Want to be a Snowsport Coach Leader or Instructor?

With the brand new set of UK Snowsport Instructor Leader and Coach qualifications on offer from Snowsport Scotland, England and Wales, now is a great time to start thinking about getting qualified so you can start your career in the snowsports industry.

We are looking for unqualified newbies to get involved as L1 foundation coaches and instructors and we are also looking to encourage qualified L1’s to start working towards their L2 qualification.

Right across the country our Instructor and Coach training centres are actively scheduling and delivering courses ready for you to book on. For the full schedule of courses visit https://snowsportscotland.org/course-calendar/ or for more information contact info@snowsportscotland.org


Silver for Kirsty Muir at YOG!

Earlier on in January, Scottish freestyle skier Kirsty Muir won the silver medal in the Big Air at the Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne! Kirsty (15) finished just 1.25 points behind the gold medal winner from China, Ailing Eileen Gu, delivering three very impressive runs to score 170.00.

Kirsty told the BBC, “I’m super excited and really pleased with what I put down today.” According to sources at the event, many of the athletes found the sunny conditions and melting snow difficult to combat, but Kirsty managed to battle through and gain herself a medal.

Days before, Kirsty also finished in fourth place in the Ski Slopestyle final, which was another fantastic achievement.

Massive congratulations Kirsty from all us at Snowsport Scotland and beyond!

Photo cred – Sam Mellish

Snowsport Scotland 2020 Summit 19/20 Sept


Following on from the success last year, Snowsport Scotland will once again be hosting its annual Summit and AGM weekend at Aviemore.

This year’s event will take place over 2 days with day 1 at Cairngorm Mountain and day 2 at Glenmore Lodge.

Day 1 will focus on club and coach development and the AGM, along with an evening social and day 2 will be a full day of coach, leader and instructor CPD.

News will follow on our keynote speakers and sessions over the 2 days…


Good Luck Kirsty!

Kirsty Muir, 15, Aberdeen Snowsports Club, is representing Great Britain at the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games. The Youth Olympic Games are an international Olympic sporting event of the highest level for athletes aged 15 to 18.

Training at home on dry slope Kirsty have has demonstrated huge ability and progression within park & pipe freeski. In April 2019 aged 14 she competed in the FIS Junior World Championships in Klappen, Sweden and took silver in Slopestyle and bronze in big air!

Kirsty has been preparing in Canada for the Youth Olympic Games and kicked off training on the 16th with Saturday the 19th of January being competition day, good luck Kirsty!!!

Cross Country Races in Idre, Sweden December 2019 by Louise Hastie

Observations from an Alpine Coach at a Nordic Ski Race

Even as a person who “wears many hats” the phone conversation with Alex Standen, Snowsport Scotland Nordic Performance Coach, came as a bit of a surprise. “Would you like to come to Sweden and help me with a camp for British Nordic Development Squad and Snowsport Scotland athletes?” “Ummm… Alex, you do remember I am an Alpine coach?”.

As it turned out, Alex needed a female coach (for safeguarding best practice) as he had a female athlete on camp and his first picks were unavailable, so he thought of me. Now, while I am an Alpine coach and ex-alpine racer, I actually started on cross country skis when I was a wee toot living in Norway and I have recently completed my Nordic/Roller Ski Level 1 Coach course. Not, therefor, a complete stranger to the discipline.

Nor a stranger to coaching performance athletes having done so in an Alpine setting. In addition, I had worked with several of the athletes who would be on the camp in a Strength and Conditioning Coach capacity (I told you “many hats”). So, I rearranged my schedule and said yes.

The camp in Idre Fjäll was three days of training followed by three days of racing.  Here are a few of my own personal observations from being an Alpine coach on a Nordic camp.  These words are my own thoughts and ramblings and not those of Snowsport Scotland.

Cross-country Ski Races Are Not Flat … In Any Way.  

To be honest, I did know this before I went. Particularly from having watched the last leg of the Tour de Ski “the final climb” on TV (a 9 km race with the final 3.5 km uphill, ascending 420 m!) However, seeing it first-hand does remind you just how hard these skiers have to work on the ascent but also the skills involved on the descent.

Talking of skills on descents, did you know Skier Cross on cross-country skis is an actual thing? And it will be one of the events at the European Youth Olympics this year.

Cross-country Ski Races Can be Massive!  
There were over 420 people racing in Idre, ranging from those competing in their first FIS races to racers having competed on the World Cup or looking to move onto the World Cup very soon.

Physical Preparation and Body Awareness. 
Due to the nature of the sport and the training required, the athletes seem to be very aware of their bodies and how they are feeling. Monitoring heart rates, and recovery times is standard and being aware of how to aid recovery, with both sleep, and what to eat and drink, seems an inevitable consequence.

A Culture of Mucking-in.
I’m not sure exactly why but both the athletes that were away on this camp and I think the discipline as a whole (certainly in the UK) are very aware of costs and keeping the sport as accessible as possible.  There is a culture of mucking in, preparing food both together and for each other, lending items of equipment and generally figuring out ways to make things work that does not involve just throwing money at the situation.  Maybe it is this that is a strength of British Nordic athletes? Not only making them more appreciative of the opportunities they have but also more mindful and more resilient in the process.

Double Sessions and Down Time.
Double sessions may be the case for higher end alpine athletes but for athletes of a comparable level it is much less likely that you’d be running double sessions.  Once again due to the demands of the sport, two sessions throughout the day is normal, including factoring in strength sessions and running sessions as well. This means there is more down time for athletes to recover, study or do whatever else they want to do. This was probably heightened as it was a race week and consequently the training load was lower.

It is gradually changing, but in the past Alpine Camps for home-based athletes probably did not consider physiological demands on athletes particularly well. A full day on the hill would be followed by an hour of fitness, ski prep and video work. This would often leave young athletes unable to fully benefit from the snow time because quite frankly they were knackered. Fitness/strength and conditioning/physical preparation, (whatever you want to call it) can and should be developed throughout the rest of the year when at home. (This is a bit of a generalisation and obviously different for Alpine based Alpine athletes without snow time restrictions).

Ski Prep.
Preparing Alpine skis, waxing and edging, can get complex as you progress however Nordic ski preparation is crazy, and at a much lower level than would be the case in Alpine. Which makes sense, if your race is going to take 35 minutes instead of 1 minute and 35 seconds, a set of slow skis is going to make a real impact on performance.  This means ski testing prior to racing is a necessity to find out which ski wax is the best for the conditions. A process that can be particularly challenging in variable conditions.

Same, Same but Different.
A teammate love is probably like no other caused from living constantly in each other’s pockets, often for a number of years whilst working towards the same goals and sharing the ups and downs that come with it. The characters appear to be the same; the quiet one, the loud one, the team joker, the smart one and the one that always asks questions or makes comments or statements before they’ve thought them through.  Teenage athletes (and those in their early twenties) have very similar banter regardless of which sport or discipline they are from.

However, I think Nordic athletes are still very much individuals, perhaps more so than Alpine athletes.  They say that endurance athletes can be selfish or self-absorbed. While this is probably true of any performance athlete, it especially makes sense when you’re out on a 15 km course for 40 minutes. That is a long time to be essentially on your own, with just your thoughts and no one else to really impact how you are skiing other than a few occasional words of encouragement from the side.

Ultimately, I had a fantastic time in Sweden, well done to all of the athletes, with pretty much everyone scoring best results, and some making criteria for European Youth Olympic Games and/or World Juniors.  Thanks to all the athletes for making me feel so welcome and putting up with my random questions. I would thoroughly recommend that other coaches get out of their comfort zones and try observing or coaching another sport or discipline.


(Athletes: Cameron Cruickshank, James Slimon, Oliver Newman  and  Hamish Wolfe)



Snowsport Scotland and the wider snowsports community have been saddened to receive the news that a Christmas Day fire has closed the Glencoe Mountain Café and part of the adjoining ski hire centre. Despite this setback it is great to see that the resort was open for skiing on the 27th and that uplift has not been impacted.

As of the 27th of December, Andy Meldrum has confirmed that “skiing and all events will be completely unaffected by the fire and that while the resort has lost some ski hire equipment, they are currently in the process of trying to source additional equipment for hire”.

Snowsport Scotland will be sharing all Glencoe Mountain Resorts fire related updates on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/snowsportscotland

We wish Glencoe Mountain staff all the best during this challenging time and have every confidence that they will be able to deliver a successful winter season.

The view from the top of Glencoe Mountain Resort.





We are on the search for an outstanding coach to be part of our Scottish Alpine Performance Programme and champion initiatives that get more people across Scotland involved in Alpine Skiing.


To excel in this role, you will be an experienced Alpine coach, a self-starter, energetic and understand how performance programmes operate in a sporting context.


To apply for this position please send a completed resume and covering letter to ceo@snowsportscotland.org


Informal enquires should be directed to Trafford Wilson, Chief Executive: 0131 625 4405


Closing date for completed applications:            19 January 2020


Interviews will be held on:                                     29 January 2020


All interviews will be held at the Snowsport Scotland Offices at Caledonia House, Edinburgh.


To download a copy of the job description please click here 

Bon Voyage, Ross Gardner

Ross Gardner has resigned from his role as the Pathway Coach – Alpine at Snowsport Scotland, after accepting a new job as Coach Tutor at Edinburgh College.


Ross’s last day at Snowsport Scotland will be on the 23rd of December 2019.


We have been fortunate to have Ross as part of the team for 12 years, during this time he has made a significant contribution to our events and programmes. More recently Ross has played a leading role in setting up the Scottish Alpine Team and our National Performance ‘Scottish Institute of Sport’ Camps.


We wish Ross all the very best in his new role and thank him for his contribution to Snowsports in Scotland.

Training has started : “Project Lillehammer”

A few photos from First days training of project Lillehammer with athletes Oliver Newman, Cameron Cruickshank, James Slimon and Joseph Rosenfeld.

The athletes will be training and racing out of Lillehammer until April 2020.

Thanks to the support of GB Snowsports and British ski and snowboard foundation for supporting us and of course our own Snowsport Scotland team to make it possible to run project Lillehammer for the first time ever.

Kirsty Taylor the 2018/19 Snowsport Scotland Volunteer of the Year.

Kirsty Taylor recently was award the 2018/19 Snowsport Scotland Volunteer of the Year.

The award was announced at the Snowsport Summit held at Cairngorm Mountain in late September which unfortunately Kirsty was not able to attend.

Kirsty finally received her trophy over the Triple Crown weekend in mid November at Bearsden.

Thank you for all of you time and dedication, Kirsty.


Please read below the nomination that was sent into our office:


“I would put Kirsty forward for Volunteer of the Year for her tireless efforts to promote snowsports to young people living in the Cairngorm National Park. Leading a fantastic engagement program with local schools she brought snowsports into the Primary 6 & 7 classroom in seven primary schools local to Cairngorm Mountain. Strikingly many of the children had had no introduction to snowsports even though they live on the doorstep of Cairngorm Mountain.  The program was a Cairngorm Snowboard Club drive for participation and it did transfer numbers into the pre-winter warm-up program at Glenmore Lodge Dryslope.  But to me the real success was the passion and “stoke” for snowsports Kirsty transferred to the kids in their own classroom.  I was witness to this firsthand in helping Kirsty deliver and cant overstate the enthusiasm she manged to instil for snowsports when engaging with the children.  My nomination of Kirsty for Volunteer of the year is based on that passion to getting children having fun on snow.”




Thank you to the National Lottery and Sport Scotland for continued support.