A SCOTTISH ski resort is enjoying more snow than venues for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, the resort’s bosses have said.
Glenshee Ski Centre in the Cairngorms is enjoying a blanket of snow so thick workers are having to dig to expose the ski lifts, with some drifts 10metres deep.
A series of storms since November has left it covered with snow, and the news comes after Glencoe Mountain Resort in the Western Highlands has reported the heaviest snowfall in the past 15 years.
The Russian town of Sochi is in one of the country’s warmer climes, so organisers brought in the latest snow-making equipment in case of a shortage.
Graham McCabe, manager of the Glenshee Ski Centre, said they were pleased with the coverage.
He said: “We’ve got more snow in places than we’ve seen in 20 years.
“Today we have just half the ski area open because the rest of it is buried in the snow.
“We’re having to dig down to where the ski lifts are.
“We’re having more snow than Sochi – I think that goes without saying.”
He continued: “However, I don’t think we are going to get the Winter Olympics here at Sochi.
“In Scotland snow doesn’t fall straight out the sky, ti comes with strong winds, so we have massive drifts.
“Some will be 10 metres deep in the gullies, and we have a huge accumulation of snow, but looking at Sochi they don’t have much more than a metre and a half.
“If you want good skiiing, come to Scotland, not Russia.”
But he said the wind was preventing parts of the slopes from being accessed: “It’s never been winded off completely, but a lot of days we have been down to the lower slopes.
“On Friday and Saturday we had to shut down early because the access roads were becoming difficult to keep clear, so we went for an early closure in order to get everybody away safely.
“I would say the weather has kept visitor numbers a lot lower, we could have been a lot busier than we are.
Experts warned of an avalanche risk in parts of the Cairngorms due to the snowfall but the ski centre said their slopes were not affected.
Mark Diggins, coordinator at the Scottish Avalanche Information Service, said weather conditions posed a higher risk of avalanches in the southern Cairngorms yesterday (wed).
He said: “The hazard is for specific places. Given that we have gales tomorrow and a lot of snow, we have issued a high hazard warning for the southern Cairngorms.”
How Glenshee pistes are beating the world:
Glenshee – 140cm
Chamonix, Mont Blanc, France – 60cm.
Durango Mountain, Colorado, 137cm
Courmayeur, Italy, 130cm.
Champery, Switzerland, 130cm