a good day it can compare to the Alps, but they are generally few and far between.
Unpredictable weather is expected in Scotland, but this winter we will also have unpredictable Covid-19 rules and regulations to contend with too.
Travel within Scotland is already under restrictions and people from England might be prevented from coming to Scotland at all .
A new 5-level system has come into force in Scotland this week.
Those are regulations that will need to be looked at once winter starts and the ski resorts open.
Last winter as the British ski tests were cancelled in Pila in Italy another test was hastily arranged in Scotland.
PlanetSKI was in attendance and found some great conditions:
If skiing and snowboarding is limited in the Alps, the Pyrenees and Scandinavia we expect many will follow suit this coming season if Covid-19 conditions allow.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has issued new advice that people should not travel to or from England, except for essential purposes.
The nation’s five-level system of restrictions came into force on Monday.
One resort, The Lecht, is making preparations for next season.
“The Covid pandemic means that travelling abroad this winter may be difficult, or impossible without lengthy quarantine, and we therefore want to offer families a safe, fun winter experience in Scotland,” said the Managing Director of The Lecht, Pieter du Pon.
It will have covid-19 measures in place.
• The Lecht Ski Centre is working with all other Scottish Ski Centres and Snowsport Scotland and will operate within any restrictions required by Scottish Government guidelines to ensure a safe environment for both customers and staff.
• Skiing is a healthy, outdoor, non-contact sport. When using lifts, and in any queues, customers will be asked to wear face coverings where it is not possible to maintain physical distancing.
• It is expected that the café will offer only takeaway food and drink.
• As before, Ski Hire will operate the ‘deli number system’, so that customers do not need to stand in a queue. Customers will be requested to reserve and book hire equipment online.
Perhaps the biggest problem for Scotland is snow.
There is either too much of it with accompanying winds for resorts to open, or there is not enough of it.
The Lecht is installing 4 snow cannons and obtaining a new snow groomer.
The £400,000 project is planned to be completed before Christmas 2020.
A key feature of the new snow cannons is that they can make snow at just below -1℃ compared to the Lecht’s existing 20-year-old cannons which need the temperature to be -4℃.
This week The Lecht is launching a crowd funding campaign to raise the final £80,000 required.
Here at PlanetSKI we last skied in The Lecht over a decade ago.
We are already thinking we may be skiing in The Lecht and the other Scottish ski areas this coming winter as coronavirus spreads in the Alps and the Pyrenees with the accompanying restrictions.
Lets hope access to the Scottish resorts and ski fields remains an option.
We will be watching closely…