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Visitor reviews for Nevis Range Ski Resort
February 24, 2013
Schmeagle from United Kingdom
Just returned (Feb 2013) from my second trip to Scotland's suposed best skiing and yet again, for the second year running, at the height of the season there was absolutely no snow. Now, whilst I agree that that is uncontrollable, what I'm annoyed about are the blatant lies that Nevis Range and the neighbouring Glencoe unashamedly band about on their websites and at the base station. '40cm of hard packed snow' and 'good riding conditions on a firm base' really translates to frozen mud and grass with rocks everywhere. Unfortunately, you cannot observe this without taking the gondola up first. It was quite sad to see people exiting the top gondola station, fully equipped with helmets, boots, etc only to be met with zero lifts operating with the 'All runs groomed and open' pistes (thin strips of icy mud) only accessible by yomping up the mountain! And they were charging £30 for the pleasure! The whole place looks run down and like a leisure centre from the 1970s.
Also, Fort William is not somewhere to find 'apres-ski'. It's an ugly looking council estate with a Morrisons as the main attraction.
Spend your money on a Ryanair or Easyjet ticket for the weekend and go somewhere with snow, lower prices and a bit of culture.
Nevis Range Ratings
Based on 6 votes. 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 Nevis Range.
Public Transport: 3.0
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Nevis Range, (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 Nevis Range, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 4.0
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 3.2
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Nevis Range.
Ski in/Ski out: 2.2
(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 Nevis Range, (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) Nevis Range is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Nevis Range relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 3.0
(1) There are no snow groomers at Nevis Range, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Nevis Range 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) Nevis Range is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 2.2
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Nevis Range, 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: 3.6
(1) Nevis Range 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: 3.2
(1) The staff at Nevis Range are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Nevis Range 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: 2.6
(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: 3.8
(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: 3.2
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Nevis Range 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 Nevis Range, (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: 3.0
(1) Not even a kicker at Nevis Range, (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 Nevis Range, (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) Nevis Range has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 2.8
(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: 3.2
(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: 3.8
(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: 2.8
(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): 3.4
(1) Overall, Nevis Range 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): 2.8
(1) Overall, Nevis Range 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.
Based on 6 votes. Vote
January 06, 2011
BigAl from United Kingdom
I have been skiing in all resorts in Scotland for about 26 years now and certainly the last few years have been a godsend in terms of snowfall- I remember skiing every week from November till May back in the late eighties/early ninities with some decent snowfalls.
I have also skied all over europe, Austria, Italy, France and Switzerland and as much as it is great for the weather (most of the time!!), some of the best days skiing, both sunshine and snow conditions I've had, have been in Scotland. You need to do it more than a few times here to appreciate what it has to offer.. The fact that I'm passionate about my country may help a little........
May 13, 2010
hootsmun from United Kingdom
The Nevis Range is good for intermediate to advanced boarders/skiers and there are a couple of slopes for beginners, though they can have poor cover as they are on the lower part of the mountain. Nevis has nice groomers, steeps, great off-piste and a decent park. I have had some of my best days snowboarding in the back corries (I have snowboarded extensively in Scotland, the Alps and Canada for 12yrs). Though being Scotland the weather can be very unpredictable. You can be skiing/boarding on ice with rain/gales lashing your face, then the next day you will have sunshine with 30cm of powder. To get it right you need to study the weather forecast and then with a bit of luck you will have a great day boarding/skiing.
Nevis Range also has some of the best views in Scotland. Time it right for amazing sunsets.
2009/10 has been an amazing season with tons of powder and blue bird days.
For apres-ski - the Clachaig Inn in Glencoe (25 miles south) has a great bar with regular live music, good food, guest beers and a massive whisky selection. It also has rooms to stay or there are 2 hostels less than a mile away.
In comment to an earlier poor review: This person is obviously a one week a year skier and not a purist of snowsports. This person should also remember that Scotland has one of the most unpredictable weather systems in the world, weather forecasts should be used as a guide. The sort of people who moan about breaking a finger nail should go abroad and leave it to people who genuinely enjoy the challenge, thrill and beautiful scenery of Scottish snowsports.
Scotland's ski areas are hugely valuable to the local snowsport community and long may they stay!
I hope that when people read these reviews, they realise that a person who has visited any ski area once can not give a realistic view on that ski area!
April 06, 2010
Dave M from United Kingdom
Visited Nevis Range as a family at the start of April 2010 and had a fantastic time. We all enjoyed riding up in the gondola. A fresh dump of snow on the previous 2 days and a clear blue sky set up great conditions. Being beginners we had lessons, snowboarding for the boys and skiing for the wife and myself. By the end we were taking the T-bar to the top of the mountain and skiing/boarding red runs (with caution) coming down the 'Goose' - in powder snow conditions - fantastic!. Would definitely recommend. However, as some other reviews have indicated, I think snow conditions lower down on the beginner slopes at Nevis Range can become variable and patchy and when mild weather sets in and the snow melts.
April 06, 2010
S from United Kingdom
Just had one of my best ever days skiing anywhere at Nevis Range this Good Friday 2010. I have skiied all over the world in Europe, NZ and South America, and that one day ranked with the best day I've had anywhere in the world. The back corries were stunning, there were no queues at the lifts, and I didn't cross a track all day. The views were spectacular - you could see all the way to the Cuillins of Skye, as well as to Rhum and Eigg (not sure of spelling!!). Highly recommend a visit, just check the weather first!
March 06, 2010
bhodrain from United Kingdom
Re another reviewers submission.
I'm pleased you found conditions at Nevis Range good. I hear they are excellent in Glenshee and Cairngorm, but cannot comment personally.
If you read my review properly, you'd note my early comment that I'm 'a very experienced skier' and have skied extensively all over Europe and USA. I know a good piste when I see one, also a poor one - that is why my review is valid, objective and fair.
I simply report as I find. My review was not bad - it was, however, brutally honest and entirely factual - and I stand by every word.
I didn't go to Fort William for the apres-ski, but as I point out, if conditions are inadequate, surely 'the punters' deserve to know what else is available.
Enjoy the rest of the season.
February 26, 2010
Lorna from United Kingdom
Re the report written on 16th February 2010
Not sure what standard the skier/boarder is?! Nevis Range has had the best snow in years! The back bowls are full of epic powder and the front of the hill has also been amazing. The team up there have spent many hours day and night creating a good base for us punters to ski on. We have skied areas of the hill that have never had such good cover, it's a shame someone needs to give it such a bad review. Never mind, it keeps the queues down for the real skiers! Not to mention the best park in Scotland! I agree that the pubs don't have the European apres-ski appeal but get a grip.....it is Scotland and the best season in years!!
February 22, 2010
Stevie from Ireland
Just back from a weekend snowboarding at Nevis Range. Great people, not too expensive, the runs were all in pretty good condition, the weather was amazing - sunny with no wind. We had no problems there at all. Well worth the visit ....
February 16, 2010
bhodrain from United Kingdom
Regrettably, to my upset and financial cost - and perhaps out of some misguided loyalty to Scotland (being a Scot) - I felt that, for once, I should make a serious attempt to support the Scottish tourist industry by skiing in the Nevis Range.
Resort and piste information:
Firstly, I hold my hand up to having relied on the information on this site (snow-forecast.com).
As a subscriber of many years, and a very experienced skier who, until now, has found no fault with the information in respect of European resorts, naturally, I expected the degree of accuracy and regular updating of information and snow reports that I have come to expect for European resorts.
What is now clear is that the information supplied regarding the Nevis Range is entirely subjective, and that any information supplied regarding the quality of skiing and the piste standards, does not appear to be based on any defined, or identifiable standards.
In my humble opinion, and in fairness to Nevis, this is, perhaps, an issue that snow-forecast.com should address for the future. Perhaps a referenced set of criteria describing parameters for excellent / good / patchy / poor piste conditions might save much uncertainty and frustration.
For example, if normal conditions on Nevis are generally terrible then snow conditions that in Europe would warrant closure of the piste may, justifiably, be described as 'good' on the Nevis. I really am trying to be fair here.
Snow / lift reports and piste conditions:
That said, a piste that is seriously patchy with numerous visible gravel patches, tufts of grass, blue ice, ice sheets and is littered with yellow poles marking the rock outcrops is not, in my opinion, worthy of being described as 'good' - not by any stretch of the imagination. Furthermore, a fall of 3cm of wet snow does not, or should not, count as a 'significant improvement in those conditions'.
I noted that much effort went into joining up the patches of snow (described as pistes) with narrow strips of 'wet sugar' - a necessary exercise to enable transit from one area to the next. However, it only took one fallen boarder to block the narrow traverse between 'pistes' resulting in the inevitable tailback of some 40 to 50, already frustrated, skiers. I found this to be a regular occurrence, and hardly conducive to 'good' skiing.
So far as information on available, and operational, lifts is concerned:
Be warned. Lifts or tows recorded on other sites as 'intending to open' are reported on this site as 'open'. Understandably when, at 9am, 6 out of 11 lifts/tows are shown as open when, in fact, only two are (and are reported as such on those other sites), evidently, something is amiss with the reliability of information found here. May I, respectfully, suggest that both Nevis, and snow-forecast.com address this issue, please.
After an hour or delays, long queues for tows, frustration, feeling my way down the hazard that was the primary ski area (the red runs) and trying to preserve my (recently serviced) edges against the numerous devices and obstacles that might ruin them, I finally gave up and left the mountain. I was joined in the gondola by other, equally disillusioned, intermediate/advanced skiers who had also reached the conclusion that it was better to preserve their equipment, dignity and physical wellbeing.
To be fair to Nevis, as it was still before 12.00, I was given a partial refund on my day pass.
Transport to ski area from local town:
Fort William is several miles away from the ski area. Clearly, the best transport is your own vehicle. There appears to be little (if any) public transport to/from the town. I noted none, and there was a distinct lack of information regarding transport services.
For those who ski in Europe or the USA, you will be dissapointed. There is no apres-ski to speak of.
Fort William has a number of bars and restaurants, but none that can be described as typical (by European standard) 'apres ski' venues. We spent a lot of time searching out entertainment, and apart from one Karaoke session (down a dark alley) and another bar that had a live band on Saturday evening, there was little on offer. I suggest you take an ipod, reading materials, board games or computer games.
If, like me, you leave the mountain dissapointed, may I suggest a (very picturesque) drive to Mallaig (which was shut when we arrived), however, a seal playing in the harbour provided some amusement. Oban (50 miles away) is livelier, but a lot of shops are closed on Sunday. You are well served with mountain walks - so take 'stout' footwear (and waterproofs).
Otherwise, I recommend the Skiwelt in Austria.
Nevis Range summary:
[note from the editor: www.snow-forecast.com shall endeavour to address the relative issue mentioned in this review]
January 29, 2010
JonB from United Kingdom
Nevis Range is an absolutely awful place if you are intermediate or below. Visited 29 Jan 2010 and was amazed they had the cheek to take the money for the lift pass. Tried some blue runs, and was amazed how bad they were for snowboarding. There was thick plate ice with a thin covering of drifted snow. I have never fallen so often. Do they ever piste the runs up here?
At the end of the day, I decided to tackle a green run just for the hell of it and to finish off on a succesful (if uninspired) final run. Could not believe it...patchy gorse and rough grass, ice coated. I admit that I am not expert, but I could not handle the variation between wax munching grass and solid ice...and supposedly on a beginner slope.
As FYI...I started the day at Glenshee. We got there but the operation closed and the police shut the road due to freak blizzard. That aside, the slopes looked wonderful. Pity I could not get up there...maybe next time.
Seriously though, whilst I understand that experienced folk like the challenges of the back corries and freestyle park, I would seriously avoid Nevis Range if this experience is typical of the blue intermediate runs. Go to Glenshee if the snow is there.
Or, as I worked out whilst warming up in the cafe, fly ryanair to somewhere decent...it's about the same cost as I spent today on a Glasgow-Glenshee-Nevis round trip.
November 21, 2008
Doug K from United Kingdom
Have been to Nevis several times now over the years but the most memorable trip was last season & it was epic. I was one of the first few to be allowed over the back corries after the ski patrols had blasted the cornices away for safety & had the best Scottish skiing experience in all my 20 years of going up the hill. Dropping into corrie dubh and laying tracks down in the knee deep virgin powder under blue skies was a memory that will stay with me for many years to come. It really offers the best terrain in Scotland by a country mile. The only dampener was that the Braveheart Chair broke down mid-afternoon and we had to hike up high enough to traverse around the mountain to the top station. The park up on the summit was also pretty impressive by Scottish standards & offered some decent rails and booters for skiers/boarders. Keep the fingers crossed for the coming season. Lets hope for some awesome dumps of the white stuff. ;-)
July 27, 2005
Scott McDonald from United Kingdom
A recipe for magicâ¦
On a cold march morning with the warm sun and birds singing in the city of Glasgow I packed my skiing equipment for a day of adventure at Nevis range. The journey up to the resort was a relaxing drive with amazing views over lochs, mountains and sea coasts, passing villages and towns with all required amenities, services and accommodation. Upon arrival, after driving up the ski road, I was greeted with a large car park area, a foot deep fresh powder and welcoming reception area. The staff were very friendly and helpful and I found the place to have an inviting ethos surrounding it. After purchasing my ticket from the very efficient ticket booth I travelled up the gondola (only one of its kind in Scotland) with once again amazing views over the fort William area and to the mountain of Ben Nevis (tallest in the uk) with dominating presence along the skyline. Once reaching the top station you are greeted by more friendly staff, a restaurant, shop and the highest postbox in the uk! After a quick lunch in the restaurant which offers top notch food at reasonable prices and browsed the shop I travelled out to the slopes. By the view from the top and the fresh untracked powder one could be mistaken they were actually in the alps, but no its Scotland. The runs were excellently maintained by a fleet of piste bashers and dedicated staff. I thoroughly enjoyed the range of exhilarating runs on offer for many levels of experience, from complete beginner, with assistance by the friendly ski school, to the ski enthusiast. For the more experienced skiers among us there is the opportunity to experience arguably some of the best skiing opportunities in Scotland by visiting the back corrie which is serviced by the Braveheart chair. All of the runs at Nevis Range face either North or North-East as well as the back corries and as much of the snow here comes on southerly winds, it's easy to understand why the snow build up is so good in the back. Its often excellent quality as the shelter afforded by the main bulk of Aonach Mor lets the snow settle without being to affected. Allowing skiing sometimes as late as May! So by the end of my day with a smile on my face travelling back down the mountain for the last time, I didnât want to leave and neither did many of the younger ski enthusiasts desperate to go up, âjust one more time!â. Nevis Range truly is the best resort for the people of Scotland and her visitors, with modern facilities, friendly staff, abundance of ski area and a stunning backdrop of scenery you would be foolish to go elsewhere!
Leon from United Kingdom
I've been up to Nevis three times this season. The runs were limited this year, when I was there. But the Boardpark was absolutely brilliant. Great selection of rails and kickers which rivaled anything I saw in France and Austria this year. Hope the team can keep up the innovation and lend the mountain to an even bigger park. Must also mention that some of my best ever boarding has been in the back corries at Nevis. Fantastic powder runs are available if you are lucky.