Summary: A group of snowsports enthusiasts have met to discuss a multi-activity centre centred around a dry ski slope in or close to Inverness. Inverness Backcountry Snowsports Club and Cairngorm Ski Club have been assisted by Snowsport Scotland to take forward discussions on a facility which would include a dry ski slope for all levels, a café and possibilities for activities such as tubing, mountain biking, orienteering as well as general family facilities.
No particular sites have been identified at this stage and the working group has committed to consult interested parties before the proposals are developed further. An online survey has been developed and any interested party is invited to take part. The survey is live during February 2017.
Location: No particular site has been identified although the preference would be a location which offer possibilities for various activities around the core facility of a dry ski slope. The working group is keen to hear from members of the public who may have suggestions as well as individuals and organisations who may be able to assist in identifying a site.
Travel time from Inverness and other areas in the Highlands will be a key consideration when considering the merits of any site as well as the opportunities for activities. As a general guiding principle, the working group would like to make the facility as accessible as possible to members of the public.
Clearly any site will require a slope suitable for skiing and snow boarding as well as parking and base station facilities. Existing access roads and facilities will assist when building the ski slope. A site with existing forestry might enable the development of ropes courses and be an attractive environment for all users. Trees will also assist in developing a facility which is sympathetic to the environment and minimise visual impact.
Activities: The Snowsports centre will include a dry ski slope which could be developed in stages. It is expected that activities such as mountain biking, orienteering, tubing, zip wires and cross country skiing would also be possible. Family activities suitable for all ages will ensure that the centre has the widest possible appeal.
A list of possible activities has not been drawn up and the working group would like to hear from as wide a section of the community as possible. It may be that other activities are possible at particular sites.
Facilities: The working group thinks that attractive and sustainable facilities are fundamental to the success of the project. A possible café has been discussed and the ski slope would require some form of uplift such as a chairlift or drag tow. Car parking and access will be important as well as sustainable forms of transport such a cycling.
Partnership and community: The working group is keen to hear from all sections of the community and any particular user groups. Partnership with land owners and public bodies will be important to the long-term sustainability of the facility. Clubs interested in particular activities should complete the survey so that we can consider the project in the widest sense.
The community survey (link above) is live during February 2017. The working group will consider how to best develop the proposals following an analysis of the survey results.
Further information and contact: The working group has set up a dedicated email address so that members of the public can provide their views and obtain further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Inverness Backcountry Snowsports Club: The Inverness Backcountry Snowsports Club emerged out of the club which was originally the Inverness Nordic Ski Club, and has a long history of running trips around the Highlands for enthusiasts of winter sports beyond the piste. The main programme focuses on ski touring day trips and weekend trips. All snowsports enthusiasts are welcome and membership includes telemark skiers, alpine skiers, snow boarders and others. Over the past 5 years, the club has grown significantly with average annual membership climbing to 100+.
The Club has a very active programme and membership is open to all. Regular day trips as well as weekend events are organised. These see the membership visiting venues which do not see much ski traffic as well as classic tours and descents.
Cairngorm Ski Club: Founded in 1972 Cairngorm Ski Club was originally formed to offer race training to young skiers living in the Spey Valley. In the following years many of the Club’s trainees have gone on to represent Great Britain at various levels, from the Childrens Teams right up to the Olympics.
Under the direction of a Committee of volunteers the Club continues to thrive today offering training throughout the Winter Season. Although race training still continues to be the main focus, the Club offers a Freestyle programme for those Trainees who simply wish to become better all-round skiers. We also offer adult coaching days.
Many of the Club’s Coaches, both past and present, are former trainees who, appreciating how the Club has developed and benefited their own skiing, are now passing on their experience to the next generation.
Off the piste, the Club organises a number of Social gatherings, including a Club Fun Race, Pizza Night, and Ceilidh. The Club’s annual Ski Sale in November is one of the most important fixtures in the calendar and is a major fund raising event. Find out more here.