Highlands & Islands

Plan for ski hut where snow lingers on Aonach Mòr

Skiing into Coire an Lochain on Aonach Mòr Image copyright Iain McLean/Geograph
Image caption A skier backcountry skiing down in Coire an Lochain on Aonach Mòr

A snowsports club has set out plans for a mountain hut in a location where snow can linger into summer months high up on a Scottish mountain.

Inverness Backcountry Snowsports Club hopes to have the building constructed just north of Coire an Lochain on the east side of Aonach Mòr in Lochaber.

The location has been known to hold a covering snow from January to May, and even longer in some years.

The club said the hut would be built to strict planning rules.

It has support from the operators of the nearby Nevis Range snowsports centre and permission from the landowners, Jahama Highland Estates.

Jahama is part of the GFG Alliance, which owns the Lochaber Smelter, near Fort William, and has plans to build an alloy wheel factor on the smelter site.

'Highest standards'

Inverness Backcountry Snowsports Club has been consulting on its proposal, which has still to be submitted as a plan to Highland Council.

The club said: "The hut would be built in line with the new Scottish government guidance, provide sleeping space for eight to 12 people, and feature a wood-stove for heating and gas for cooking.

"Waste disposal will be carried out to the highest standards."

The club said backcountry skiers and snowboarders using the hut would be required to take home all their rubbish. The hut would be fitted with an environmentally-friendly toilet.

The proposed site lies outside of a special protected area on 1,221m (4,005ft) Aonach Mòr.

The project is among a number of efforts seeking to guarantee snowsports in Scotland.

Three of Scotland's five mountain snowsports centres are to manufacture snow this winter and spring.

CairnGorm Mountain and Glencoe Mountain in the Highlands plan to begin using "snow factories" early next month.

The Lecht in Aberdeenshire is to trial the use of a large-scale snow-making unit in February and March, said Scottish snowsports body Ski-Scotland.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise has provided funding to The Lecht Ski Company for the trial.

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