FOLLOWING persistent snowfall, skiers and snowboarders will be able to take to the slopes of Nevis Range, Fort William, in the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK;, this weekend (19-20 March) and will find every single lift operating for the first time for six years.
Typically, snow falling early in the winter covers the north face of the mountain where the main ski area and the majority of the ski lifts are located.
Recent snow and south westerly storms has meant that the snow has now filled in ‘o’er the back’ in the area of the resort known as the Back Corries.
This all round snow cover means the resort will be opening every lift on the mountain, including the Braveheart lift, installed in 1996, which allows riders to access the expansive Back Corrie area.
The resort is also holding a Back Corrie workshop at the weekend (19/20 March), aimed at those seeking a better understanding of back country safety. Led by the resort’s Ski Patrol team, it includes assessing weather and avalanche risks and the use of safety equipment such as transceivers, shovel and probes.
Marian Austin, Nevis Range MD, commented: “Throughout the season we will normally open the gondola and six further ski lifts, and this decision is made on the snow cover and the number of customers that we are expecting.
“However, with the extensive snow cover and the amazing snow conditions we have at the moment, we are planning to open all ten ski lifts this weekend.
“We have checked our records and the last time we were able to open every lift was in March 2005 (6/3/05). Thanks must go to our team of engineers and lifties who have been working tirelessly so that we can open all of the lifts.
“Right now we have fantastic alpine conditions, the best of the season. There’s powder off piste, soft snow on the runs and the groomed areas are great.
“We had to dig the terrain park out of the recent snowfall and it is now complete with rails and kickers, as well as a roller, spine, and a table top.
“As long as the snowpack settles and the wind and overhead conditions permit, we plan to run all the lifts over the weekend and open the Back Corries.
“However, customers are always advised to keep watching the websites for the latest snow and weather conditions.”
For further information on The Nevis Range – http://www.nevisrange.co.uk/
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Notes for editors:
The Nevis Range Mountain Gondola, unique in Britain, was originally constructed on Aonach Mor to transport skiers and snowboarders to the slopes.
Today, the gondola whisks some 200,000 visitors each year to 650m where they can eat at the Snowgoose restaurant, enjoy a drink at the bar, walk out to the mountain viewpoints, or simply enjoy the stunning highland scenery.
Established in 1989, Nevis Range has significantly diversified, creating a world-class downhill mountain bike track, and hosted five World Cups and one World Championship.
The gondola is also widely used by climbers, paragliders and hangliders on their journey to the clouds. The ski area lies between the top of the gondola and the summit of Aonach Mor which, being the highest ski area in Scotland, has a good record for snow conditions running late into the season. http://www.nevisrange.co.uk.
Nevis Range is located in the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’. The ‘Outdoor Capital’ was formed in 2003 as a not-for-profit community company established to promote Fort William and Lochaber as one of the best places to experience the outdoors in the UK; with the vision: To establish and maintain Fort William and Lochaber as the UK’s premier destination for outdoor pursuits and adventure tourism in an exceptional natural environment. www.outdoorcapital.co.uk.
Nevis Range has adopted a Gaelic Language Plan and is working with Bord Na Gaidhlig to achieve its implementation.
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Contact: Paddy Cuthbert