Glencoe Ski Resort

Glencoe is Scotland’s oldest resort, with the first ski lift installed on the craggy slopes of Meall A’Bhuiridh way back in 1956, and it has gone from strength to strength ever since.

Like its near-neighbour Nevis Range, Glencoe is exposed to the prevailing westerly winds and as a result is much snowier than the resorts further east. This is necessary however as the terrain is much craggier and rockier, requiring several good storms to fill in the natural gullies on the mountain. But when filled in, Glencoe can offer some of Scotland’s finest terrain – perhaps its best for mixed groups. And thanks to significant investment in recent years – which includes the purchase of an all-weather snowfactory – the resort is better than ever.

It is possible to stay at the foot of the hill in one of their Microlodges, or hook up your campervan to the power supply, but otherwise the best place to stay is in Ballachulish or in Kinlochleven to the west of the resort. The scenery is stunning and Glencoe itself is spectacular – its no wonder it was chosen as a location for the James Bond film Skyfall.

As with all Scottish resorts, conditions can at times be unreliable but on a good day, the terrain here can rival the world’s best – and you’d be certainly hard pushed to find more spectacular scenery. For this reason stay as flexible as possible and be prepared to drop everything and dash to the mountains when conditions are good!

Our Glencoe Resort Ratings

  • Beginner ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
  • Intermediate ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
  • Advanced ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
  • Lift System ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
  • Snowmaking ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
  • Off Snow Activities ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
  • Accessibility ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Pros

Varied terrain that holds snow late into the season (sometimes until May)

Fantastic feel about the ski area and it is very well run

Lots of recent investment (including a snowfactory) and another new chairlift coming for 2019/2020

Glencoe has some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery

Cons

Can take a while each season for the main runs and gullies to fill with snow

Little accommodation very nearby, but Microlodges are great

On busy days bottlenecks can form at mid-mountain level

West coast weather can be very fickle at times

Glencoe Skiing and Snowboarding

In summertime, Meall A’Bhuiridh doesn’t look much like a ski area – it looks far too rocky. But come winter and after a few big snowstorms, its natural gullies and hollows fill in to form some of Scotland’s classic downhill runs. These often hold great snow well into spring – indeed skiing has run into May in recent years. Below the upper slopes lies the gently undulating Plateau, home to the main beginner runs, snowfactory and by 2019/2020, a new chairlift from the top of the Access Chair.

  • Total Pistes: 20km
  • Green: 20%
  • Blue: 20%
  • Red: 30%
  • Black: 30%
  • Snowmaking: 1 snowfactory & 2 fan guns
  • Lifts: 8
  • Altitude: 360m – 1070m

For Beginners

Absolute beginners don’t even need to take the Access Chair up as there is an excellent dry slope right next to the car park. But for those looking to ski on snow, the slopes of the Plateau are a fantastic learning area. The offering has been massively improved since the Coire Pollach drag was built and more recently by the addition of the snowfactory nearby. This will only improve further once the new chairlift is built, removing the need to use draglifts for beginners.

For Intermediates

The gentle runs on the Plateau make for a good warm up, but the best area for intermediates is the Main Basin, served by two lifts running to the resort’s highest point. Once this has filled in it can become one big motorway of corduroy, but early in the season when it is narrower it is a more formidable challenge. Another area worth exploring is the zone to skiers left of the Wall T-bar, an area than can often hold great snow.

For Advanced/Expert & Off Piste

Glencoe is home to the Flypaper, a very steep black that is a challenge for any skier or snowboarder. Further to skiers right is the East Wall, an area of equally steep off piste that is a great place to head to after fresh snowfall – just check first with ski patrol as this area is avalanche prone. There are also some fantastic touring options and if snow has fallen to a low level, advanced riders will love the ski back down to the car park – there are some fantastic gullies and snowfields that can be tackled.

Glencoe Piste Map

The local area map can be downloaded here.

Glencoe Ski Pass Prices

Cheaper day tickets are available during the week, with holiday and weekend tickets costing more. Glencoe season passes cost £330 for adults and £150 for under 16s. A Scotland-wide season pass costs £550 and can be purchased via the Snowsport Scotland website. Note that these prices may change, so check with the resort’s website for the latest or give the Ski Club’s expert info & advice team a call on 020 8410 2009.

Category

Day Ticket

Season Ticket

Adult

£25.00 – £32.00

£330.00

Junior (5-16)

£18.00 – £20.00

£150.00

Senior (65+)

£20.00 – £32.00

£280.00

Student (with valid ID)

£20.00 – £32.00

£280.00

Glencoe Season Dates

  • Opening: 1st December
  • Closing: approx. April

The snowfactory has guaranteed a 1st December opening date, but terrain will be limited until the snowfields fill. Once they do, Glencoe can have an exceptionally long season, often running well into April or even through until May. The dates listed above are only indicative so for full details see the resort's website. The Ski Club’s expert info & advice team are also on hand to help – call 020 8410 2009.

Glencoe Resort

The Plateau Café is the only place on the hill that serves food and drink and whilst it has a decent offering, if you’re looking for something more substantial it is well worth returning the excellent cafe at the base. You can stay at the foot of the hill itself in one of the Microlodges or in your campervan (there are numerous hook-ups available), or if you’re really brave camping is an option.

Otherwise, you’ll want to base yourself in the loch-side villages of Ballachulish or Kinlochleven. Both have a great reputation as outdoor hubs and have a range of accommodation to suit most budgets, but of the two Kinlochleven is bigger and has more going on – including an excellent ice climbing centre.

For Families

The beginner facilities here are ideal for families, especially with the dry slope at the foot of the hill and then the rest of the slopes on the safe Plateau area. A lot of the accommodation nearby is in self-catered cottages and cabins or in small, family run B&B’s, all of which are nice and family friendly. Away from the pistes, you can tube on the dry slope.

For Après

Grabbing a quiet and cosy drink at the end of the day at the base café or dropping by a bar in one of the nearby villages is very much the order of the day here!

How to get to Glencoe

Glencoe is approximately a two hour drive north of Glasgow and two and a half hours northeast of Edinburgh.

  • Glasgow: 2 hours
  • Edinburgh: 2.5 hours

Glencoe Contact Details

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