Ski slope planned for southern Scotland

2nd September 2014, by Abi Butcher

Lowther Hills will have 725m of slopes and three drag lifts

Lowther Hills will have 725m of slopes and three drag lifts

A ski club in Scotland is appealing for help moving its ski tow this weekend to a permanent home on Lowther Hill near Leadhills in Dumfries and Galloway.

The Lowther Hills Ski Club is building a clubhouse, 600m drag lift for intermediate skiers and beginner’s area with two 11m portable ski tows on the slopes of Lowther Hills. It is the first permanent structure near the village — apparently the highest in Scotland — that has been home to several portable ski tows since the 1960s.

“There’s always been some sort of uplift in the area, but it’s never been on a permanent basis nor run by the same people,” said club chairman Anjo Abelaira. “Last year we ran our portable tow on Leadhills Golf Course as well as on Lowther Hill. We’re moving that to Lowther and building permanent facilities and equipment in one place.”

He added: “There will be a proper tow, with proper snow fencing, with a proper clubhouse, with toilets, all promoted and operated by one organisation. It’s organised skiing. We are finally turning into what people call a ‘ski centre’.

The volunteer-based, family-friendly club plans to offer around 20 ski days per year and although planning permission has not yet been officially granted, Mr Abelaira said: “Pre-application discussions were held with the planning authority and, in principle, no major obstacles to the development could be found.”

If successful, he hopes to open in December the only permanent lift-served ski terrain in southern Scotland. But Mr Abelaira is keen to avoid the overcrowding seen at other ski areas in Scotland and the north of England. Rather than simply selling day tickets to anyone, the new ski area will operate more like a golf club, with only 400 people on the slopes at any one time — and priority given to members.

Membership is a modest £35 and will not only give free use of the lifts when the hill is open, but also discounts on day tickets at other Scottish ski resorts and from selected suppliers of equipment, clothing, and travel.

There are currently 200 memberships to the club available, for more information visit skiclub.lowtherhills.com



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