For the first time ever me and my sister decided to head up north to see what Scotland’s ski slopes were like.
As we live near Glasgow we decided to head up the left hand side of Scotland and see what Glencoe was like. Having got a Thursday, Friday off work we got packed on the Wednesday night and got up at 7 on the Thursday morning. Making a quick stop for fuel at Balloch we had a quiet run up, behind a mental lorry driver but that can be another story, and were at Glencoe at 9:30am.
Now having never been before we got out and wandered up to the main building looking to see where we buy our lift passes and get some ski hire. Standing in front of the building we couldn’t see any sign what so ever for ski hire, but there was a sign saying get your ski hire before paying for your lift pass. So after wandering around inside the building we couldn’t find the hire and waiting in the lift pass hire que to ask. It was round the back. I guess its a you’ll know where it is if you know where it is kinda place.
So went round back and into the hire centre and got some ski’s. The guy in there was really nice and friendly and got us all set up, helmet and all. So we went back round to get our lift passes. We got our two day passes, no half days at Glencoe, and the ticket woman hands us two stickers. So I guess these are our passes. So we look round and do what we see a woman and her son doing, stick them to our jackets. We then head up the hill to the chairlift to get going. The first thing the lift guys says is, “did you not get a tag to put your stickers on?”. Eh didn’t know they existed?? So we sat the whole chair ride up wondering what to do with the stickers that were probably going to fall off.
Anyway once up there it was quite good. The snow could have been better. It was kind of like soup in some parts and sheet ice in others but there was some nice snow left and being the first time in 2 years on snow it was good enough to play around on. One thing though. It was sooo cold. There is no protection from the wind and it was so cold, which made it a little hard to enjoy but it was an ok day.
They have a really good beginners run, which has a button tow next to it to get up on. Being a snowboarder i usually hate buttons but this one sin’t so bad. Its not one of the ones that swings round on a constant loop, (they totally aim for my face) its a pull one so you can get ready and then tug it to release it. So I would recommend it for beginners.
There is then one main run down from the ‘chair’ lift, which is really just a single chair, amazing, never seen one before, which splits into two runs and you can decide which one you want to take back down to the chair. The only bad thing about this run is there is a path onto the main part of it, and all learner snowboarders suck at going slow in a straight line, so its not fun for them at all.
Overall I’d say Glencoe was an ok trip. Everyone expects you to have been there before, their sings are shit so your not quite sure if its a run or not and no one really seemed to like their job! Apart from the hire team, they were friendly. Not even going to get started on the chick behind the desk!
Its safe to say we didn’t come back the next day with the ski’s we had hired for 3 days. We went to Nevis Range, and it was the complete opposit.
The guy at the desk was so friendly and asked us how we were and if we had been before then circled the runs that were open just now and the best routes to take. So nice! The hill staff were the same. Chatting away and asking how our last runs went and even helped us to try two at a time on a t-bar. Which is much harder than it looks if your a skier/border combo. They have a 4 man chair with a really nice run down from it, which you could happily go up and down all day. There is then a t-bar up to the next section with a button up to the summit. You get some amazing views from up there and they had a snow park setup which was cool.
Nevis Range was just better in my mind, and its mainly down to the fact that the staff were so nice and friendly. The snow conditions were the exact same as Glencoe and i would say the Nevis beginners area is a little harder than the Glencoe one, and the button tow was easier at Glencoe for beginners too.
Both places were pretty dead being a Thursday and Friday so there were no ques and maybe that’s why the staff at Nevis were so chatty but I will definitely be recommending Nevis Range to friends over Glencoe.