Testing Times at Coe: Day 2

Fire at the Coe

It wasn’t the Christmas surprise I (nor anybody else) wanted. As I was finishing up eating my Christmas dinner with the family, I checked the weather report for Boxing Day. The 26th was due to be decent and possibly the last chance I’d get to snowboard during the break from work. However on opening up facebook, I was met with the devastating news that the Cafe and main building at Glencoe Mountain Resort had been ravaged by fire in the small hours of Christmas Day. Thankfully, no-one had been hurt. However as I desperately searched for more information, my stomach wretched. What would the future of the centre be? How would it effect staff and all the people who visit this amazing place? Not since 2003, when news went out about the mothballing of the Ski Centre, had I felt this way.

Fire at Glencoe Cafe
Lets hope in the future we can gaze out of these windows once more.

The following day instead of snowboarding, I was glued to the news to find out what happened and how it would effect the centre. It wasn’t long however before the resilient nature of the original Scottish Ski Centre came to the fore. “We will be open for snow sports tomorrow” were the words I was so glad to hear. Yes, the building was beyond repair, but the lift infrastructure was untouched by the blaze.

makeshift ticket office
A makeshift ticket office and a ‘Can-do’ attitude.

Further news reports only went on to highlight the stoicism and positive outlook of the management and staff.

Glencoe centre boss vows the show will go on after devasting blaze [read more]

I arrived on the morning of 27th to a grey and rather dreich Glencoe. Today would not be about getting the best turns in or finding fresh snow (there wasn’t any). Today I was there to show solidarity and maybe buy a sausage roll and a drink from the Plateau Cafe.

This season will no doubt be a difficult one for Glencoe, but they do have some of the most loyal snow-sport enthusiasts supporting them.

“this is a skiers’ mountain and as long as the snow conditions are good, they won’t stop coming.

“A makeshift café or office won’t bother them.”

Andy Meldrum to The Press and Jounal
snow covered mountain
Looking up the hill

Conditions on the hill

Up on the hill, the lifts are unaffected by the fire. They continue to fight with mother nature and the inclement conditions that prevail. The Plateau Cafe is still open for business and hopefully the weather report will hold true with colder conditions coming in the new year.

Coire Pollach
skiing at Glencoe
Top of the Plateau Poma

The snow itself has consolidated in places like the Poma uptrack and it looks like its holding on in the deeper nooks and crannies of the mountain. Hopefully this will resist the warm and wet conditions before it turns colder.

Protect Our Winters UK

Bigger and Better

When the conditions do improve, I hope we can all turn up and show support for Glencoe Mountain Resort. The current attitude from staff sounds like “Bigger and Better” things to come in the future. Let’s support them on this.

There are lots of talks going on on social media regarding Go Fund Me pages etc. but I think the Centre will need to sanction this when the dust clears, and I’m sure in time, if not already, this will happen. When it does, I’ll be sure to share the details here.

I enjoyed my wet day up the mountain, despite the rough conditions. When I did descend back to the car park it was encouraging to see how many vehicles were in the car park.

Below I’ve pulled together a few images from better times that made this building so special. Especially that view.

Thanks again to everyone at Glencoe, our thoughts are with you. Let us know if there is anything we can do to help.

Here’s to a bigger and better future for the Coe.