Glencoe Mountain Resort
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Visitor reviews for Glencoe Mountain Resort Ski Resort
February 20, 2016
Dickyboy from United Kingdom
Old lifts, a bit slow, windy, flat light but who cares! I've had some of my most enjoyable days skiing here and I'm taking Cham, La Grave, etc into account when I say this. The views can be staggering, the snow can be fantastic, the steepness is exciting; good for beginners and experts alike.
I don't care about the quirks, if you want to be part of the skiing machine go to Zermatt where there's cham etc. but don't go the Glencoe and expect the same. If you are lucky you'll get one of the best views from a ski resort in Europe and quality skiing which will test you. Great memories, thank you.
Glencoe Mountain Resort Ratings
Overall: 3.2. Based on 12 votes and 27 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Glencoe Mountain Resort.
Public Transport: 2.9
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Glencoe Mountain Resort, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Glencoe Mountain Resort, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 3.0
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 2.9
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Glencoe Mountain Resort.
Ski in/Ski out: 2.6
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Glencoe Mountain Resort, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Glencoe Mountain Resort is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Glencoe Mountain Resort relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 3.5
(1) There are no snow groomers at Glencoe Mountain Resort, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Glencoe Mountain Resort are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Glencoe Mountain Resort is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 2.1
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Glencoe Mountain Resort, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 4.1
(1) Glencoe Mountain Resort usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 4.1
(1) The staff at Glencoe Mountain Resort are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Glencoe Mountain Resort are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 3.6
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 3.4
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 3.8
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Glencoe Mountain Resort has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Glencoe Mountain Resort, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 2.7
(1) Not even a kicker at Glencoe Mountain Resort, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Glencoe Mountain Resort, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Glencoe Mountain Resort has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 3.1
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 2.0
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 3.7
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 3.7
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 3.9
(1) Overall, Glencoe Mountain Resort is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 3.6
(1) Overall, Glencoe Mountain Resort is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
January 31, 2015
Jack from United Kingdom
To those expecting the newest lifts and thousands of meters of vertical you will be disappointed. However, if you pick your day you get some fantastic powder skiing, no queues, incredible views and friendly staff.
Oh and it's just an hour and a half from Glasgow, and midweek is quite frankly a bargain at £20 for a student.
January 15, 2015
David from United Kingdom
Glencoe is an awesome resort with the best on / off piste skiing in Scotland. It has both the longest & steepest pisted slopes in the UK.
I can get there in just over 1 hour from Glasgow (1 hour & 7 minutes).
I have skied there for may years. In the 1990's the top tows were buried (I even skied over the top of the pylons). However, that was nothing compared to the amount of snow in the 2014 season. The extended pylons were once again buried. The guys, at Glencoe, worked very hard and it felt like you were going through a tunnel due to the depth of snow at the sides of the tow tracks; both upper & lower T-bar's.
There is also an awesome All Mountain Freeride Ski Club (GSC), on the mountain, who provide continuous development to trainees, as well as WSRT that provide advanced race training.
January 15, 2015
Gavin Carruthers from United Kingdom
I stayed in one of the hobbit huts when competing in The CoeCup at Glencoe. The resort staff worked extremely hard to host the event and put on a great showcase event.
The atmosphere and 'can do' attitude made for a brilliant time. Snow conditions were fantastic that weekend and getting first tracks down the flypaper was a brilliant experience.
The new cafe at the bottom provided a great breakfast, dinner and Scottish après. The hobbit huts were nice and cosy and it was nice to be 'first' in the car park each morning with no effort.
Remember to check the weather forecast and webcams before you go so you are well prepared and have a good idea about the snow conditions. Going outdoors in Scotland always comes with some risks attached.
Looking forward to getting up there again this season and using Kenny Biggins' off-piste book to find some further challenges.
January 15, 2015
Stephen Speirs from United Kingdom
I've been skiing at Glencoe regularly for 6 or 7 seasons now. Before that I mainly skied at some of the other Scottish resorts. I changed over to Glencoe when I realised I would get, typically, twice as much skiing on busy days (weekends) as at the other resorts (which, to be fair, are great places to ski on their day. It's just that I seemed to get more great days at Glencoe overall). I also think Glencoe has one of the best snow records in Scotland, esp for intermediate and advanced skiers. I love the varied terrain at Glencoe, there is something for everyone. The upper runs include challenging runs for even the best of skiers: the Spring Run (classed as a Glencoe red) may be a black in other resorts and the Flypaper is one of the steepest inbound runs in Europe.
Glencoe is great for kids. My son started skiing at Glencoe a few years ago; I think he was age 8 or 9. He quickly got used to the plateau, which is one of the longest beginner runs in Scotland. Now, age 11 (and thanks to the training at the Glencoe Ski Club) he is at home on the (red) "Wall" run - I think I was 40 before I felt comfortable on this run (as a late starting skier)! A day at Glencoe is such a great family day.
Here are some of my tips for getting the best from your time at Glencoe, that may help balance some of the negative comments below :
(0) Take a camera. The scenery at Glencoe is truly spectacular.
(1) When is the best time to go? Conditions in March are typically the best in my experience yet the number of people goes down. Ski in March for the best experience, don't give up early just because skiing it's getting towards spring, or because you have been on your foreign holiday. And don't forget you can usually ski Glencoe into April. Last year the season ended on around May 5th I think. Yes, May!
(2) Most weekends, at Glencoe, are not too busy. Some, however, are busy, especially if other Scottish resorts are closed or have poor conditions. That's just life, sorry!
(3) All Scottish resorts suffer from high winds, at times. Check the forecasts; snow-forecast.com is usually pretty reliable. If the wind speed forecast is around 50, check with the resort. If it's above 60, there is a fair chance lifts won't be able to run. So don't moan if you haven't checked the forecast.
(4) If you aim to hire equipment, be there early. The staff do a good job trying to get a comfortable and safe fit and this process takes time. Think about buying kit off ebay, you may save a fortune in no time at all. I got my son's skis for £70 off ebay; paid for themselves in ~5 trips.
(5) On main holiday dates e.g. Feb mid-term, sometimes at Christmas, if the conditions are reasonable, then Glencoe, like most Scottish resorts, will be busy. Think about hiring off-site. Ski-n-boardroom, in Glasgow, have good rental, then you have no queues for kit at the resort.
(6) Think about a season ticket if you aim to ski several times in the season. 9 times and I think you break even and you have no tickets queues which is worth something in itself. So if you are aiming for 5 days, why not decide to do 9 days and get a season ticket?
(7) Ski through the lunch hour to avoid queues in the plateau cafe, or have both early lunch (11am) and late lunch (2pm)! Or if you are a beginner on the plateau, jump in the chair back to base, you may be quicker.
(8) Make sure you are comfortable on Poma tows. Scottish resorts don't have the money of foreign resorts, so we make do with what we have. And if you stick with it, you will get some fantastic days that you will remember for ever.
(9) On real busy days, please don't queue up the piste, you just shorten the runs for everyone else. So, at the Cliffhanger chair, for example, queue towards the cafe and not up the slope!
(10) Take reviews below, in season 2013/2014, with a pinch of salt, if they talk about queues. Due to a huge amount of snow, a few of the lifts were practically buried and the resort staff battled with continued snow to get them open. So with fewer lifts, queues were bigger. That is not typical at Glencoe. Usually we moan about not enough snow, don't moan about the consequences when we get too much :-)
(11) Ski mid-week if you can. You'll get the quietest slopes then. Also, some people say Sundays are quieter than Saturdays.
(12) If there is one negative, it's the days when we get low cloud/poor visibility. Every resort gets these; unfortunately they are hard to predict.
January 15, 2015
Lesley Prentice from United Kingdom
Fantastic scenery, very helpful staff. Stayed in the hobbit huts; good value for money and the big breakfast next morning would feed an army.
I understand you can't please all the people all the time but you please us regularly! So will keep coming back to Glencoe.
December 29, 2014
S.Logan from United Kingdom
Equipment hire is a joke. We queued from 08h50 until 11h45. Information was poor. There was no signage to explain the system. No one came down the queue to say what was going on or take details in advance of reaching the hire shop. At the start, the queue in front of us was not very long. Soon there were more people behind us than in front. Many must have given up. This was not an especially busy day. We reckoned one person exited with kit every 2 minutes. With 3 staff inside that is an average of 6 minutes for each to serve one person! Inside the hire room it was clear why – chaos. Get yourselves over to Glenshee to see how to run an efficient system. Or to Hillend, the big Edinburgh dry slopes – they can kit out large groups of people they have not seen before without a fuss. (On the 4 days I was at Nevis Range last year, it was clear they too have a poor system designed for quiet days...)
The lifts, at Glencoe Mountain, are slow and we spent about 5 minutes out of each half hour skiing down and the rest queuing for uplift.
The scenery is fantastic. There are some good steep runs.
Currently, snow cover is thin meaning a lot of rock on show and several runs closed. However, the runs were never busy and there was enough skiing to keep us busy all day. There was some ice on all of the top runs but the steeper areas had good soft snow.
I will not be back.
February 18, 2014
b_RO from United Kingdom
There are negative reviews / comments for a very good reason:
If it's a weekend and the forecast is good and you are a good skier then do not bother going to Glencoe!
(unless you prefer waiting in queues to ripping a run).
A severe lack of investment and poor management means the potential of this place has nowhere near been fully realised - a great shame and a massive disapointment.
Feb 2014: They claim 4.0 m (yes, four metres?!) snow depth in upper slopes. That is twice Grands Montets at this time! Totally misleading. Yes, there is/was a lot (by UK standards) but the claimed depth can surely only be at certain drifted zones (how do they calculate this number??). Complete coverage to 4 m would mean lift pylones would be almost all completely buried. An honest appraisal of depth would be more like a quarter of the claims!
The lifts are antiquated at best, the highest capacity one (an ancient two-man chair for the main access) is slow and the next button that you must take to access the main bowl is even slower so the queues build. What is desperately needed is a faster 2 or, ideally, 4 man chair from the car park all the way to the main bowl.
On 16 Feb, the upper tows were both shut not (as the staff at the car park claimed) because "there is so much snow the cable are buried" (they were not at any point; we walked up to summit on foot carrying skis) but due to top winding mechanism being completely covered in thick rime ice. Ever heard of cable clearing regularly to keep 'em ice free? They seem to manage this fine in far more harsh conditions in the Alps. Little and often stop a nightmare job and the thing just being left shut for days. Another simple idea enclose the winding mechanisms with a hut / cover and they will not get rimed up, Doh!!
On a price per run basis the lift pass at £30 / day is very expensive because the runs are so short that you get a one minute's skiing before you are back in a long (20 to 30 mins I kid you not) queue for the lift back up.
A real pity because I do believe this would / could be Scotland's best skiing if there was decent lift infrastructure designed to cope with the numbers.
Finally, the first queue you have to endure (assuming you do not wait to park your car in the car park but do so on the verge of the access road fro the A82 and walk up to save time!) is to buy the day pass; two booths only and a card transaction system that takes 2 min per card = 45+ mins queue to get your pass. Why not get a proper internet connect and have one window for cash only? It is not rocket science for feks sake!
OK, mid-week must be less congested so go then. But even with "4.0 m" of snow Fly Paper remains shut, why? Well, having tried it on 16 Feb it was wind compressed ribbed ice so very unpleasant skiing indeed. I suspect that 4.0 m depths in certain zones is due to the windblown fresh piling up whilst a large section of the ski area gets stripped down to the base ice!
Mmmmmmme thinks this is why they are not honest/objective about the coverage as then far fewer would go. Once you've driven for two or more hours you are kind of resigned to buying a pass regardless; even with a £5 reduction (due to partial closure) the time of queues.
February 06, 2013
Nick from United Kingdom
Best ski area in Scotland for terrain.
Glencoe is a fantastic place for intermediates and above. The lift system is a bit antiquated, and get used to T-bars, because to access the top you'll have to take at least one.
I'm always amazed at how much terrain opens out from the top: you've got a choice of 6 'runs', and off-piste between and along side them (a short hike/push is required to get to Spring run and Flypaper). Hike up to the true summit (5 mins), and you open up another amazing view as well as an off-piste section to the left of Etive Glades. Rannoch Glades is not really a run, but an exciting weave through a rock field, which for me adds to the fun (also helps in white-out conditions). A lot of Glencoe is rocky, which perhaps puts off the crowds.
The main basin/Happy Valley is a huge wide slope for intermediates or fun, with some features like jumps, the Haggis Trap (an optional narrow gully near the bottom), and a few optional rocky weaves. This run will also suit beginners who are ready for the next step up (but remember it's a T-bar up and the descent back to the lower slopes has a couple of tricky sections. Also, I'd avoid The Wall T-bar which is very steep. Etive Glades has an epic long mellow feel to it (catch The Wall T-bar back up).
Lower down there is the Canyon (confident riders only). Dropping off the side and into this is quite an adrenaline rush.
Glencoe will close runs due to ice and/or avalanche risk (in particular Flypaper, but also The Wall, Spring Run, Canyon are also prone to avalanche). But unlike Glenshee and Cairngorm, who operate a strict lift ticket removal policy, the policy at Glencoe seems to be more 'at own risk', 'best not to go there unless you have avalanche equipment'.
Finally, it should be noted that when conditions allow, Glencoe has pretty much the best vertical descent possible in Scotland. From the summit (1100m to the car park 400m), with no flat, so great for boarders.
The only slight issue I've had is when a lift fails it often limits the options severely.
September 05, 2012
Ruth from United Kingdom
Ignore all negative comments. Glencoe is an awesome Scottish resort. Ok weather dependant - it's rugged, full of character and fast! No commercial non-sense, with amazing guest service, staff & lifties! A lot of the oldness if due to lack of money but supporting your local mountain will, in return, bring it forward! Fantastic regulars and a ski club for kids that promote ski training and mountain awareness. What more could you ask for 1 hour and 45 mins away from Glasgow... Rest my case! Keep doing your thing guys!