Summer shredding in Scotland

Cairngorm last week… Or is it Tahoe?! Photo: Fiona Reid

With many ski resorts across North America and Europe having long since closed their lifts for the winter season, incredibly, winter sports in Scotland were still in full flow right up to the end of May!

This is incredible for several reasons…

Firstly, it’s nearly June! It’s actually not unusual for Scotland’s resorts to have a good end to the season, but by the end of May it’s normally heather rather than snow that dominates the landscape. After all, the peak of CairnGorm is only 1245m which is considerably lower than the base of most resorts in Europe and North America, and the snow has long since disappeared from the lower slopes there.

Fresh tracks at Cairngorm on 20th May!

It could normally be argued that Scotland’s summer temperatures aren’t a patch on those on the continent and across the pond, but with the heat wave that we’re experiencing at the moment, temperatures have been higher than the likes of Mallorca, let alone the Alps!

What’s even more remarkable is that the Scottish ski areas had had a particularly bad season until the end, and by early April the snow had all but disappeared from most of the slopes. However, thanks to a ‘spring’ which saw temperatures swing from the mid 20s to zero in a couple of days and stay that way for longer than was bearable for most of the country’s inhabitants, the slopes were replenished with more snow than they’d had all season.

View of CairnGorm from Loch Morlich

The resulting conditions for May in Cairngorm were reminiscent of spring in Tahoe, California. Sadly, the exceptionally high temperatures have finally taken their toll on the slopes and Cairngorm finally closed for the season on Saturday (26th May!) but before the temperatures soared, pow was plentiful.

Cairngorm on 28th May, just two days after closing day!

In just a matter of days, it’s become a very different scene on the slopes of Cairngorm and the snow has practically disappeared. Conditions are fantastic for hiking and mountain biking though and you won’t find too many Scots begrudging the warm weather. After all, it’s not often Scotland gets to bask in this kind of heat for a prolonged period!

This article was also published by The Sabotage Times on 3 June 2012

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2 responses to “Summer shredding in Scotland

  1. Now that the Northern Winter is over – don’t forget that the CHIX Shred blog is tracking everything snowports for the Southern Hemishphere Season x

    chixshred.blogspot.com

    • I’ll definitely follow your blog to find out what’s happening in the Southern Hemisphere season. How’s it shaping up so far? I’ve followed you on Facebook and Twitter too, so look forward to hearing your updates! Cat x

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