Cairngorms National Park - Highland Perthshire, Aviemore, Glenlivet, Royal Deeside

Cairngorms National Park. Welcome to the Cairngorms Park accommodation and holiday blog. On Cairngorms-Park.com you'll find the widest range of self-catering holiday homes, hotels, guest houses, B&Bs, hostels and caravanning/camp sites situated in the Cairngorms Park, from Blair Atholl to Aviemore, into Glenlivet and Royal Deeside. You'll also find details of all the villages and tourist attractions in the Cairngorms Park, information on active-, water- and snow sports, including every annual event and festival. Look for our definitive guide to the Cairngorms National Park's golf courses, places to eat and drink, the best nightlife, distilleries and other world class visitor attractions. Your Cairngorms Park holiday starts here!

Set against the spectacular backdrop of the Cairngorm mountains and ancient Scots Pine Forests, Aviemore and The Cairngorms National Park remains Scotland's favourite all year round visitor destination. Whether you're skiing, snow boarding, climbing, walking or just touring, you'll be doing it in some of Europe's finest and most spectacular National Park.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Paths Plan for the Cairngorms National Park gets the go ahead

The Cairngorms National Park Authority has been directed to adopt a plan that lays the foundation for an effective network of paths in the Cairngorms National Park for years to come. The Core Paths Plan that has been produced by the Cairngorms National Park Authority got the go ahead from the Scottish Government following extensive consultation with the public, businesses, land managers and other organisations.

In total 1,197 people were involved in the three consultative phases. It is a blueprint for encouraging more people into the outdoors and helping land managers to manage access across land and water.

The Plan highlights an overall path network of new and existing tracks, roads, pavements and water courses in the Park totalling around 932km (579 miles) - that's further than the main road equivalent of Aviemore to London. The Plan will provide the basis for a programme of improvements that will deliver a wide range of social, economic and environmental benefits.

In a first for Scotland, the Cairngorms Core Paths Plan has designated the surface of the River Spey within the National Park as a core path. This is likely to result in a better managed river catering more effectively for the needs of the diverse range of users who enjoy it.

David Green, convener of the Cairngorms National Park Authority said "Now that the Core Paths Plan has been approved, the development of a more integrated network of paths for a wider range of people and abilities to enjoy the special qualities of the Cairngorms National Park can be taken forward.

"Once completed the work will allow users to move around and enjoy the Park more easily while minimising conflict with farmers, foresters and estates who manage the land. The Park Authority already supports the work of the Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust and I look forward to more projects coming forward like the new school path in Strathdon and the new bridge over the River Gynack in Kingussie.

"I would also like to thank members of the Cairngorms Local Outdoor Access Forum who advised on the consultation process over a sustained period. With their input, the Park Authority went about developing the Cairngorms Core Paths Plan in a very thorough, transparent and consultative way, resulting in just one alteration being directed by the Minister following extensive consultations and a public inquiry."

The CNPA was therefore directed to adopt the Core Paths Plan as submitted subject to the deletion of a path between Nethy Bridge and Braes of Abernethy junction.

The core paths network caters for all types of users from walkers, cyclists and horse-riders, to people with disabilities and canoeists. However, not all individual paths will need to be designed or managed for every type of user. The paths included will allow people to move more easily in, around and between communities as part of their daily lives. Increased recreational use will also be encouraged and the network includes many existing paths as well as some proposals for new ones. Core paths will be easy to follow, well signposted, appropriately maintained and as far as possible free from barriers or obstructions. Paths can range from a simple trail through the grass to a more formal path with a tarmac surface.

The CNPA can now progress with a wide range of work including the production of information from leaflets to map-boards, to help promote the network to as wide an audience as possible.

 

 

Sunday, 24 January 2010

No Kincraig Shinty in 2010

KINCRAIG Shinty Club has withdrawn from competition for the first time in its history due to a lack of players for 2010.

 

The Strathspey outfit has long had to compete with its neighbours and the game's biggest clubs, Kingussie and Newtonmore, for players.

 

Now it has finally succumbed, with no Camanachd Association fixtures on the card for this season – the first time it has happened in 37 years.

 

Kincraig were forced to abandon their league programme last year, despite having promising youngsters at under-12 and under-14 level but officials are adamant this is not the end for Kincraig.

 

President Dennis Meldrum said: “I am confident the game still has a future in the village. Hopefully we can get the club going again next season.”

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Cairngorms on Country File next Sunday 31st.

Two of the best known female faces in the British hills will be together on the small screen later this month.  Heather Morning, a former Cairngorm ranger and now the mountain safety adviser with the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, has been out filming with hill walking pinup Julia Bradbury. The footage will be screened on the BBC1  BBC’s Country file.  The programme spent time filming the unusually arctic conditions in the Cairngorms which have provided some of the most sustained winter mountaineering potential for many years The programme, fronted by Wainwright’s Walks presenter Julia Bradbury, will be broadcast at 6pm on Sunday 31 January.  A spokesperson for the Mountaineering Council of Scotland said: “Our mountain safety adviser Heather Morning was asked to get involved and chats with Julia Bradbury about the unique conditions and mountain safety.”

 

 

 

 

Park to withdraw bus funding

Funding for a bus service in a national park will be withdrawn because of the rising cost of running it.

The board of Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) voted to end the organisation's contribution to subsidising the Heather Hopper.

The service was seen as helping to lower the park's carbon footprint, but the board was told passenger numbers have remained low.

CNPA said it would look at how it could best use funds to provide transport.

Last year, the Heather Hopper was carrying about 40 passengers a week. The subsidy per passenger amounts to £78.

in reference to:

"Funding for a bus service in a national park will be withdrawn because of the rising cost of running it.The board of Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) voted to end the organisation's contribution to subsidising the Heather Hopper. The service was seen as helping to lower the park's carbon footprint, but the board was told passenger numbers have remained low. CNPA said it would look at how it could best use funds to provide transport. Last year, the Heather Hopper was carrying about 40 passengers a week. The subsidy per passenger amounts to £78."
- BBC News - Park to withdraw bus funding (view on Google Sidewiki)

High Avalanche Risk

The avalanche warning affects several remote areas of the Cairngorms National Park including Cairngorm Mountain Resort, a popular skiing destination.

 

The recent storms brought plenty snow to the park-- but with that snow-- the park service and Scotland Avalanche Information Service, SAIS, has issued a dangerous warning anyone planning to head into the Mountains.

 

Several to fifteen feet of beautiful white snow covering Cairngorms National Park is expected to attract many visitors over the upcoming half term holiday in February. But the National Park Service and Scotland Avalanche Information Service, SAIS, have issued an avalanche warning for the park's mountain areas that can be used by hikers and back country snowboarders and skiers.

 

Just last month, a number of people were killed by an avalanche in the Glencoe area.

 

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Terry Kidwell's First Rare Roundtail Snowboard

Like snowboard history? Feeling wealthy? Terry Kidwell is auctioning off his truly classic snowboards on eBay in mid February. Even though he’s old as dirt, he’s figured out the way to build the hype is with a Youtube video, so here it is! The boards were on display at the Nemo stop of I Am Snowboarding, so if moving pictures don’t do it for you, there are still shots here. You know you want one.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

THE Siberian Husky Club

THE Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain's 27th Aviemore Sleddog Rally will be taking place this weekend - despite initial fears the popular event might have to be cancelled because of too much snow.

Over 230 mushers and well over 1,000 dogs are gearing up for their first races on snowy trails in Glenmore Forest since 1995.

The competitors will be taking to their sleds rather than three-wheeled rigs which are normally used when there is insufficient snow.

An email went out a week ago from Aviemore Business Association to their members asking for assistance to help ensure the go-ahead for the two days of competition.

It said that organisers of the event which last year attracted over 1,000 spectators had been on the phone with concerns about the viability of racing.

The correspondence stated: "Apparently there is too much snow on the trail and car park at Glenmore for the race to proceed.

"There is currently a thaw happening but they have asked if any of us have any ideas on how they could piste the route approximately four miles long.

"CairnGorm Mountain have offered to rent skidoos at £30 per hour but as a voluntary event they have little or no additional budget so if you have a spare skidoo available for a couple of hours we would be very grateful."

It added: "Would anyone be willing to have a mass walkout just before the event to piste the route if necessary?"

One of the rally's organisers Judy Wakker confirmed to the "Strathy" that the 27th gathering would certainly be going ahead.

in reference to:

"THE Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain's 27th Aviemore Sleddog Rally will be taking place this weekend - despite initial fears the popular event might have to be cancelled because of too much snow."
- Dogs ready to line up - Strathspey and Badenoch Herald (view on Google Sidewiki)

Aviemore Walking and Mountain Festival

THE plug has been pulled on the Aviemore Walking and Mountain Festival which has generated nearly £500,000 for the local economy since being launched seven years ago.

 

And all for the sake of just £7,000. Several public agencies have given valuable support to the festival since 2003, according to the organisers, but their hands are now tied. Taxpayers' money can be used to set-up all manner of projects, gatherings and festivals and support them during their embryonic years. However, revenue funding is in short supply thereafter because events must be able to stand on their own two feet and not become a long-standing drain on public resources. Aviemore Business Association, who founded and have been running the festival, put out an appeal for wider support - financial and in-kind - to their colleagues in the private sector. But when none was forthcoming they took the decision with "great regret" to cancel this year's event. The walking festival and Badenoch and Strathspey are a perfect fit and people will come if they know about it, as was demonstrated by the turn-out of over 1,000 walkers in 2007. The expertise is still in place and the festival can call on knowledgeable walk guides who give their time for free. On the flip side of the coin, participants reap the health benefits, learn and explore more of the surrounding countryside in a safe environment and will be encouraged to return to the strath time and again. The Aviemore Walking and Mountain Festival is exactly the type of event which should be supported by Aviemore and the Cairngorms Destination Management Organisation Ltd, the Cairngorms Chamber of Commerce; and the strath's outdoors industry.

 

Great little winter walk - Kingussie


Kingussie, Creag Bheag, River Gynak, Scotland

Kingussie, in the Cairngorms National Park (www.cairngorms.co.uk) is a snug little town some way up Strathspey, the long valley of the wide and fast-moving River Spey. The town stands flanked by the Cairngorm mountains to the east — the highest land in Britain — and the impressive rolling uplands of the less-well-known Monadhliath mountains to the west.




It is a rather smaller mountain that dominates Kingussie and forms the centrepiece of this walk — Creag Bheag, a name that owns up to its stature: Little Rock. From Kingussie station make your way north through the town, with Creag Bheag rising on your left hand. The tumbling waters of the River Gynack are a feature of this part of the walk.

At the top of the town the path goes through a caravan park and begins to climb into open country of birch and juniper scrub. The route is waymarked with yellow and purple curves that lead to a ridge overlooking Loch Gynack.

The return route to Kingussie turns left here and runs through more woodland to skirt a golf course and drop back down into the town. But, although the path up to the summit of Creag Bheag is unmarked, it would be a shame to miss the views of the Cairngorm and Monadhliath mountains from the top of Kingussie’s own mini-mountain. 


Remember in winter condition, especially like the winter we are having in 2010, take all the correct safe precautions and ensure to use a let them know before you go form or leave a note on your car window.

Distance 8km (5 miles) Map Explorer 402 

For accommodation ideas check out www.KingussieHolidayCottages.com



Tuesday, 19 January 2010

HEATHER HOPPER STOPS Hops no Longer

HEATHER HOPPER STOPS HOPPING

A bus service connecting communities throughout the Cairngorms National Park is to be cancelled because of poor passenger numbers and high costs. The trans-Cairngorm Heather Hopper was launched in 2006 to provide a new summer service between Ballater and Grantown. But despite growing to include other towns on both sides of the Cairngorms, weekly passenger numbers have fallen dramatically in the past four years. National park officials now claim the May to September service is too expensive and has had limited benefits for visitors. In its first two years, the Heather Hopper attracted 131 passengers a week, but figures for last year show that just 42 travelled each week. A report to go before the board of the Cairngorms National Park Authority on Friday recommends that the service be discontinued. It said that Highland Council and Aberdeenshire Council, which both contributed funding, agreed with the recommendation. John Thorne, the park’s economic development officer, said continuing the service would cost the park £35,000 but that funding could be used more effectively on other projects. He is proposing a pilot field trip fund for schools and other groups, costing £10,000. He said: “The best transport projects ensure that every pound is spent in a focused manner. However the Heather Hopper does not provide value for money and should be discontinued. “It has always been the intention to run the Heather Hopper for several more years to allow the service to bed in. However with the current decrease in budgets, the low usage numbers and the untargeted manner of funding, we can only recommend that funding for the service is withdrawn.” Mr Thorne added Stagecoach may continue parts of the service commercially. The board meeting will take place at Boat of Garten Community Hall from 10.30am on Friday.

in reference to: Cairngorms bus service grinds to halt - Press & Journal (view on Google Sidewiki)

Heather Hopper stops hopping

A bus service connecting communities throughout the Cairngorms National Park is to be cancelled because of poor passenger numbers and high costs.

The trans-Cairngorm Heather Hopper was launched in 2006 to provide a new summer service between Ballater and Grantown.

But despite growing to include other towns on both sides of the Cairngorms, weekly passenger numbers have fallen dramatically in the past four years.

National park officials now claim the May to September service is too expensive and has had limited benefits for visitors.

In its first two years, the Heather Hopper attracted 131 passengers a week, but figures for last year show that just 42 travelled each week.

A report to go before the board of the Cairngorms National Park Authority on Friday recommends that the service be discontinued.

It said that Highland Council and Aberdeenshire Council, which both contributed funding, agreed with the recommendation.

John Thorne, the park’s economic development officer, said continuing the service would cost the park £35,000 but that funding could be used more effectively on other projects.

He is proposing a pilot field trip fund for schools and other groups, costing £10,000.

He said: “The best transport projects ensure that every pound is spent in a focused manner. However the Heather Hopper does not provide value for money and should be discontinued.

“It has always been the intention to run the Heather Hopper for several more years to allow the service to bed in.

However with the current decrease in budgets, the low usage numbers and the untargeted manner of funding, we can only recommend that funding for the service is withdrawn.”

Mr Thorne added Stagecoach may continue parts of the service commercially.

The board meeting will take place at Boat of Garten Community Hall from 10.30am on Friday.

Read more: http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1569077?UserKey=#ixzz0d8SEe8Xv

in reference to: Cairngorms bus service grinds to halt - Press & Journal (view on Google Sidewiki)

Will we race on SNOW this year?

Snow and conditions on the ground are just right for the first time in years for dog lovers who race huskies and sleds on forest tracks. The Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain said the snow is perfect for racing – providing Aviemore, Scotland, where the next meeting is due does not have a big thaw. Racing huskies is a popular sport for country families and singles living in forest and mountain parts of the UK.  A lot of the time, the racers have wheeled rigs like chariots for time trials and races around forest tracks because of the lack of snow, but this year, contenders have their fingers crossed that the weather does not improve too much.  Unfortunately the snow can be a mixed blessing, although racers and supporters want good snow, the conditions mean they can’t get to the tracks with their dogs and kit. A recent race in Sherwood Forest, Nottingham, was called off due to the weather.  Sled racing is a big pull for the crowds 

 

A spokesman said: "It is the right kind of snow for husky racing - slightly powdery - and will be the first time we will have raced on snow since the mid-90s."  The club is sure the A9, the main road to the Highlands, will be open and competitors were buying snow tyres and snow chains to make sure they could reach the track and race. Almost 200 teams will hit the snow for this year’s race, at Aviemore rally is on January 23 and 24, on tracks around Loch Morlich in the shadow of the Cairngorms. The rally features teams of between two and eight dogs running at up to 20 miles an hour over a four-mile track. Along with the Siberian huskies, rally dogs include Alaskan Malamutes, Samoyeds, Greenland Dogs and Canadian Eskimo Dogs.  Big outdoor meets like this are great outdoor dates for country singles to get together. The Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain organises a series of races over the winter months.

 

 

 

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Live Bands on the Cairngorms Ski Slopes ????

I thought The Feeling were taking the piste when they revealed they'd love to play live on a Scottish ski slope. But the idea is not as crazy as it sounds. For the chart-topping band are staging their own rock festival at Meribel in the French Alps.  They 've targeted Glenshee and the Cairngorms as future sites for the event. Feeling drummer Paul Stewart said: "We'd love the festival to become a travelling show? Like a snow covered Lollapalooza ? So Scotland is definitely on our radar. "We've played T in the Park and the V Festival and had a great time but it's nice to do something a little different." In 2008, The Feeling played a free gig to 6000 fans in Meribel.   The Woodshed would make a great venue! You heard it here first.....Keep posted

Saturday, 16 January 2010

New footbridge to the past at Strathdon

RESIDENTS and visitors will step into the past at Strathdon shortly, with plans approved for the £110,000 replacement of a bridge that disappeared 40 years ago.

Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust will recreate a footbridge across the Don near the Lonach Hall, home of the Lonach Society, allowing for scenic walks along the river.

A timber bridge was built a century ago near the same site by the estate joiner from Candacraig – the mansion house which is now home to entertainer Billy Connolly and his family – but it was wrecked in a flood in 1970.

“The new bridge will provide a lovely walk, linking the Colquhonnie Hotel and Lonach Hall with the local community,” said the trust’s East Cairngorms access officer, Murray Swapp. “It will not only benefit tourism at Strathdon but also have the added benefit of offering a safe route for people attending the annual Lonach Gathering,”

Each summer the annual Lonach Gathering and march of the Men of Lonach brings thousands of additional visitors to the normally quiet glen, and traffic packs the usually quiet A944 Strathdon-Alford road leading to Bellabeg Park.

Two years ago, the Cairngorms National Park Authority unveiled a pathways initiative, and consultation sessions at Strathdon pinpointed public interest in the restoration of the long-lost bridge crossing.

The authority’s planning committee has now approved the scheme.

Along with the single-arch footbridge and paths route, the project will see a small timber bridge built across a ditch beside the road.

Read more: http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1564956?UserKey=#ixzz0clhFIkEQ

in reference to: New footbridge to the past at Strathdon - Press & Journal (view on Google Sidewiki)

Friday, 15 January 2010

Ballater restaurant achieving three AA rosettes

The AA Rosettes, which are awarded just twice a year, have recognised a new restaurants with three rosettes in the Cairngorms National Park.

 

The Green Inn Ballater, Cairngorms National Park, has joint other establishments in the privileged ranks of three AA Rosette restaurants. The Green Inn is a family affair. Trevor O'Halloran entertains at front of house, while son Chris is in charge of the kitchen, ably assisted by mum, Evelyn. The cooking is contemporary in approach underpinned by classical techniques, reflecting the chef's training at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons. Artistically presented dishes utilise fresh, local produce, home-grown when available.

 

 

AA Rosettes are awarded in recognition of high-quality cooking and it is wonderful that restaurants throughout the UK continue to challenge themselves and hone their skills, from emerging talent such as the intimate and family-run Loves Restaurant.

 

Restaurants serving food of a three Rosette standard are worthy of recognition from well beyond their local area, while four Rosette-awarded restaurants exhibit culinary skills that demand national recognition

 

For more information on other great places to wine and in the Cairngorms National Park, check out the fine wine and dine section of Cairngorms Holiday Cottages.

 

 

 

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Steady does it for Lesley

By her own admission, McKenna put in a "steady but careful run" in the first top-flight contest of this Winter Olympic year.

Her 14th finish on Thursday keeps the Aviemore rider in the top 30 in the overall rankings and will keep her at the forefront of GB selectors' minds for the Vancouver Games.

They are due to announce the British snowboard team next Monday, and McKenna - who is aiming for a third Winter Olympics - is the only British lady to have made the qualifying criteria for the half-pipe.

She said: "The World Cup in Kreischberg was won by the young newcomer from the Czech republic, Sarka Pancochova, who rode really well with back-to-back 540s and a frontside 720.

"Second place and third place was taken by the Chinese riders, Zhifeng Sun and Xu Chen, who also performed the same tricks as Sarka.

"I did a back-to-back 540 combo and not the 720 just to make sure, I played it safe and got a result in this competition."

She added: "Right now, it is only myself and Ben Kilner who have made the qualification for the Olympic team in halfpipe.

"I anticipate that I will be chosen as part of the halfpipe team and I am very much looking forward to the next six weeks."

Pancochova dominated the ladies' night final with 42.1 points to claim her first World Cup win and relegate the two Chinese riders to second and third.

The Czech rider, who made it straight to the finals impressed with a faultless run including 'frontside air' to 'backside 540', 'frontside 540', 'straight air' and a 'frontside 720' to finish things off.

The 19-year-old said: "I knew that I could do good tricks but I didn't expect to win at all. It feels so good, I cannot believe it."

Before, she had missed the top 20 in all of her seven World Cup starts with a 21st as best result in Saas-Fee last season.

While Scotland has been enjoying the heaviest snow in many years, Austrian competition organisers faced a headache for the halfpipe contests.

A total of 30,000m³ of artificial snow was produced in the lead up to the World Cup in order to provide the pipe for the contest which served as last Olympic qualifier.

The international minimum needed to qualify for Vancouver was 100 FIS points and a top 30 finish at a World Cup or in the World Championships.

Selected results:

1 Sarka Pancochova (Cze) 1000 points; 2 Zhifeng Sun (China) 800; 3 Xu Chen (China) 600; 4 Manuela Laura Pesko (Sui) 500; 5 Lisa Wiik (NOR) 450; 14 Lesley McKenna (GBR) 180.

in reference to:

"By her own admission, McKenna put in a "steady but careful run" in the first top-flight contest of this Winter Olympic year.Her 14th finish on Thursday keeps the Aviemore rider in the top 30 in the overall rankings and will keep her at the forefront of GB selectors' minds for the Vancouver Games.They are due to announce the British snowboard team next Monday, and McKenna - who is aiming for a third Winter Olympics - is the only British lady to have made the qualifying criteria for the half-pipe.She said: "The World Cup in Kreischberg was won by the young newcomer from the Czech republic, Sarka Pancochova, who rode really well with back-to-back 540s and a frontside 720."Second place and third place was taken by the Chinese riders, Zhifeng Sun and Xu Chen, who also performed the same tricks as Sarka."I did a back-to-back 540 combo and not the 720 just to make sure, I played it safe and got a result in this competition."She added: "Right now, it is only myself and Ben Kilner who have made the qualification for the Olympic team in halfpipe."I anticipate that I will be chosen as part of the halfpipe team and I am very much looking forward to the next six weeks."Pancochova dominated the ladies' night final with 42.1 points to claim her first World Cup win and relegate the two Chinese riders to second and third. The Czech rider, who made it straight to the finals impressed with a faultless run including 'frontside air' to 'backside 540', 'frontside 540', 'straight air' and a 'frontside 720' to finish things off.The 19-year-old said: "I knew that I could do good tricks but I didn't expect to win at all. It feels so good, I cannot believe it."Before, she had missed the top 20 in all of her seven World Cup starts with a 21st as best result in Saas-Fee last season.While Scotland has been enjoying the heaviest snow in many years, Austrian competition organisers faced a headache for the halfpipe contests.A total of 30,000m³ of artificial snow was produced in the lead up to the World Cup in order to provide the pipe for the contest which served as last Olympic qualifier.The international minimum needed to qualify for Vancouver was 100 FIS points and a top 30 finish at a World Cup or in the World Championships.Selected results:1 Sarka Pancochova (Cze) 1000 points; 2 Zhifeng Sun (China) 800; 3 Xu Chen (China) 600; 4 Manuela Laura Pesko (Sui) 500; 5 Lisa Wiik (NOR) 450; 14 Lesley McKenna (GBR) 180."
- Steady does it for Lesley - Strathspey and Badenoch Herald (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Police has warned walkers not to venture on to frozen lochs and lochans, as a slow thaw has made many of them dangerous to walk on.

 

As temperatures slowly rise, the ice on the Cairngorms National Park frozen waters has begun to thin, even on those on the high ground. The problem is particularly acute on remote lochans and rivers, where help would take much longer to reach if someone fell into the freezing water.

 

In the national park near Aviemore many people have been seen walking, sledging and skating on loch Morlich, but now it’s getting warmer, the dangers are even more acute. People have been on the ice at Loch Inch, Loch Muich Ballater, and small lochs in many of the local villages, such as Newtonmore and Kingussie, over the weekend. Police have recently put a warning notice in local press Strathspey and Badenoch Herald, highlighting the potential danger.

 

Lochs and lochans, particularly those at higher levels, could appear to have solid ice, even when it’s thawing, and might not hold a person’s weight.

 

With a bit of common sense, this amazing winter landscape can be enjoyed by all those prepared to go the extra distance in keeping themselves protected and safe

 

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

ALCOTT SEES POSITIVES IN BIG FREEZE

Great Britain's number one ski racer Chemmy Alcott hopes the big freeze which has engulfed the United Kingdom will help the nation focus on next month's Winter Olympic Games.

While much of the country has suffered during the inclement weather, many have taken the opportunity to take to their nearest hill to go sledging - and even skiing and snowboarding in The Cairngorms National Park.

Resorts in Scotland have seen their best conditions for years and Alcott hopes the winter wonderland will inspire the nation to get behind their athletes at the Winter Games, which take place in Vancouver, Canada from February 12 to 28.

"It's really good for us, with the Olympics just a month away," Alcott said.

"It means that everyone's getting into winter mode, seeing the snow it brings ski racing at the forefront of everyone's mind - it's really good."

The Alpine skiing disciplines take place in Whistler, with Alcott first taking to the mountain in the super combined event on February 14.

The 27-year-old, who will be taking part in her third Games, recorded an 11th-placed finish in Turin four years ago - the best Olympic performance by a British female skier since 1968 - and is confident she is peaking at the right time and capable of a medal.

Alcott, who is sponsored by Witan Investment Trust, added: "I feel like I'm getting more consistent across the board and I'm learning what to do to be the best in the world - I'm winning splits out there, I'm winning runs.

"Everything's slowly coming together in what I need to do to be the fastest girl on the hill on that day."

in reference to:

"Great Britain's number one ski racer Chemmy Alcott hopes the big freeze which has engulfed the United Kingdom will help the nation focus on next month's Winter Olympic Games. While much of the country has suffered during the inclement weather, many have taken the opportunity to take to their nearest hill to go sledging - and even skiing and snowboarding. Resorts in Scotland have seen their best conditions for years and Alcott hopes the winter wonderland will inspire the nation to get behind their athletes at the Winter Games, which take place in Vancouver, Canada from February 12 to 28. "It's really good for us, with the Olympics just a month away," Alcott said. "It means that everyone's getting into winter mode, seeing the snow it brings ski racing at the forefront of everyone's mind - it's really good." The Alpine skiing disciplines take place in Whistler, with Alcott first taking to the mountain in the super combined event on February 14. The 27-year-old, who will be taking part in her third Games, recorded an 11th-placed finish in Turin four years ago - the best Olympic performance by a British female skier since 1968 - and is confident she is peaking at the right time and capable of a medal. Alcott, who is sponsored by Witan Investment Trust, added: "I feel like I'm getting more consistent across the board and I'm learning what to do to be the best in the world - I'm winning splits out there, I'm winning runs. "Everything's slowly coming together in what I need to do to be the fastest girl on the hill on that day.""
- ALCOTT SEES POSITIVES IN BIG FREEZE | Sporting Life | MotoGP, Superbikes, Cycling, Swimming, Athletics (view on Google Sidewiki)

Monday, 11 January 2010

Ice climbers have been finding previously unavailable low-level climbs on rock faces and a road cutting along a trunk road in the Highlands.

The Slochd, near Inverness, and the cutting which is illuminated by lights at Aviemore are among the sites being tackled on the A9.

Mountaineer Dan Goodwin said sustained freezing temperatures had created "unique conditions" for ice climbers. But heavy snow has made traditional routes in the Cairngorms hard to reach.  Mr Goodwin said: "Climbing in the Cairngorms has been a write-off because it has been swamped by snow." He added: "We have seen some of the low-level climbs in the past, but very briefly. The Steall waterfall in Glen Nevis is frozen enough for climbing for the first time in about eight years.

The sustained freezing conditions has frozen water from drainage ditches at The Slochd, while the road cutting at Aviemore can be reached by walking up through the town." The cutting, which is lit up after dark, is set away from the A9.  Mr Goodwin has been reporting on Scottish winter conditions on the website UKClimbing.com. Ice climbers and walkers have been urged to take sensible precautions parking cars at climbing sites and, when heading for the mountains, to first check forecasts from the Sportscotland Avalanche Information Service (SAIS).  Members of the SAIS reported six separate avalanches in the Northern Cairngorms on Sunday.  Veteran mountain rescue team member David "Heavy" Whalley said he has never seen so much snow fall in Scotland's hills. He said: "The hills are fairly hard going with very deep snow in places, but wonderful all the same."  The retired RAF team leader added: "I was climbing a few feet above sea-level at Kishorn on an ice fall yesterday - magnificent."

 

Great Snow Sports on the Cairngorms

 “It just gets better and better.” is the comment from staff at Cairngorm Mountain snow sport resort above Aviemore in Scotland.

Approximately 1.5 metres or five feet of snow has now fallen on the upper slopes since Christmas and temperatures forecast to remain at or below freezing for the next week at least.

With the local school holidays finishing this weekend (Jan 10th) it is one of the best times in the past decade to visit the slopes with the crowds of Christmas and New Year gone and excellent cover from top to bottom for the whole hill available to explore.

The snow is dry and crunchy on the pisted runs, the M1 and Cas have groomed powder and the top bowls are pisted virtually from fence to fence.

The first funicular up is at 9am but other surface uplift will usually operate from half an hour earlier. Last funicular up is at 3.20pm/down 4.00pm.

You can buy ski tickets (but not ski hire) on-line on cairngorm.com. You can also buy 4 Day Skiing Tickets Vouchers on-line (£96 for adults and £58 for a child).

Vouchers can be used any day this skiing season but only one voucher per day may be used. These on-line purchases need to be presented at the ranger base office on arrival and exchanged for a ticket for the day.

On busy days (weekends) a cash only desk for day ski tickets (no hire and no two-day tickets) operates from the window in the side of the day lodge so visit a cash machine before you come on site for fast ticket purchase.

Within the ticket office itself one queue will be a dedicated ‘ski tickets only for cash or credit cards’ (no hire) queue while the remaining windows will be for tickets and hire or hire only (and voucher/multi-day purchases).

Forecast for Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th Jan 2010 is for high wind to continue. This will continue to prove a challenge for road clearing until all the soft snow has drifted and settled. An update for 6.45am daily on the web site. 

For more info check out - www.cairngormmountain.co.uk

Glenshee Ski Centre profits from cold snap

AS PARTS of the country ground to a standstill during the cold snap one of the coldest places in Scotland has been enjoying a mini boom.

Braemar has endured sub-zero temperatures for weeks but the weather has allowed Glenshee Ski Centre to make its best start to the season in a decade.

The centre has attracted 26,000 skiers and snowboarders since opening on Christmas Eve and 12,000 in the past week alone.

Director Stewart Davidson said last night: “It’s been excellent. This time last year we were closed. It was January 21 before we opened.

“At the beginning of week, with the schools closed, we certainly got more kids here than we'd have expected, it impacts on everyone and generates a bigger income all around. It’s glorious today – blue skies – it’s like being in the Alps.”

John MacPherson, chairman of Braemar Community Council, said the area could not have wished for a better start to the ski season.

“You don’t expect this weather until January,” said Mr MacPherson, who works as a ski instructor at Glenshee. “It’s been a fantastic start to the season and the spin-off is the benefit to the shops and hotels for the whole local economy.”

Andrew Shore, owner of Callater Lodge, Glenshee Road, said: “From a business point of view it is great. When there is snow there are skiers.”

Forecasters are predicting a high of zero in the village over the next five days.

Read more: www.pressandjournal.co.uk

in reference to: Glenshee Ski Centre profits from cold snap - Press & Journal (view on Google Sidewiki)

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Snow Boarding Injuries

In the past decade, snowboarding has become one of the most popular winter sports. At first, it was considered to be a sport for the younger generation. I remember Glenshee and Cairngorms would not let us ride the button tows for a long time, this was in the early 80's. However, as skiers learned more about snowboarding, they realised that it caused fewer knee injuries than alpine skiing. As such, it is not unusual to see people in their fifties and sixties on snowboards.




Unlike downhill skiing, in snowboarding, your feet are strapped to one board, and are always pointing in the same direction. For this reason, snowboarders are less likely to experience anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, which are sometimes the result of twisting movements. That said, if a snowboarder falls, his upper body will absorb the impact. Since the rider can't extend one leg to recover balance, he will instinctively outstretch a hand to break the landing. Thus, in most cases, a snowboarder wipe-out will result in a landing on the hands, shoulders, butt or head. This might result in upper body injuries.

Rotator Cuff Injuries
The rotator cuff is comprised of the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor. These important muscles support and stabilize the movements of your arms. Injuries to this area will decrease range of motion and cause severe pain.

In some cases, a rotator cuff tear might require arthroscopic surgery. Symptoms of a torn rotator cuff include pain when moving your arm away from your body, pain that is accompanied by weakness, difficulty sleeping on the injured side and pain when lifting objects overhead. Fortunately, not all rotator cuff injuries result in a complete tear. Minor injuries can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications, ice and strengthening exercises.

Broken Collarbone
A search through YouTube will bring up a multitude of videos showing snowboarders breaking their collarbones on the slopes. These injuries often occur while riding the rails or performing other snowboarding tricks. The collarbone, otherwise known as the clavicle, is centrally attached to the sternum or breast bone. Its outer side is attached to the shoulder complex. A broken collarbone is often the result of a fall on to an outstretched hand. This type of fall is common to snowboarders. Because of the anatomical arrangement between the collarbone, shoulder complex and sternum, when this type of fall occurs, the force is transmitted up the arm, resulting in a fracture.




Concussion
A concussion is a head injury that is common to both skiers and snowboarders. It can either be the result of an unfortunate encounter with an unyielding tree, or a fall resulting in a landing on the head. During a concussion, the brain actually moves within the head. This causes all of the brain cells to fire simultaneously. The victim might feel as if he is experiencing a seizure. Symptoms of a concussion include disorientation, confusion, memory loss, fluid draining from the ears and unequal sized pupils. Studies have shown that wearing a helmet might prevent a concussion.

Wrist Injury
Injuries to the wrist are quite common amongst snowboarders. This is due to a phenomenon known as FOOSH, which is an acronym for Falling On to an Outstretched Hand. For this reason, many snowboarders use wrist guards. In fact, some glove manufacturers design gloves with integrated wrist protection.

Ankle Injury
Snowboarding boots are much more comfortable than ski boots. However, this comfort comes with a price. Increased comfort translates into less support, and less support may result in an ankle injury. Since novice snowboarders tend to favour softer, but less supportive boots, they often fall victim to ankle injuries. Injuries to the ankle may occur when a rider lands from a jump. If the ankle inverts, or turns inward, a fracture may occur. As such, many expert snowboarders are now opting for harder snowboard boots.



With three main ski areas of Cairngorm, Glenshee and the Lecht the Park offers the best skiing and snowboarding in the UK.But there are plenty of other snow activities to keep visitors to the Cairngorms National Park busy.

Skiers Flock To Snow-Covered Cairngorm

Thousands of skiers hit the slopes of Cairngorm in Scotland over the weekend to enjoy some of the best snow conditions in almost 30 years.

Approximately 1.5 metres of snow has now fallen on the upper slopes since Christmas. There is now 185cm of snow on the upper slopes which is the best covering since the 1970s.

Tania Alliod, marketing and PR officer for CairnGorm Mountain says: "With temperatures forecast to remain at or below freezing for the next week at least, this is a great time to come and enjoy some awesome snow sports, with excellent cover form top to bottom and the whole hill available to explore. The snow is dry and crunchy on the pisted runs, the M1 and Cas have perfectly groomed powder and the top bowls are pisted virtually from fence to fence."

The West Wall, East Wall, and Ciste Gully areas are all closed due to avalanche risk so there is no skiing or snowboarding allowed on those pistes.

The CairnGorm Mountain has a reputation as one of the most beautiful and sometimes challenging places to ski in the UK, as well as boasting Scotland's only funicular railway.

It is also Scotland's most popular resort and is located just a short distance from the main A9

in reference to:

"Thousands of skiers hit the slopes of Cairngorm in Scotland over the weekend to enjoy some of the best snow conditions in almost 30 years. Approximately 1.5 metres of snow has now fallen on the upper slopes since Christmas. There is now 185cm of snow on the upper slopes which is the best covering since the 1970s. Tania Alliod, marketing and PR officer for CairnGorm Mountain says: "With temperatures forecast to remain at or below freezing for the next week at least, this is a great time to come and enjoy some awesome snow sports, with excellent cover form top to bottom and the whole hill available to explore. The snow is dry and crunchy on the pisted runs, the M1 and Cas have perfectly groomed powder and the top bowls are pisted virtually from fence to fence." The West Wall, East Wall, and Ciste Gully areas are all closed due to avalanche risk so there is no skiing or snowboarding allowed on those pistes. The CairnGorm Mountain has a reputation as one of the most beautiful and sometimes challenging places to ski in the UK, as well as boasting Scotland's only funicular railway. It is also Scotland's most popular resort and is located just a short distance from the main A9"
- Skiers Flock To Snow-Covered Cairngorm - OnTheSnow (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Aviemore Sled Dog Rally 2010

Every year, mushers from throughout the UK gather in the forests around Aviemore for the biggest event in the British husky calendar - always hoping for plenty of the white stuff to make it a real arctic experience.

Sled dog enthusiasts continue a racing tradition, which is now almost a century old. Around 200 teams of dogs from all over the country will be straining at the leash on January 23 and 24. With competitors ranging in age from just eight to 60, there's something for all the family to see at this great spectator event, which has grown from just a dozen teams in 1984, to more than 200 in recent year's race.

Organised by the Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain the rally is run on tracks around Loch Morlich in the shadow of the Cairngorms. The event is the biggest gathering of its kind in the UK for dogs, which were first bred to pull sleds in Arctic conditions hundreds of years ago. The rally features teams of between two and eight dogs running at up to 20 miles an hour over a gruelling, four-mile track. Along with the Siberian huskies, rally dogs include Alaskan Malamutes, Samoyeds, Greenland Dogs and Canadian Eskimo Dogs. And, even if there's no snow at ground level for the event, the races will still go on with mushers using a three-wheeled rig that looks like a bike without a seat. Sled dogs come from as far as the Isle of Wight and Devon for one of the most challenging and prestigious of the British Siberian Husky Club's series of rallies.

in reference to:

"Every year, mushers from throughout the UK gather in the forests around Aviemore for the biggest event in the British husky calendar - always hoping for plenty of the white stuff to make it a real arctic experience. Sled dog enthusiasts continue a racing tradition, which is now almost a century old. Around 200 teams of dogs from all over the country will be straining at the leash on January 23 and 24. With competitors ranging in age from just eight to 60, there's something for all the family to see at this great spectator event, which has grown from just a dozen teams in 1984, to more than 200 in recent year's race. Organised by the Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain the rally is run on tracks around Loch Morlich in the shadow of the Cairngorms. The event is the biggest gathering of its kind in the UK for dogs, which were first bred to pull sleds in Arctic conditions hundreds of years ago. The rally features teams of between two and eight dogs running at up to 20 miles an hour over a gruelling, four-mile track. Along with the Siberian huskies, rally dogs include Alaskan Malamutes, Samoyeds, Greenland Dogs and Canadian Eskimo Dogs. And, even if there's no snow at ground level for the event, the races will still go on with mushers using a three-wheeled rig that looks like a bike without a seat. Sled dogs come from as far as the Isle of Wight and Devon for one of the most challenging and prestigious of the British Siberian Husky Club's series of rallies."
- Arden Grange & Siberian Husky Club of GB Aviemore Sled Dog Rally 2010 - Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain - Huskies UK (view on Google Sidewiki)

Beauly and Denny Project Approved

Cairngorms Holiday Portal Controversial plans for a line of giant pylons from the Highlands to central Scotland have been approved by the Scottish government. About 600 pylons, some more than 200ft in height, would connect renewable power projects to the national grid. The line will run from Beauly, west of Inverness, to Denny, near Falkirk, through the Cairngorms National Park.

in reference to: Facebook | Cairngorms Holiday Portal (view on Google Sidewiki)

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Ministers due to approve £400m Beauly-Denny power line

Controversial plans for a line of giant pylons from the Highlands to central Scotland are expected to be approved by the Scottish government.

Ministers are also due to outline the conditions under which the project could go ahead, after it received more than 18,000 objections.

About 600 pylons, up to 200ft in height, would connect renewable power projects to the national grid.

The line would run from Beauly, west of Inverness, to Denny, near Falkirk.

The £400m project would carry 400,000 volts (400kV), replacing the existing 132kV line, which runs along a similar route.

Supporters said the scheme - which has divided environmentalists and green energy advocates - was needed to help meet renewable energy commitments.

But concerns have been raised over the impact to landscape of the massive pylons and a lack of detail over alternative to options to the 137-mile route, which passes through the Cairngorms National Park.

The plan has been the subject of a public inquiry, the recommendations of which the Scottish government has had for almost a year.

Ministers will outline their decision in a statement to the Scottish Parliament.

Opposition parties said the move was long overdue.

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) is behind the project through its licensed transmission company, Scottish Hydro-Electric Transmission Ltd (SHETL). SP Transmission Ltd (SPT) is also involved.

They plan to expand the existing substation at Beauly, which currently handles power from hydro-electric schemes, and link it to a new cable carrying electricity from wind farms on the Western Isles.

At the other end of the line, a substation would be built on a new site at Denny, where a number of transmission lines intersect.

The scheme would help boost the Scottish government's target to meet 50% of Scotland's energy needs to be met by renewable sources by 2020.

in reference to:

"But concerns have been raised over the impact to landscape of the massive pylons and a lack of detail over alternative to options to the 137-mile route, which passes through the Cairngorms National Park. The plan has been the subject of a public inquiry, the recommendations of which the Scottish government has had for almost a year. Ministers will outline their decision in a statement to the Scottish Parliament. Opposition parties said the move was long overdue. Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) is behind the project through its licensed transmission company, Scottish Hydro-Electric Transmission Ltd (SHETL). SP Transmission Ltd (SPT) is also involved. They plan to expand the existing substation at Beauly, which currently handles power from hydro-electric schemes, and link it to a new cable carrying electricity from wind farms on the Western Isles. At the other end of the line, a substation would be built on a new site at Denny, where a number of transmission lines intersect. The scheme would help boost the Scottish government's target to meet 50% of Scotland's energy needs to be met by renewable sources by 2020."
- BBC News - Ministers due to approve £400m Beauly-Denny power line (view on Google Sidewiki)

Monday, 4 January 2010

Train derails in Highlands

The incident involved a freight train at Carrbridge Train Station south of Inverness on Monday afternoon 4th of Jan 2010.Police and emergency services are attending the scene of a train derailment in the Highlands.

The incident involved a freight train and happened at Carrbridge Train Station between Aviemore and Grantown-on-Spey at around 4.05pm.

One of the two occupants onboard the vehicle sustained minor injuries and has been treated at the scene.

Police have warned that rail services between Aviemore and Inverness have been suspended as a result of the incident.

Roads leading to the station could also be affected by emergency services vehicles

in reference to:

"Police and emergency services are attending the scene of a train derailment in the Highlands. The incident involved a freight train and happened at Carrbridge Train Station between Aviemore and Grantown-on-Spey at around 4.05pm. One of the two occupants onboard the vehicle sustained minor injuries and has been treated at the scene. Police have warned that rail services between Aviemore and Inverness have been suspended as a result of the incident. Roads leading to the station could also be affected by emergency services vehicles"
- Train derails in Highlands | Highlands & Islands | STV News (view on Google Sidewiki)

What's on January 2010 Aviemore and the Cairngorms National Park

Friday 1st January

• Wildcat Centre, Newtonmore – Walk of the Wildcat Trail.  Register 10am-12noon and return from walk by 4pm to receive certificate, mulled wine and shortbread.  Contributions to work of the Woodland Trust appreciated.

• The Dell, Kingussie – Shinty Match for the Sinclair Trophy.  ‘Kingussie Veterans v Kingussie 2009’, 1pm.  Piped Parade leaves the Silverfjord at 12.30pm.

• The Silverfjord Hotel, Kingussie – To follow Shinty live music with ‘See Red’, 5pm and Karaoke, 9pm.

• Cairn Hotel, Carrbridge – ‘Gilly Brothers’ from 3pm.  Families Welcome.

• Cairngorm Hotel, Aviemore – Entertainment in Cairn Lounge, 3-5pm. Karaoke, 9.30pm-late.

• Dalfaber Golf and Country Club, Aviemore – Family Fun Night.  Pool Party 5-7pm, Fun Night 8-11pm.

• Carrbridge Hotel – Alfie on Guitar, 8.30pm.

• Ben Mhor Hotel – Grantown on Spey – ‘Tipsy Laird’ from 9pm.

• Mackenzies Highland Inn, Aviemore – Live Band ‘QDos’, 9pm.

• Cafe Mambo, Aviemore – DJ Colin, 9pm-late.

• The Glen Hotel, Newtonmore – ‘Bleeker’, 9.30pm.

 

Saturday 2nd January

• Seafield Lodge Hotel, Grantown – Harry Macfadyen entertains with a mix of pipes, mandolin and guitar.  Sing a long songs and lots of fun.  Including Chef’s Special ‘Taste of the Highlands Dinner’, £32.50pp.  Booking Essential T: 01479 872152.

• Lochanhully Woodland Club, Carrbridge – Quiz Night, 8.30-10.30pm.

• Dalfaber Golf and Country Club, Aviemore – George Gordon, 8.30-10.30pm.

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Karla, 8.30pm.

• Ben Mhor Hotel – Grantown on Spey – Karaoke with Alfie, 9pm.

• Mackenzies Highland Inn, Aviemore – Gordy Peters, 9pm.

• Cafe Mambo, Aviemore – ‘The Approvals’, 9pm-late.

• The Glen Hotel, Newtonmore – ‘Simple Touch’, 9.30pm.

 

Sunday 3rd January

• Lochanhully Woodland Club, Carrbridge – Bingo Night, 8.30-10.30pm.

• Dalfaber Golf and Country Club, Aviemore – Big Prize Quiz Night, 8.30-10.30pm.

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Willie Campbell, 8.30pm.

• Cafe Mambo, Aviemore – DJ Andy, 9pm-late.

 

Monday 4th January

• Strathspey Steam Railway, Aviemore – ‘Get Steamin’, Tickets £25 including train, stovies, entertainment and 4 drinks.  Booking Essential T: 01479 810233.

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Andy Duncan, 8.30pm.

 

Tuesday 5th January

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Kevin Fraser, 8.30pm.

 

Wednesday 6th January

• Church Hall or Cairngorms Christian Centre, Kincraig – Winter Talks in aid of Kiwoko Hospital, Uganda.  ‘The Spey - From Source to Sea’ by Donald Barr, 7.30pm.  FREE.  Donations welcomed.

 

Thursday 7th January

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Bonnie, 8.30pm.

• The Glen Hotel, Newtonmore – Quiz Night, 9.30pm.

 

Saturday 9th January

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Willie Campbell, 8.30pm.

• Cafe Mambo, Aviemore – DJ Colin, 9pm-late.

 

Sunday 10th January

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Bonnie, 8.30pm.

 

Monday 11th January

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Kevin Fraser, 8.30pm.

 

Tuesday 12th January

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Anne Dickson, 8.30pm.

 

 Thursday 14th January

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Alfie, 8.30pm.

• The Glen Hotel, Newtonmore – Poker Night, 9.30pm.

 

Friday 15th January

• Grantown on Spey Museum – Grantown Society Talk “Is there evidence of global warming on habitats and species” by Sue Scoggins, SNH. 7.30pm, FREE. Donations Welcomed.

 

Saturday 16th January

• Grantown on Spey Primary School – Cairngorms Farmers Market, 10.30am-3.30pm.

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Disco with Scott, 8.30pm.

• Cafe Mambo, Aviemore – DJ Colin, 9pm-late.

• Royal British Legion, Grantown  – Alfie, 9.30pm, Visitors Welcome.

 

Sunday 17th January

• Boat of Garten Community Hall – The Osprey Music Society presents ‘Bozzo Ensemble’ a Wind Trio. 7.30pm. £10 members, £12 non-members, £5 students, £2 under 16.  Book early to avoid disappointment T:01479 831213.

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Willie Campbell, 8.30pm.

 

Monday 18th January

• Boat of Garten Community Hall – Winter Series of Illustrated Talks.  “The Silk Road: A present-day journey along the fabled trading route” with Chris Carter, 7.30pm.  £4.50 includes glass of wine.  Local crafts on sale and art exhibition by local artists.

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Cue the Music, 8.30pm.

 

Tuesday 19th January

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Andy Duncan, 8.30pm.

 

Wednesday 20th January

 

• Mountain Cafe, Aviemore – Winter Mountain Safety Lecture by Ian Sherrington, FREE.  Arrive at 7pm for bargain meal £8 and lectures starts at 8pm. www.mcofs.org.uk/winterlectureseries.asp

 

Thursday 21st January

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Alfie, 8.30pm.

• The Glen Hotel, Newtonmore – Quiz Night, 9.30pm.

 

Friday 22nd January

• Dalfaber Golf and Country Club, Aviemore – Aviemore Sled Dog Rally 2010.  Freight Test, 11am.

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel, Aviemore – Aviemore Sled Dog Rally 2010.  Mushers’ Market, 5pm, Mushers’ Meeting, 6pm.

 

Saturday 23rd January

• Glenmore – Aviemore Sled Dog Rally 2010.  Junior Mushers’ Event, 8.30am.  Rally First Heat, 9.30am.

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Burns Supper Ceilidh Night with Piper, Pipe Band and Ceilidh Band. £30pp, £16 5-15years, £5 2-5years, under 2 free.  Includes 4 course meal, nip of whisky (apple juice for children) and entertainment.

• Four Seasons Hotel, Aviemore Highland Resort – Burns Celebration and Ceilidh, 8pm.  £20 including meal.

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Kevin Fraser, 8.30pm.

• Cafe Mambo, Aviemore – DJ Colin, 9pm-late.

 

Sunday 24th January

• Glenmore – Aviemore Sled Dog Rally 2010.  Junior Mushers’ Event, 8.30am.  Rally Second Heat, 9.30am.

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Aviemore Sled Dog Rally 2010.  Welfare Raffle and Auction followed by Awards Ceremony, 4.30pm.

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Andy Duncan, 8.30pm.

 

Monday 25th January

• Cairngorm Hotel, Aviemore – Burns Night with entertainment in the bar and themed specials in the restaurant.

• Dalfaber Golf and Country Club, Aviemore – Aviemore Sled Dog Rally 2010.  Quiz Night devised by the Whitespirit Crew with proceeds to Siberian Husky Club, Malamute and Samoyed Welfare, 7pm.

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Andy Murray, 8.30pm.

 

Tuesday 26th January

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Anne Dickson, 8.30pm.

 

Wednesday 27th January

• Mountain Cafe, Aviemore – Winter Mountain Safety Lecture by Ian Sherrington, FREE.  Arrive at 7pm for bargain meal £8 and lectures starts at 8pm. www.mcofs.org.uk/winterlectureseries.asp

 

Thursday 28th January

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Andy Duncan, 8.30pm.

• The Glen Hotel, Newtonmore – Poker Night, 9.30pm.

 

Saturday 30th January

• Mountain Spirit, Aviemore – Winter Slide Show Series “Everest Max, The Longest Climb” presented by Pauline Sanderson.  7.30pm for 8pm.  Tickets £6 from Mountain Spirit including refreshments.  T: 01479 811788.

• Aviemore Village Hall – Ceilidh Dance to ‘Marian Anderson’.  8pm-Midnight.  £4 with refreshments.

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Karla, 8.30pm.

• Mackenzies Highland Inn, Aviemore – Lady Miss Emma Rock Chic, 9pm.

 

Sunday 31st January

• Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel – Alfie, 8.30pm.

 

Scottish resorts ‘better than Alps’ as all five attract bumper crowds

Snow conditions at Scottish ski areas have been described as “better than the Alps” as all five of the snowsport resorts enjoy a bumper start to the season.

Christmas snow brought a welcome economic boost during the holidays and, with no thaw in sight, conditions have stayed good, especially in the Cairngorm resorts where the snow has continued to fall.

Richard Villegas, customer services supervisor at CairnGorm Mountain resort, near Aviemore, said: “The conditions are better than the Alps. We had lots of snow on Christmas week and the ski-ing is still superb. There is a lot of snow and we are expecting more tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. There is no wind and we have had blue skies. A lot of people are coming from England, Wales and even Europe.

“Especially the English prefer to come to Scotland instead of paying lots of money to go to the Alps, France or Italy.”

in reference to: Scottish resorts ‘better than Alps’ as all five attract bumper crowds - Press & Journal (view on Google Sidewiki)

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Hitching a ride with a Scottish postie

Royal Mail post bus service takes on passengers in remote areas

 

Dalwhinnie, Scotland--"Over there," says the Postie, "that's the Ben Alder estate. Prince Charles and Princess Diana spent holidays there. It's owned by the Sultan of Brunei's chief accountant." A little while later we draw into the hamlet of Laggan. "You'll recognize this," he says. "This was the village of Glenbogle in [the TV series] Monarch of the Glen." Then he talks of Gen. George Wade, the British Army engineer who built many of the roads in these Highlands in the 18th century--roads that we're travelling on today. "Wade opened the Highlands to the world," he says. "There's an old rhyme: 'If you'd seen these roads before they were made/You'd lift up your arms and bless General Wade.'"

 

The post bus makes a delivery at the general store in Laggan in the Scottish Highlands. Viewers of the BBC series Monarch of the Glen know the store as McKechnie's shop. His vehicle, a four-passenger Renault 4X4, is called a post bus and it's licensed to carry passengers. It may well be the best tourist bargain in Scotland. For £2.50 [about $5] he'll take you on a 150-kilometre odyssey through some of the most beautiful country in the Highlands... country that most visitors never see. Just be prepared to stop a lot--but that, too, is part of the fun as you get to chat with, maybe, the country doctor or the hill crofter or the big-city author trying to get away from it all.

They all know the postman. Even the dogs. That's why Kellie carries a bag of dog biscuits. "He always waits for his treat," he says as a Scotch terrier (what else?) darts across a farmyard as we pull in. Kellie's run takes us through country familiar to Canadian viewers who enjoyed the BBC's syndicated series Monarch of the Glen, passing places like Ardverikie House (Glenbogle House on the screen), Laggan Stores (McKechnie's shop) and Pattack Falls, where the laird of Glenbogle courted schoolteacher Katrina.

 

The British postal service, the Royal Mail, began the post bus service in 1967 to provide transport to people living in out-of-the-way places in England, Wales and Scotland where not everyone has a car and there's no public transit. Tourists are welcome to hop aboard. Some even take the post bus to a remote spot and then trek back. There are generally two services, morning and afternoon, each weekday, with Saturday morning services in some areas. You can hail the post bus at any point along the route. At its peak there were more than 230 post bus routes, but the service has been declining as car ownership increases. Today, there are 38 routes in Scotland, most in the Highlands and islands. Just last year the Laggan Dalwhinnie route has been cancelled. There only remains a few route further north that are still in use. For more information, visit the Royal Mail website at www.postbus.royalmail.com . Thanks to our American visitor and guest, some time ago for this story.

 

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This web site is supplied free of charge to all Cairngorms National Park accommodation owners and offers a list of the best Hotels, Self Catering, B&B, Hostels & Camp/Caravanning in and around the Cairngorms National Park area. If you own or manage a accommodation in National Park and wish to advertise for free please click on www.cairngorms_park.com to find out more.

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