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Weardale


Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2016
Last Visited: 22:40
11th Apr 2016
Family skiing half term
Date Posted: 15.14hrs on Thu 11 Feb 16
Question Any advice of where's likely to have more skiing than queuing for kids weekend and next Mon to Wed, and any tips of which places we may need to prebook passes for to make sure we get them?

Staying in Blairgowrie Fri and Sat, Aviemore Sun & Mon and Fort William Tue.
Family skiing with 9yr old parallel, 7 yr old racing snowplougher and ourselves.
Got own gear and kids accustomed to Cairngorm gales and variable Weatdale snow conditions.
Last year were refused on the day passes at Cairngorm due to limited lifts operating and only got them in end dos kids were booked in lessons. Took an hour to get on the funicular.

Planned to ski Glenshee Sat & Sun, Cairngorm Mon, Cairngorm/Nevis Tue?, Glencoe/Nevis Wed. Mostly ski with kids but maybe pay 1 or 2 two hour lessons for them where we can shoot round some exciting runs. Ideal is to not prebook and just get passes early on the day.

Any advice appreciated.

PS If you like gully skiing and are stuck in England when the snows good try Weardale, 15 for a day and when it's knee deep it's great.

Q. Any advice of where's likely to have more skiing than queuing for kids and any tips of which places we may need to prebook passes for to make sure we get them?
alan


Posts: 10732
Joined: Nov 1994
Last Visited: 17:59
17th Jan 2021
What's this?What's this?What's this?
Re: Family skiing half term
Date Posted: 18.03hrs on Thu 11 Feb 16
Nevis Range is usually the quietest over half term, the West in general is traditionally not as busy as the East, CairnGorm due to the sheer amount of accommodation in Aviemore is in a league of it's own at half term. Glenshee probably better than CairnGorm on Saturday, but is likely to be ramp up a level in terms of busyness Sunday - Tuesday when numerous Scottish schools long weekends coincide with the peak of English Half Term,

Snow cover has been gradually improving this week and with reasonable weather conditions all areas now have decent area of terrain that fits your need. The issue with CairnGorm is with still limited snow on the lower mountain and no lower tows, the Top Basin will be rammed (and ticket sales may well be suspended).

The Lecht is always an option from Aviemore for one of the days. Nevis has got the Great Glen Chair and Rob Roy Tow open now, so that opens up a lot more options for greens and easy blues. The new Coire Pollach Tow at Glencoe has really improved the offering for your needs as well.

sredna100


Posts: 571
Joined: Jan 2008
Re: Family skiing half term
Date Posted: 19.13hrs on Thu 11 Feb 16
Aonach Mor is likely to have the smallest Q's if any , although conditions are currently very good as is the forecast over the weekend, Nevis rangers are down to run all lifts barring one which is Braveheart so can absorb the sliders well.

That said Braveheart may come on over the weekend ?

The restaurant provides the best on hill food winning a top award recently and a nice outlook too after the recent refurb.

The quad chair is good for a kids rest and and disposes of crowds fast and ther's a nice wee semi-secret beginers area over at the end of the chair that goes out left as you exit the gondola hall, think its called Rob Roy ?

Have fun !
remote_patrol


Posts: 1010
Joined: Apr 2007
Last Visited: 15:18
17th Jan 2021
Re: Family skiing half term
Date Posted: 20.12hrs on Thu 11 Feb 16
blairgowrie native here, so if you need any local advice fire away.

Nevis/Glencoe are both about 2-3 hours (traffic permitting) from here, so i'd probaby save them for when you're based out west.

the glenshee q's will probably be pretty bad, it's only a 1/2 hour drive so you'll gain the time back vs driving to coe/nevis, just be up there super early and you'll get 2 quiet hours first thing while everyone else is standing in line, take a long lunch then stay late for more quietness smiling smiley

you can also get to aviemore via glenshee and/or the lecht, so you can avoid the a9 and grab a day on the way too.

all 5 would be pretty easily doable given your bases.


no idea on lessons etc, but these guys [www.freshtracksglenshee.co.uk] have a good rep locally.



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 20.14hrs Thu 11 Feb 16 by remote_patrol.
Weardale


Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2016
Last Visited: 22:40
11th Apr 2016
Re: Family skiing half term
Date Posted: 23.31hrs on Thu 11 Feb 16
Thanks for all the advice. Think we'll just try and get up to Glenshee as early as poss Sat. Sounds like a day at Cairngorm will be enough and check out early the next morning and go to Nevis, and Glencoe on the final day.
pe4u


Posts: 12
Joined: Mar 2011
Last Visited: 10:42
29th Feb 2020
Re: Family skiing half term
Date Posted: 23.43hrs on Thu 11 Feb 16
Would recommend the Lecht we are returning for our 17th year in Speyside for Feb 1/2 term this year will have a 10 year zipping up and down the grouse and the 16 and 17 year olds who have learnt all their skiing at Lecht and Gorm doing their own thing for the week while us older ones use the chair lift to save the knees and do the big circuit via the top traverse Eagle and home run while the grandparents set up base in the top bar - the Lecht offers a fair range of runs all coming back to the base station and you can normally arrive at any time and get parked and ticketed without too much of a queue - keep an eye in the winds the Lecht only gets a bit manic when the chair shuts and everybody has to use the grouse to get up the hill but again it is never nearn Cairngorm level - most we have ever queued at the Lecht is 20 mins - we will try to get up to Cairngorm a couple of times but will plan to be on the car park for 8.oo am and expect to have a bit if a wait so will pack bacon butties
Weardale


Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2016
Last Visited: 22:40
11th Apr 2016
Re: Family skiing half term
Date Posted: 06.41hrs on Fri 12 Feb 16
remote_patrol,

Now looking into the Freshtracks lot to get the kids a couple of hours lesson.

When you say for Glenshee to get up there super early what sort of time would you aim to leave Blairgowrie/ arrive on the hill if going there half term Saturday?

Current situation is that the online booking for lift passes is down so there's no buy ahead and collect option for us just the buy on the day queue that they insist won't be a problem but makes me think long queue.
Thanks Gavin
CMartindale


Posts: 128
Joined: Aug 2014
Last Visited: 20:31
25th Jul 2019
Re: Family skiing half term
Date Posted: 07.41hrs on Fri 12 Feb 16
IIRC you may be able to get tickets through Freshtracks if you have lessons booked.

I'd be up there for 8:30-9:00.
Snowweasel


Posts: 393
Joined: Oct 2006
Last Visited: 13:37
15th Jan 2021
Re: Family skiing half term
Date Posted: 08.56hrs on Fri 12 Feb 16
My kids loved the Lecht. Busy at half-term, but never rammed in the times we went there. Caingorm at half term is pretty busy, as others say, get there early! Enjoy yourselves where-ever you go: I'm jealous!
Weardale


Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2016
Last Visited: 22:40
11th Apr 2016
Re: Family skiing half term
Date Posted: 10.08hrs on Fri 12 Feb 16
Thanks all.
Seems sorted, get everywhere 8am ish , eat breakfast in the queue for passes, and for Cairngorm buy them the night before so straight into the funicular queue. Booked the 7 yr old into Freshtracks for two hours Sat to hopefully complete the move into step parallels and make the other days better fo all of us.
Sat Glenshee
Sun Glenshee/Lecht
Mon Cairngorm
Tue Nevis
Wed Glencoe
Thur WORK......if only every week started like that!
remote_patrol


Posts: 1010
Joined: Apr 2007
Last Visited: 15:18
17th Jan 2021
Re: Family skiing half term
Date Posted: 10.27hrs on Fri 12 Feb 16
To be honest i usually skip half term weekend altogether or go for a hike instead smiling smiley If you leave blair no later than 7:30 you should be pretty much first in line though. go grab a ticket as soon as you park (i drive up in my boarding gear, so just boots to change).

The trick is getting on the first lift really, it takes until about 10-ish to get properly busy up the hill and they're usually pretty sharp getting lifts spinning, so if you're ready to slide by 8-ish you'll get a good few runs in before it's queue central (which doesn't feel so bad if you've had a solid bunch of runs in already!).

staying to the bitter end is also a good idea, after 3/3:30 its tends to get quieter, and they sometimes light up claybokie at the end to spread out the departures a bit.


Probably also worth mentioning though, if it snows overnight (which is forecast, even for blair) and the snow gates are shut, then all bets are off and brace yourself for chaos!
PeterS


Posts: 973
Joined: Feb 2003
Last Visited: 19:35
16th Jan 2021
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Re: Family skiing half term
Date Posted: 12.30hrs on Fri 12 Feb 16
looks like 15 lifts open today at Glenshee versus 5 at Cairngorm.
Weardale


Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2016
Last Visited: 22:40
11th Apr 2016
Re: Family skiing half term
Date Posted: 19.54hrs on Fri 12 Feb 16
Early start it is. Guess when the gates are shut there's no letting through people with chains, best take a picnic. Only in Edinburgh so hope to arrive Alyth before the snow!
Weardale


Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2016
Last Visited: 22:40
11th Apr 2016
Re: Family skiing half term
Date Posted: 00.48hrs on Mon 22 Feb 16
Thanks for all the advice- we had a great week, weekend days at Glenshee across almost every run, mint sunny Monday at the Lecht, lost Tuesday's planned Nevis day to winds that closed there, Cairngorm and Glenshee, but then got to ski on the fresh storm snow the Wed at Glencoe.

Couple of one to one lessons with Freshtracks as advised got the 7 yr old up to step parallel and managing reds at each place.

All good but best day was Glencoe lapping the main basin and the Wall runs trying to teach the kids jump turns on the steep left side of the wall. Wished they'd had the button and the chair running cos a day of constant T bars with small kids is murder!

Found out that on the Tue when Nevis/Glencoe/Cairngorm all closed we could have skied at home at Yad Moss or Weardale - but then I would say that wouldn't I?

Glad we took the advice and steered clear of Cairngorm, and glad we had kids skis cos most places had signs re "no hire left under 140cm" and we'd have been stuck in queues for kit and not had the flex re touring the different places.
sspeirs


Posts: 355
Joined: Mar 2008
Last Visited: 16:29
13th Jan 2021
Re: Family skiing half term
Date Posted: 20.06hrs on Mon 22 Feb 16
Great to hear you had such a good time. You made good choices an were flexible on location
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