01 December 2021.

Glencoe, Skiing & Snowboa...

Scotland’s oldest ski resort Glencoe is small but near perfect, conditions permitting. It has the countries greatest vertical range providing riders a top to bottom jaunt of 2600 feet. It is also home to Scotland’s steepest black run, the aptly named Fly Paper. Fail to stick, prepare to fall.

The terrain at Glencoe is just superb. From the wide gently sloping beginner’s slopes to technical testing gullies and numerous intriguing features, even the most difficult to please should find a run that makes them smile.

The resorts situation in the White Corries Mountains affords it some marvellous views. It overlooks the expansive Rannoch Moor in the east, the Mamores and Ben Nevis in the north and northwest respectively while standing proud in the west; the imposing form of the Buchaille Etive Mor looms over the entrance to Glen Coe itself.

Glencoe ski area like Glenshee and The Lecht is not a resort as such but a location that has been developed for snowsports. The ski area base station and car park is located back from the main road between Bridge of Orchy and Glencoe village about 90 minutes drive from the city of Glasgow. Accommodation can be found in the various villages and hamlets between Crianlarich and Fort William.

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ski rating

For first timers there is a short rope tow situated behind the plateau restaurant. This is ideal for learning the basics. Before long beginners should be ready to graduate to the plateau Poma runs that are ideal for confidence building. All in all Glencoe has six green trails covering a variety of terrain so beginners should get a really good sample of what they can expect throughout their sliding lives.


ski rating

Intermediates are faced with plenty of challenges at Glencoe. Almost none of the runs are what you’d term uniform pistes with maybe the exception being Happy Valley. Concave slopes run into convex, the direction of the fall line can change from second to second, drops, pops, dips and steeps are often found occurring naturally within the one run. Glencoe simply has some of the most interesting ski terrain in the world. It’s an excellent destination for intermediates that want to develop their all round skills.


ski rating

Advanced riders will find plenty of challenges in this wee gem of a resort. The Fly Paper is the steepest black run in the UK. In fact it’s so steep that it takes a lot of snow to make it rideable. Most snow simply sloughs off because of its extreme gradient. Interesting marked and unmarked runs track down through rock fields high above the plateau. These are often devoid of other riders so you get the impression that you have the whole mountain to yourself. Another peach is Canyon just below the race hut, a petit couloir that drops vertiginously depending on the amount of snow in it before bellying out into a gentler gully below.

Freestyle, Skier and BoarderCross

ski rating

Freestylers will love Glencoe with its numerous natural jumps and diverse terrain. A small community of freestylers incorporating snowboarders and skiers alike has sprung into existence over the past few seasons. Working together with the resort they help develop the areas natural potential further to create some neat big air ideas. Don’t forget to bring your crash helmet and make sure you don’t get caught in the haggis trap.