Scotland is home to five ski resorts which are open, snow and weather permitting, during the winter months and often through until as late as May.
Whilst Scottish resorts lack the creature comforts and après scene found in Europe, they do offer spectacular views and varied terrain, and although weather and snow cover can be temperamental, Scottish ski areas have enjoyed some exceptional conditions at times over the past few seasons.
Glenshee is the largest of the resorts in Scotland, where a total of 22 lifts (including three chairlifts) extends across four mountains. It’s situated in north eastern Scotland, with Dundee or Perth being the closest cities. The resort offers a wide range of terrain for all abilities, from the long red and blue runs on the Glas Maol side, to the infamous steep (and often icy) Tiger run that leads off the Cairnwell chair.
Accommodation in the immediate area is slightly limited, Braemar which is a short drive does have a couple of hotels and a hostel, but other than that there is not a huge amount to choose from.
Glencoe is the oldest Scottish ski centre. It's also the most convenient to get to, being only an hour and a half from Glasgow. The resort sits within Rannoch Moor which provides incredible views over to Buachaille Etive Mòr.
Glencoe has 8 lifts which consist of an access chairlift, a unique one man chair lift and a number of pomas and T-bars. The resort is home to some of Scotland’s steepest and most challenging terrain, and when the snow is good the off piste options are wide and varied. In 2013 Scotland’s first Freeride World Tour Qualifier was hosted at Glencoe.
The Nevis Range is situated fairly close to Glencoe and is only a couple of hours from Glasgow. It's slightly larger than Glencoe with around 20km of marked ski runs but there's also some awesome off piste too. When the snow is good, the local ski patrol will open the Back Corries which provide access to an astonishing range of freeride options, with the bowls offering up to 500m of vertical and pitches as steep at 55 degrees. Like Glencoe, the surrounding scenery is amazing, with Ben Nevis looming overhead and distant views towards Cairngorm.
The infrastructure at Nevis Range is some of the most modern in Scotland. From the base building a gondola takes you up to the foot of the ski slopes, from where two speedy chairlifts whizz you higher and provide access to some nice open runs, suitable for most abilities.