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David Goldsmith


Posts: 1283
Joined: Feb 2003
Last Visited: 08:28
6th Nov 2018
Re: An open letter to the new CEO of the Ski Club of GB
Date Posted: 12.26hrs on Sat 2 Feb 13
igloo4you Wrote:After a couple of calls with Fank MCCusker this week he has agreed to look at how they can ensure the information about Scottish resorts is accuarate and timely.


Fank you for that update, Andy

[You may care to insert the r into Frank!]

I'd also like the SCGB to link to Winterhighland, and therefore the network of other information sources and webcams. The internet's all about caring and sharing!


Ad_Hynkel


Posts: 221
Joined: Mar 2010
Last Visited: 11:08
5th Dec 2020
Re: An open letter to the new CEO of the Ski Club of GB
Date Posted: 14.39hrs on Sat 2 Feb 13
Good work Andy. That's what I like about Glencoe these days. Head out the sand and looking round.

Indeed David, sharing is caring.

“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

denfinella


Posts: 104
Joined: Jan 2013
Last Visited: 19:35
30th Dec 2020
Re: An open letter to the new CEO of the Ski Club of GB
Date Posted: 11.33hrs on Fri 8 Feb 13
Has anybody else noticed a significant improvement in Scotland reporting on the SCGB website? Aside from the link to skiscotland already mentioned here, the general European snow summary now includes Scotland much more often, yesterday being:

"The weather has finally died down in Scotland, allowing all five resorts to reopen. Snow conditions are superb once again and there are plenty of runs available."

And the Scotland overview:

"The weather has finally calmed down in Scotland which has allowed all five resorts to reopen again. The stormy weather brought quite a lot of fresh snow in many resorts so skiing and boarding is plentiful.

Most of the lifts were open at Nevis Range (50/100cm) on Thursday 7th February. They have plenty of snow, especially in the back corries and conditions are generally fantastic for the time of year.

There’s great snow at The Lecht (50/75cm) too. The main runs are all complete skiing very well. It’s still quite windy on the upper areas though so be sure to wrap up warm."

In addition, the snow depths seem to have been significantly revised upwards, particularly at Glenshee and Glencoe. I know there's been a lot of snow this week, but the change is so great that I think it points to a change in the way the club measures or sources its snow depths for Scotland. Yesterday:

Cairngorm: Upper 90cm / Lower 45cm
Glencoe: Upper 230cm / Lower 60cm
Glenshee: Upper 200cm / Lower 50cm
The Lecht: Upper 75cm / Lower 50cm
Nevis Range: Upper 100cm / Lower 50cm

I know there are other things which still aren't reported ideally (e.g. lifts open statuses), but it's certainly an improvement. Significantly, I'd go as far as to say that:

- the Scotland reports are currently accurate as far as the current SCGB reporting method allows
- the Scotland reports currently make Scotland sound like a good place to go skiing

Hopefully things will continue to improve from here?

David Goldsmith


Posts: 1283
Joined: Feb 2003
Last Visited: 08:28
6th Nov 2018
Re: An open letter to the new CEO of the Ski Club of GB
Date Posted: 09.50hrs on Tue 26 Mar 13
Since there's been such a massive transformation of the snow situation in Scotland in recent days - from very good to spectacular - I thought it would be interesting to take a fresh look at the SCGB's reportage. This is the current report, which I think was updated at lunchtime Monday 25 March ...



Source: [www.skiclub.co.uk]

So, according to that data - comparing it with the data quoted above by denfinella on 8 February (6+ weeks ago) ...

Cairngorm has increased its upper slope depths from 90cm to 160cm, Glencoe from 230cm to 255cm, Glenshee from 200cm to 220cm. Really? Truthfully?

This site - Winterhighland - currently reports an upper slope depth of 434cm at Glencoe. But that measurement was taken on 21 March - five days ago, and well before the massive storms set in. The photos from Cairngorm yesterday suggest that its upper slope depths are ... what do we reckon?





Edited 4 times. Last edit at 10.08hrs Tue 26 Mar 13 by David Goldsmith.

Attachments: SCGB Scottish snow report 26.3.JPG (69kB)  
David Goldsmith


Posts: 1283
Joined: Feb 2003
Last Visited: 08:28
6th Nov 2018
Re: An open letter to the new CEO of the Ski Club of GB
Date Posted: 11.22hrs on Tue 26 Mar 13
Answering my own question above, with a little help from The Ski and Snowboard School, Cairngorm, and their photo on Facebook ...



... they say (in respect of one part of the mid-upper mountain ...

"The cut through to the M1 from the white lady is usually well above the dual section, and one part of that is 7m from track to ground! All completely filled!"

Source: [www.facebook.com]





Edited 1 times. Last edit at 11.24hrs Tue 26 Mar 13 by David Goldsmith.

Attachments: Cairngorm aerial.jpg (44kB)  
denfinella


Posts: 104
Joined: Jan 2013
Last Visited: 19:35
30th Dec 2020
Re: An open letter to the new CEO of the Ski Club of GB
Date Posted: 12.13hrs on Tue 26 Mar 13
David, the 7 metre figure is given on facebook to make the conditions as attractive as possible to customers. It's likely to be the deepest easily-photographed on-piste snow depth the centre has found since the storms.

If you look in the foreground of your picture, the on-piste snow depth on the far left is nowhere near the top of the fences, so perhaps a depth of 30-40cm? It looks similar at the on-piste section in the top-right of the photo.

The wind-affected snow cover varies hugely between 0cm and probably over 10 metres on Cairngorm. The SCGB shouldn't report the deepest snow depth, nor the least depth. They need to report a reasonable average figure (which is not the average of 0 and 10 metres). 100cm sounds about right to me as an AVERAGE figure for the lower slopes. Perhaps 160cm is a little low for the upper slopes, but perhaps not way off.

Similarly, at Glencoe, you say that Winterhighland sets the upper slope depth at 434cm. This isn't correct. Winterhighland suggests the "Upper Mountain Base" is 302cm, which is an average of two upper moutain measurement points. Again, the 255cm reported by SCGB isn't far off this (about 18% lower than Winterhighland's value).

I find your posts exclusively complain about the SCGB snow reports, and yet you rarely acknowledge improvements. It's not a fair summary of the situation.

The text summaries for Scotland, which I check each time they're updated (Thursday and Monday) are now usually accurate. And I don't think the snow condition reports are bad either.

I think the main issues at the moment are:
- the conditions don't get updated over the weekend
- the reports are updated in the mornings, often before many lifts open up

Some criticism of the SCGB is justified, but, in my opinion, a lot of your above posts are one-sided and the examples you have chosen to illustrate your opinions are poor.

Bomp


Posts: 171
Joined: Nov 2010
Last Visited: 17:40
15th Jan 2021
Re: An open letter to the new CEO of the Ski Club of GB
Date Posted: 13.01hrs on Tue 26 Mar 13
Surely the point is that a uniform snow depth is almost always meaningless in Scotland, where snow fences, scouring and drifting mean that depths invariably range from zero to several metres across the mountain.

As for the SCGB website, it's just one of many, many sites that report snow conditions, do many rely on it as their only source? Would anyone thinking of skiing in Scotland base their plans on reported snow depths?

David Goldsmith


Posts: 1283
Joined: Feb 2003
Last Visited: 08:28
6th Nov 2018
Re: An open letter to the new CEO of the Ski Club of GB
Date Posted: 13.20hrs on Tue 26 Mar 13
denfinella, I'm trying to be scrupulously fair in questioning the SCGB's reports (this is, after all, a club I belong to) but I really wonder where these figures come from.

This is some of the 21cm of new snow which the Club says fell on Cairngorm in the past 7 days (see above) ...



If an average of at least 2 metres of new snow hasn't filled into the main body of the Lady/Cas/Ciste etc. I'm willing to ski naked down your choice of the three.



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 13.23hrs Tue 26 Mar 13 by David Goldsmith.

Attachments: Gorm new snow.JPG (50kB)  
Gorminator


Posts: 667
Joined: Jan 2011
Last Visited: 15:45
11th Aug 2019
Re: An open letter to the new CEO of the Ski Club of GB
Date Posted: 13.46hrs on Tue 26 Mar 13
The Lady was skied naked many years ago, so that narrows it down to the two !!

denfinella


Posts: 104
Joined: Jan 2013
Last Visited: 19:35
30th Dec 2020
Re: An open letter to the new CEO of the Ski Club of GB
Date Posted: 14.26hrs on Tue 26 Mar 13
If an average of at least 2 metres of new snow hasn't filled into the main body of the Lady/Cas/Ciste etc. I'm willing to ski naked down your choice of the three.


Fair enough, but the examples you use aren't average parts of the ski area:

- underneath the M1: sheltered, so massive drifts form
- White Lady: faces west or NW, so the most sheltered aspect of the entire mountain during SE winds. And it already had a greater depth than the mountain's average (quote from Winterhighland several times this season: "This has been the year of the White Lady")
- Cas and Ciste: gullies. Again, sheltered
- the ski road: collects a lot of the snow blown from Windy Ridge in SE storms

Your examples will have metres and metres of new snow on them. But for each of them, there are several other runs which don't have the same sheltered setting:

- the Ptarmigan Bowl: "scraped down to the hard base" according to Cairngorm's FB
- all of the Cas area shown in your picture above
- presumably the M2 piste and Fiacaill Ridge areas

Now, I must stress that I'm not suggesting for a minute that the conditions at Cairngorm aren't fantastic at the moment. However, there's certainly not an average of 7 metres of snow on the upper mountain, and I'm sure that, on average, less than 2 metres of new snow has accumulated on the runs.

On Bomp's point that snow depth is often meaningless in Scotland, I'd generally agree. But for people coming skiing for the first time in Scotland, or for those who aren't regular skiers here (or regular visitors to Winterhighland), this isn't obvious. A good proportion of the SCGB's membership base is people who ski abroad but might not have skied in Scotland before. So this applies to them. The SCGB therefore *are* an important source (I believe they also provide figures for the BBC). So it is important that they're accurate.

And they're not perfect, but I think they're more accurate than David thinks they are!



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 14.28hrs Tue 26 Mar 13 by denfinella.

igloo4you


Posts: 521
Joined: Oct 2009
Last Visited: 09:28
17th Jan 2021
Re: An open letter to the new CEO of the Ski Club of GB
Date Posted: 14.49hrs on Tue 26 Mar 13
David, At Glencoe we are delighted with the way the SCGB have been reporting conditions this year. We continue to work closely with them and hope to have further improvements in reporting for next year. From our perspective the fact that they now have a link to current conditions on there snow reporting page is brilliant and I think the resorts are happy that the snow depths reported are a pretty good average figure for the current conditions. We are working on a longer term solution where they can update conditions directly from our trinum feed like ski scotland and winterhighland do, this will hopefully be in place for next winter.

David Goldsmith


Posts: 1283
Joined: Feb 2003
Last Visited: 08:28
6th Nov 2018
Re: An open letter to the new CEO of the Ski Club of GB
Date Posted: 15.34hrs on Tue 26 Mar 13
igloo4you and denfinella, obviously there's a lot to unwrap here. Essentially:

1. As a subscription-paying member of a Club founded in 1903 as an independent skiers' representative body I don't see the SCGB as a 'ski industry accessory/promoter/player' as such. Obviously the Club should be be a positive force in skiing, but the snow data has to be based on something. It seems to be based on nothing except a guess.

2. "There are lies, damned lies and statistics". Origin of the saying:

[en.wikipedia.org]

... but snow can be measured! Our trusty Winterhighland has been making efforts to do so. In fact, I understand that snow can be measured by a form of ground radar these days. Coupled with GPS, and establishing regular specific measurement locations on a ski slope, maybe some good reliable averages could be calculated. A way forward?

denfinella


Posts: 104
Joined: Jan 2013
Last Visited: 19:35
30th Dec 2020
Re: An open letter to the new CEO of the Ski Club of GB
Date Posted: 15.39hrs on Tue 26 Mar 13
David Goldsmith Wrote:
igloo4you and denfinella, obviously there's a lot to unwrap here. Essentially:

1. As a subscription-paying member of a Club founded in 1903 as an independent skiers' representative body I don't see the SCGB as a 'ski industry accessory/promoter/player' as such. Obviously the Club should be be a positive force in skiing, but the snow data has to be based on something. It seems to be based on nothing except a guess.

2. "There are lies, damned lies and statistics". Origin of the saying:



... but snow can be measured! Our trusty Winterhighland has been making efforts to do so. In fact, I understand that snow can be measured by a form of ground radar these days. Coupled with GPS, and establishing regular specific measurement locations on a ski slope, maybe some good reliable averages could be calculated. A way forward?


Yes, I would agree with most of this. I don't think the SCGB's reporting of snow depth can be a complete guess at the moment, and I do think it's fairly accurate... but I would also be interested in finding out how it's derived.

Regular scientific measurement locations would also be welcome, as long as they were affordable and a good representation of the conditions across the mountain.

jabuzzard


Posts: 878
Joined: Jan 2010
Last Visited: 09:14
17th Jan 2021
Re: An open letter to the new CEO of the Ski Club of GB
Date Posted: 16.54hrs on Tue 26 Mar 13
David Goldsmith Wrote:
1. As a subscription-paying member of a Club founded in 1903 as an independent skiers' representative body I don't see the SCGB as a 'ski industry accessory/promoter/player' as such. Obviously the Club should be be a positive force in skiing, but the snow data has to be based on something. It seems to be based on nothing except a guess.


As a subscription-paying member of the aforementioned club I expect club to indeed take a role in the promotion and protection of the interests of its members. As the members are skiers and snowboarders and it is by far the largest snow sports club in the United Kingdom then they are an admittedly somewhat self appointed "representative body" for snow sports in the United Kingdom.

The way to measure snow depths is stick either an ultrasonic (needs temperature compensation) or laser tape measure up a pole and measure the distance to the ground level. If you have a base reading from when there is no snow you can work out the depth and how much as fallen in some time period. Simples smiling smiley

denfinella


Posts: 104
Joined: Jan 2013
Last Visited: 19:35
30th Dec 2020
Re: An open letter to the new CEO of the Ski Club of GB
Date Posted: 17.47hrs on Tue 26 Mar 13
jabuzzard Wrote:

The way to measure snow depths is stick either an ultrasonic (needs temperature compensation) or laser tape measure up a pole and measure the distance to the ground level. If you have a base reading from when there is no snow you can work out the depth and how much as fallen in some time period. Simples


The other important part of this is finding a location which gives a representative snow depth e.g. not in a sheltered gully or on an exposed ridge.

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