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Re: Media Thread
Posted by: StevieMcK who has made 1160 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 15.19hrs on Mon 3 Apr 06

Article in the Scotsman...

[news.scotsman.com]

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Cairn Gorm faces up to shortest ski season
JOHN ROSS

THE Cairn Gorm ski centre says it has suffered possibly its shortest ever winter season, although it is hoped conditions will keep visitors on the slopes until after Easter.

So far, the season has lasted only four weeks, and Tania Alliod, Cairn Gorm's marketing manager, said: "While conditions through March have been excellent - and are still better than one might have expected with the recent temperature rises - we missed out totally on potential business over Christmas and New Year, and during the entire February half-term holidays.

"We set ourselves a target of 55,000 ski days for this season and, while at present we have achieved an astonishing 42,000 ski days in just four weeks, we are still short of what was a conservative but realistic target.

"We take heart that when snow does arrive in Scotland, there is demand for skiing and hope ... skiers and boarders will make the most of it over the long Easter break."

Staff at the centre say it is still possible to ski from the top of the Ptarmigan Bowl to the base station car park, and that snow has been forecast over the next few days for the Cairngorms.

Last updated: 01-Apr-06 01:27 BST

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Re: Media Thread
Posted by: StevieMcK who has made 1160 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 09.55hrs on Thu 13 Apr 06

Another Scotsman Article
__________________________________________________________________________

OVER 250,000 visitors are expected to flock to Scotland this Easter, bringing around £90 million into the country's economy.

While welcoming the news of an expected bumper season, traffic experts have warned motorists of heavily congested roads over the holiday.

According to information released by the RAC, bottlenecks are predicted on the M8 in and around Edinburgh as well as the M8 and M80 to and from Glasgow on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Snarl-ups are also likely on the A720 around Edinburgh.

A spokeswoman for the RAC said: "Roads on Thursday evening are likely to be very busy, with the rush hour starting early.

"We also anticipate a busy Good Friday, as many people opt to make an early start to beat the traffic."

Tourism chiefs believe Scotland's skiing industry experience a much-needed boom, following the recent spring snow.

The country's five snow-sports resorts - Nevis Range, Glencoe, Glenshee, the Lecht and Cairn Gorm - have already opened and ski operators believe the current conditions offer the best spring skiing in Scotland for up to 50 years.

A VisitScotland spokes-woman said: "Fresh snowfalls in the last week are providing a welcome burst of winter and topping up what was already good cover. All areas are expecting more snow over the next few days, interspersed with sunny spells."

She said that the five ski centres experienced no queues last weekend and all areas have reported plenty of availability of rental equipment and spaces in snow-sport classes for those who want to learn to ski or hone their skills.

Marian Austin, of the Nevis Range, said: "Some of our runs are in better condition than they have been all season, but many people seem to have forgotten that spring is the traditional time to ski in Scotland."

This article: [news.scotsman.com]

Last updated: 12-Apr-06 10:26 BST

Re: Media Thread
Posted by: StevieMcK who has made 1160 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 10.40hrs on Tue 18 Apr 06

[news.bbc.co.uk]

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Tuesday, 18 April 2006, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK

Thousands of skiers hit slopes

A bumper Easter weekend has led to Cairn Gorm Mountain Ski Resort to hit its target figure for skiers and snowboarders for the season.

Heavy snow falls in March and April helped the centre, near Aviemore, to achieve its target of 55,000 visitors.

Chief Executive Bob Kinnaird said the business has changed but the funicular railway - now in its fifth year - has helped it to diversify.

At its height the Cairngorms could draw up to 200,000 skiers over a winter.
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Re: Media Thread
Posted by: SussexSnow who has made 406 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 13.07hrs on Tue 2 May 06

From The Herald. Impressive that CGM PR manages to mention non-skiers and the poor season in what is essentially a good news story for them. It snowed!


Surfing in Scotland: more thermal gloves than summer sun

ALISON CHIESA and BRIAN DONNELLY May 02 2006
The Herald

If it's May Day in Scotland, it must be sun, sand, surf and, er, snow – with a traditional bank holiday flight delay thrown in for good measure.

As snowflakes fell on the Cairngorms to the delight of hundreds of skiers and sledgers, across the Highlands in Thurso you could almost imagine that life was a beach in Honolulu . . . provided you ignored the icy water and biting cold winds.

Having enjoyed the delights of Snapper Rocks in Australia, Teahupoo in Tahiti and Cloudbreak in Fiji, the 96 competitors in international surfing's World Qualifying Series descended upon the rocky coves of the Caithness coastline.
It may be short of palm trees and tikki bars, but Brims Ness, five miles west of Thurso, was the centre of the surfing universe yesterday.

At 59 degrees north, it is the most northerly world-class surfing tournament ever held, and may become an annual stop on the circuit.

In the eight-day contest, competitors from a dozen countries are riding the renowned barrel and tube-shaped surf produced by the Pentland Firth. With prize-money totalling £56,000, it is the second-richest tournament of the 15 WQS events held so far this year.

Meanwhile, less than 100 miles away at the Cairngorms, they were enjoying the first May Day snow in 10 years. Resort owners were already celebrating a successful season which has now continued into the summer months.

They marked the ancient Celtic Beltane Festival, which celebrates the coming of summer on May 1, with a family fun day, but were not expecting a holiday weekend fall of snow to greet visitors.

Tania Alliod, Cairngorm Mountain resort marketing manager, said: "The ancient Beltane Festival was very much a community event when people gathered together to mark the end of winter, celebrate the coming of summer and look forward to a fruitful year.

"In many ways, we're still doing the same and we're looking ahead to involving the local community in attracting lots of non-skier visitors over the next few months."

She added: "This year has been one of the shortest skiing seasons on record but has also been a successful and enjoyable one.

"In achieving our target for skiing numbers for the season, despite having had no snow over Christmas, New Year and February half-term, Scottish skiing has something to celebrate.

"In common with our friends at Nevis Range and Glencoe, we are delighted to be able to offer a May Day that's different and one that will also raise money for the local Badenoch and Strathspey Schools' Skiing Programme."

Over the holiday weekend, the Cairngorms had 994 non-skiers on Saturday, more than 1000 on Sunday and around 600 yesterday.

There were 300 skiers on Saturday, 450 on Sunday and around 200 yesterday.
Cairngorm mountain resort only just hit its target of skiers this winter after the shortest season in 25 years. The late cold weather allowed the company to reach its target of 55,000.

Father and son Craig and David Richards travelled from Aberdeen to take advantage of ski-ing in May, while Rosalyn MacGregor made her way from Perth.
She said: "I have really been looking forward to ski-ing this late in the season."

Back in Scotland's answer to Bondi Beach, 29-year-old Kieren Perrow, the top Australian surfer, was celebrating his qualification for today's quarter-finals. He said: "We've had some great surf at both Thurso East and Brims Ness."
Like his Brazilian, South African, Hawaiian, French and Spanish rivals, Perrow was well insulated against the cold, showery weather. It is the only venue on the circuit where competitors wear rubber gloves and booties to prevent the onset of hypothermia.

Mr Perrow, who is up against the sole surviving Briton, Russell Winter, from Newquay, today, said: "Temperature-wise, it's totally different from anywhere else. Back home, it's 17-18 degrees in the water. Here it's 10 degrees colder.
"But when you get good-quality, consistent waves, you don't care about anything else."

According to Sam Lamiroy, 30, a former British champion who was raised surfing the winter swells around Newcastle-upon-Tyne, his fellow surfers adjusted well to the northerly climate.

"The waves have been unbelievable – 6ft high and perfect tubes. I've surfed all over the world and the conditions here put most of the waves of the world to shame. It is colder and a few are struggling with the temperatures, but professional surfers would rather have high-quality waves than sunshine.
"The surfers are really taken by the fact that instead of surfing against the usual backdrop of palm trees, blue waters and white beaches, they are seeing ruined castles, spectacular landscapes and herds of cows in open fields. It has a totally different feel to it."

Thurso has already hosted a series of Scottish, UK and European competitions, but none is anywhere near as big as the current five-star WQS event run by the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP).

According to Dave Reed, director of the contest, the competition has enhanced the chances of the area becoming a fixture on the WQS circuit.

He said: "We've been extremely pleased with how it has gone and I know the surfers have been happy with the surf conditions and the hospitality they've had.
"People understandably associate surfing with bikinis, trunks and tropical weather. Okay, Caithness maybe doesn't have the hot climate but it does have that most vital ingredient as far as surfers are concerned: some world-class surf."

Back in the more prosaic world of a Scots bank holiday, hundreds of holidaymakers suffered a delay of about 33 hours on their flight home from Spain after budget airline Air Scotland suffered problems with at least four of its flights over the weekend.

Re: Media Thread
Posted by: II who has made 1283 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 14.04hrs on Tue 28 Nov 06

From Herald 10th November 2006

Skiing back on uphill course

CAROLYN CHURCHILL

[www.theherald.co.uk]

“AS the first snow fell on Aonach Mor mountain in the Nevis Range yesterday, Scotland's ski centres began preparing for the start of the season.
Despite the increasingly unpredictable weather and the rise of cheap flights to some of Europe's top winter destinations, industry experts are positive that they can continue to attract enthusiasts to the Scottish slopes.
Under the umbrella organisation of Ski Scotland, VisitScotland and Snowsportscotland, the five ski resorts are working together in their aim to promote Scotland as a premier winter sports destination.
With tubing, snowbikes and terrain parks on offer, each of the five centres - Nevis Range, Glencoe Mountain, Glenshee Ski Centre, Lecht 2090 and Cairngorm Mountain - are diversifying to bring in more customers.
Marian Austin, chairperson of Ski Scotland and managing director of Nevis Range, said ski resorts were facing their challenges head on.
"The numbers of skiers have always gone up and down, not because we don't have snow, but because people's habits are changing," she said.
"There was a time when people were struggling with the changes. But all the ski areas are now coming to terms with it and are adapting.
"There are lots of other activities on offer now, although everybody does want to continue skiing as part of the mix of what we have on offer."
Winter sports generate income of between £15m and £33m every year, although only 30% of that goes to the ski resorts themselves. The other 70% goes directly to the local economy through expenditure in hotels, restaurants and shops.
Research unveiled by VisitScotland yesterday showed that Glenshee and Cairngorm were the most popular resorts, attracting 30% and 27% of skiers respectively.

Two-thirds (66%) of people went skiing for one day, 27% made it part of a one to three night trip, while only 7% went for four or more nights.
But the success of the seasons still does depend on the weather and due to global warming, forecasters are predicting that 2006 will join the previous three years as one of the top four warmest years since records began.
For ski resorts, such as the Nevis Range, that poses its own challenges. Ms Austin said: "One of the things we struggle with slightly is people's perceptions that winter is now. Our winter is when snow builds up.
"Last year we had the latest start ever - in February. We had great skiing in March, even better in April and out into the beginning of May.
"One of the messages we'd like to get across is don't hang up your skis in April because that's when we had our best conditions last year. There is often snow on the mountains when it is spring in the cities."
It was on the more unusual landscape of the indoor SNO! zone at Xscape in Braehead, near Glasgow, that the 2006/07 winter sports season was launched yesterday by champion snowboarder Lesley McKenna.
She has tested the best slopes round the world and has also directed a series of films with ChunkyKnit productions on worldwide destinations, which this year included Scotland.
She added: "April was the first time I've been back to Scotland for any length of time and it was great, comparable with any other two weeks I have had anywhere in the world.
"The interest and enthusiasm in the scene is phenomenal. It is a case of plugging into that enthusiasm and the world's your oyster."
However, with the rise in cheap flights to Europe and skiing on the Alps only a short journey away, ski resorts in Scotland are facing direct competition from some of the world's top winter sports destinations.
It is a challenge which they are prepared to face by joining forces and together promoting Scotland as a first-class place to sample winter sports.
Kate Hunter, director of Glenshee Ltd, said: "Cheap flights may work in our favour. There are good, cheap flights from England to Scotland so we try to encourage people to fly up to Glasgow and Edinburgh and then hire a car.
"We are trying to impress on people the fact that by coming to Scotland they're not leaving such a big carbon footprint as if they went skiing to America or the Alps.
"People are beginning to think of that kind of thing.
"We all have to diversify and encourage Scotland as a visitor location with other things to do as well as skiing. Snow sports are there, but let's get everybody to Scotland, because it's a fantastic country."
Each of the resorts is also finding ways to transform into year-round destinations which have something to offer visitors regardless of the weather.
They are also diversifying to offer a range of activities to suit skiers, snowboarders and people who have never ventured onto the slopes. They include ski mountaineering, ice climbing, sled dog rides, quad biking, mountain biking and white water rafting.

Fiona Milligan, marketing executive of Cairngorm Mountain, said: "People's expectations are so much higher these days. As a country we need to offer people a much richer tableau of fun activities."
While the outdoor centres face their own challenges, Xscape's snow slope, which opened in April, has its own unique place in the Scottish skiing industry.
It is hoped that it will tap into the interest in winter sports, giving beginners the opportunity to learn and encouraging experienced skiers and snowboarders to get out on the slopes all year round.
Jane MacAdam, general manager of SNO! zone at Xscape, said: "We all pray that it's going to be a fantastic winter, but dependent on that, we can keep the interest there as well.
"We are also bringing a lot of new people, from children as young as three, into snow sports. For experienced skiers, they can come here to get their fix and maintain their interest during the summer months.
"It is never going to take away from people wanting to get out into the mountains. It is only going to feed that interest and get people into the sport.
"We have got five Scottish resorts. It would be fantastic for us to be called the sixth snow resort.""


go slide....

Re: Media Thread
Posted by: StevieMcK who has made 1160 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 09.40hrs on Fri 8 Dec 06

Mountain Weather Information Service

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Last Updated: Friday, 8 December 2006, 02:15 GMT

Talks on mountain weather service

Discussions are to take place in a bid to resolve a dispute over who should provide crucial weather forecasts for Scotland's mountain ranges.

After perceived failings by the Met Office a private forecaster from Galloway developed a web service which is backed by mountaineers and walkers.

However, it is said to be under threat because the Met Office is trying re-establish its position.

The competing parties will now be holding talks in Edinburgh.

Two more deaths in the Cairngorms last month underlined the critical importance of accurate mountain weather information.

Four years ago, in consultation with mountain users, independent forecaster and hillwalker Geoff Monk from Laurieston, Galloway, developed the free internet based Mountain Weather Information Service.

It is highly thought of by climbers and was recommended by the Mountaineering Council of Scotland for Scottish Executive funding, without which it is unlikely to be able to continue.

However, that funding was put on hold when the Met Office claimed it could provide a similar service from its pool of forecasters at Aberdeen weather centre.

The claim has been met with scepticism by some in the mountaineering community who doubt the forecasters have the necessary specialist knowledge.

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[news.bbc.co.uk]

Re: Media Thread
Posted by: andrewr who has made 236 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 17.02hrs on Fri 22 Dec 06

First Tracks Online Ski magazine - Skiing Scotland and the Braemar telemark festival.
[www.firsttracksonline.com]

[www.caledonialight.co.uk]

Re: Media Thread
Posted by: boarderdownunder who has made 509 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 17.15hrs on Mon 29 Jan 07

Article in yesterday's Observer re disappearing natural wonders - [travel.guardian.co.uk] - included this section on the Cairngorms. Sadly it was illustrated with a picture of Ben Nevis!


Cairngorms, Scotland

The Cairngorm plateau is a bleak, dangerous stretch of sub-arctic tundra in north Scotland that possesses four of Britain's five highest mountains and dozens of rare plants and birds, including ptarmigans and snow bunting. On its lower slopes, there are golden eagles and ospreys. It is one of Scotland's key tourist destinations, comprising a ski resort. But global warming is changing the area's ecology. The great, green rolling carpet of hardy moss that once covered the plateau is being obliterated. Dotterels, snow bunting and other rare birds that once thrived are disappearing. At the same time, numbers of visitors coming to ski have plummeted as the snow disappears from the slopes. Few experts believe there will any skiing in the Cairngorms, or any other part of Scotland, in 20 years.

How to get there: Scottish Youth Hostels' Cairngorm Lodge Youth Hostel is an excellent base for walking and outdoors activities. From £13 a night (01786 891400).

Re: Media Thread
Posted by: alan who has made 10703 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 22.19hrs on Mon 29 Jan 07

Quote:
ptarmigans


Pffff... one ptarmigan, two ptarmigan, three ptarmigan! tongue sticking out smiley

Re: Media Thread
Posted by: boarderdownunder who has made 509 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 02.09hrs on Thu 1 Feb 07

Maybe this is one for another thread, but what did you think of the last sentence in the article? Must admit I think it's probably correct if they're referring to lift-served skiing.

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