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Winter 1956 – Glencoe Mountain Resort becomes the 1st commercial ski area in Scotland.

Formally known as White Corries, skiing before 1956 at the Glencoe Mountain Resort was not unheard of, however it was a little more difficult.  Footage has been found of skiers from the Lomond Mountaineering Club on the mountain as early as 1939.

In the early 1950’s a temporary tow was installed in the main basin but it wasn’t until 1954 that a group led by Philip Rankin began to plan installing permanent uplift on the mountain.

Mr Rankin together with the Scottish Ski Club installed the first overhead ski lift on Meall A’Bhuiridh in 1955 ready for use in the Winter of 1956.  Weather conditions were too harsh and exposed to ski in December and January (especially with no facilities to escape the elements) so this new permanent tow opened to the public in late February 1956 creating the first commercial ski centre in Scotland.

Philip Rankin died in March of 2017 just a month away from his 100th birthday.

Thanks for Philip and the other skiing pioneers who opened the accessibility of Skiing in Glencoe for us all to enjoy.


Photo credits

Archive photo from Glencoe Mountain Resort.

Flags fly at half mast on the day of Philips funeral.  Photo by Stephen Spires.

Sport Scotland : Awarding Philip with a Lifetime Achievement award shortly before his death.

Philip at Glencoe Mountain next to his portrait which incidentally survived the fire on Christmas 2019.