Snow cover has been an ever-growing problem for Scotland’s five commercial ski centres through the 21st century. In recent years all have installed special machines that make snow even when it’s above freezing – the main issue though is that they can only cover relatively small areas with snow and are expensive to run.
This winter though The Lecht has announced a £400,000 project to update its 20 year old snowmaking arsenal. The big difference with these state-of-the-art but conventional TechnoAlpin snowmaking guns is that they can make snow at -1C, not the -4C the older system requires.
While only four nights in February 2020 saw temperatures down to -4°C, no fewer than 22 nights in the same month were -1°C.
“There have always been variations in snow fall in Scotland. At The Lecht, we want to be able to offer consistent, reliable snow conditions,” The Managing Director of The Lecht, Pieter du Pon explained, “We are therefore committing to installing four of the latest technology snow cannons and a specialised snow groomer and we are delighted that Highlands and Islands Enterprise is to support this major investment in Scottish snowsports.”
Pieter continued: “The Lecht is a resort created by skiing families for families to have fun in the snow without breaking the bank. So we aim to keep our prices as low as possible. The Covid pandemic means that travelling abroad this winter may be difficult, or impossible without lengthy quarantine, and we therefore want to offer families a safe, fun winter experience in Scotland.”
Local development body Highlands & Islands enterprise is contributing £300,000 to the project, and The Lecht has launched a crowd funding campaign to raise the final £80,000 required.
“Given the difficulties the current financial situation has caused for many people, various rewards are offered to both individuals and businesses in return for their donations. Any excess raised will be used for further plant and equipment for snow making,” a Lecht spokesperson said.
The new system is expected to be in place by Christmas.
(image credit: Pieter du Pon)