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Scottish ski resort pledges to ‘make more snow’ this winter

Written by Fiona

November 01 2020

Scottish ski resort, The Lecht, is pledging to “make it snow” this winter with a £400,000 snow cannons project. The Lecht Ski Company has committed to installing four of the latest technology snow cannons and a specialised snow groomer.

A key feature of the new snow cannons is that they can make snow at just below -1℃ compared to the Lecht’s existing 20-year-old cannons, which require temperatures to drop to -4℃. While only four nights in February 2020 were -4°C, no fewer than 22 nights in the same month were recorded as -1°C.

The Lecht’s Snow Factory already guarantees snow on the nursery slopes and the new cannons will allow more of the main runs to be opened.

Managing Director of The Lecht, Pieter du Pon, said: “There have always been variations in snowfall in Scotland. At The Lecht, we want to be able to offer consistent, reliable snow conditions.

“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.”

Appeal to help The Lecht

Now The Lecht has launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise the final £80,000 required to complete the project.

A range of rewards are being offered to individuals and businesses in return for their donations. Any excess money raised will be used for further plant and equipment for snow-making.

Angie Smith, senior business development account manager with HIE in Moray, said: “The Lecht is a key part of Moray’s winter tourism offering. This project will enable the business to tap into the winter staycation market and support valuable employment in a rural area where they have greater proportional impact.

“It will also bring benefits to the local economy through more and longer visits and increased visitor spend. We are very pleased to be able to offer support and wish all Scotland’s ski centres a successful winter season.”

Link to donate: http://bit.ly/wemakeitsnow 

#wemakeitsnow

The technical detail

Iain du Pon is the project manager. He said: “The biggest advantage of the new TF10 cannons is that they can produce snow at a much warmer temperature than the existing cannons – and also in greater quantities. Some 50 per cent greater output than the current cannons when operating at full capacity.

“The cannons will still need to be moved around the hill to cover different areas – they are mobile much like the existing cannons – but they also have the ability to oscillate, which again means coverage of a larger area wherever they are mounted.”

In addition the new New TF10s have their own weather station to constantly monitor the weather so if the conditions are correct they can turn themselves on (even for short periods) and then turn themselves off.

Iain added: “Therefore, each new TF10 cannon creates the same amount of snow in an hour as the current Snow Factory creates in 24 hours. This means that with four cannons running for five nights in the month (eight hours each night) it is the equivalent of the snow factory running for 160 days, which is a huge improvement.”

The Lecht: A ski resort for all

The Lecht has a long history of offering skiing for all ages, especially family groups. The resort aims to keep prices as low as possible.

Pieter said: “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.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic

The Lecht Ski Centre is working with all other Scottish ski centres and Snowsport Scotland and will operate within any restrictions required by Scottish Government guidelines to ensure a safe environment for both customers and staff.

Skiing is a healthy, non-contact sport. When using lifts, and in any queues, customers will be asked to wear face coverings where it is not possible to maintain physical distancing.

It is expected that the café will offer only takeaway food and drink. As before, ski hire will operate the “deli number system”, so that customers do not need to stand in a queue. Customers will be requested to reserve and book hire equipment online.

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