Despite much of Europe recording one of the warmest autumns on record, the highly respected UK Meteorological Office has released predictions that the winter of 2005/2006 will see Europe freeze. Below-average temperatures are forecast to be widespread across many parts of Europe, including parts of the UK. Should the Met Office be right then Scotland's ski resorts could be jumping for joy!
Scotland's Five Ski Resorts
Skiing in Scotland has been a bit of a 'hit & miss' affair in recent years. Since the early 1990s the number of snow-days for skiers at the five ski resorts of Cairngorm, Glenshee, The Lecht, Glencoe and Aonach Mor has fallen into sharp decline. Out of a possible 18 weeks of good snow cover, 4 to 6 have been the norm over the last 15 years or so.
As a result of poor snow coverage, visitor numbers to the Scottish ski resorts have more than halved during this time. Forecast visitors for this year at the premier Cairngorm resort above Aviemore is 48,000 - a figure that is well below the 150,000 winter sports enthusiasts who used to visit the resort a few years ago.
Yet, despite the media's negative take on the decline of the Scottish ski industry - some sources have quoted that the Scottish ski industry will be dead & buried in the next 20 years - the winter of 2005/2006 looks set to buck the trend.
Current long range weather forecasts are suggesting that the Scottish ski resorts could see above average snow falls this year. Moreover, once the snow has fallen it is predicted that coverage will last for much longer on the ground too! They're all good signs that point to winter sports undergoing a mini-revival in Scotland this year.
Getting to Scotland
International travellers should elect to fly into Glasgow, Edinburgh or Aberdeen. Car hire can be booked in advance for pick-up at the airport through http://www.your-carhire.com