I have some time off work on 26th to 2nd of Jan so I am hoping to spend it snowboarding in Scotland.
I know conditions arent predictable and youre not guaranteed good conditions but Im happy to take the risk.
Can anyone advise where would be best to go for a relatively beginner snowboarder? Can anyone reccomend a good school too?
If, as your profile suggests, you live in the south of England go to the Alps - far more likely to have good weather & snow and quite possibly a cheaper holiday. I used to live in Strathspey but wouldn't recommend travelling far for Scottish skiing/boarding unless a last minute decision when you know conditions are good - Scotland can give good conditions but not often
Thanks for your message. Im trying to fly less and take trains more to be more environmentally friendly! I cant afford a train to the alps, so I had my sights set on scotland. I'll keep looking though, thanks!
at the risk of not answering the question you have actually asked, I have to agree with what Doug suggests. Additionally I would also suggest;
- unless you have some overarching need to snowboard, convert to skiing while you are still young enough and haven't invested too much time on the board. If there is any possibility that you might want to take to the high mountains in winter for ice climbing/ski mountaineering, most (admittedly not all) people choose skis rather than a splitboard.
- get an extra day or two holiday and go to one of the UCPA centres in France. They even have special deals for 25's and under. Under £600 for a week including full board accommodation, equipment and instruction. It is unbeatable value for youngsters and has a terrific social scene. It is best to book through Action Outdoors UK.
is the train to northern Scotland that much cheaper than Eurostar then an onward connection ?
Have you looked at snow coach? It's much cheaper than the train.
Well, situation isn't good at Cairngorm due to ongoing uplift problem, Aonach Mor closes every year in December (crazy I know) for maintenance so may or may not be open (although I could be wrong on that) but if open is subject to closure due to wind, Glencoe not really that good for beginner (in my opinion), Glenshee is better -and Ive never been to the Lecht (well, have cycled to it in summer but havent ski'ed or boarded there).
In order then Glenshee, Aonach Mor, Lecht and then Glencoe - I would discount Cairngorm at present.
Scottish days are typical of Scotland - the good are great, but few and far between
If def coming its better to be flexible if you can and go where the weather is - good luck.
In my experience the London to Highlands journey is more expensive than the Switzerland to London part.
From London, by train, it's 8 hours to Aviemore, 9 to Fort William and 10 to Verbier.
It is possible that there will be good conditions in Scotland at that time, and fairly likely that there will be something. But it is also entirely possible that the hills will be snow-free, or just have a dusting.
I certainly wouldn't book a ski or board holiday in Scotland at that time, at least without having a fallback plan for what to do if it just wasn't on.
Glenshee is probably the best option if you're dead set on the idea, as it has many different beginner slopes with different aspects, so there's probably more chance of there being snow on something. But you'll be annoyed if you go there and all the snow's in the west...
I've lived in Scotland for seventeen years in all I've skied at Christmas/New Year about four times. At that time it's normally wet and windy maybe rain maybe sleet but nearly always wind. It's also dark between three in the afternoon and nine in the morning.
You're as far from Scotland as you are from the Alps. The train south should be cheeper than the one north. The snow in the Alps will be better quality and there will be more of it. Plus the runs are longer.
Skiing in Scotland is ok if you live here and can just go when it's good but not when you have to book in advance.
Just found a good review of Scottish skiing, a good summary:
> In my experience the London to Highlands journey is more expensive than the Switzerland to London part.
> From London, by train, it's 8 hours to Aviemore, 9 to Fort William and 10 to Verbier.
7 hours to Grenoble.
& then a short bus trip to eg Chamrousse
Anywhere but Cairngorm...
Which hurts to say, as I grew up on those slopes. But best avoided at the moment.
The OP wanted to snowboard in Scotland and you suggest skiing in the Alps.
With fixed dates it is really likely that Scotland will be unsuitable. The Alps is nearer and very unlikely to be no snow.
Personally I much prefer boarding so I don't agree with that bit, but I do think that hoping for snow in Scotland is likely to lead to disappointment.
The UCPA suggestion is fantastic advice, I had a weeks tuition and food and accommodation and it was great and so cheap. Its subsidised by France and I think it would make it far more affordable.
I have skied a fair bit in Scotland, and a lot in the Alps, particularly the region around Chamonix. A have a number of Scottish ski companions (primarily resident in the NE/Aberdeen area), most of whom have greater experience than me. None rely on Scotland for their skiing. All arrange to visit the alps for as long as they can for their skiing. If they get any done at home it is an unexpected bonus.
As for suggesting that consideration be given to skis rather than a board. I did make clear that my suggestion was in the context of wider winter mountain travel and access. If the OP knows she has no future interest in traveling upwards on snow and getting into the wilds then fair enough. But if she has, I only wanted to help her avoid wasting precious time. 2 of my regular ski mountaineering companions certainly regret spending their prime learning years on a board, only to have to learn to ski when older having not enjoyed splitboarding one bit.
My bad I didn't read it properly that they were a beginner, sorry I assumed they were more experienced since they seemed to know Scotland was unreliable and had personal reasons to not want to go to the Alps.
I agree that the Alps is better and skiing is more practical that's why I chose it. Although if I only wanted to go downhill snowboarding gear is cheaper and the boots are more comfortable.
If you do decide to go north of the border, try to pick up a copy of the seminal guidebook "Skiing in Scotland" by Heather Bashing
McCham. Quick to get to and snow already
Italian climber Stefano Ghisolfi has made the second ascent of Adam Ondra's 2012 route Change 9b+ in the Hanshelleren Cave in Flatanger, Norway after spending one month over two trips attempting the line.