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An Irish Ski Resort

  • 12-02-2021 3:03pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭ Rebelbrowser


    Just reading this piece in the Guardian ( https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/gallery/2021/feb/12/closed-ski-resort-scotland-glencoe-coronavirus-in-pictures ), and more especially looking at the pictures, it did prompt the thought with me of - If you had to put a ski resort somewhere in Ireland, where would that be? Now I know no sane person would - you need a snow sure location and nowhere in Ireland is that - but let's assume for a moment you have a billionaire client willing to run this at a loss as an altruistic gesture to the masses. Given local climates, propensity for snow, propensity for snow to stick around, as well as the required slope, where would you put it if he / she hired you as his / her consultant?

    Just looking, the Scottish mountains referred to in this article have a height of 1108m and runs that go down to 305m, so a vertical drop of 803m. By comparison our highest mountain is only 1038m.

    Moreover, weather wise, we obviously have nowhere to compete with the Scottish highlands. That said, snowmaking is part and parcel of most ski resorts these days (but again only at low enough temps).

    But these caveats aside, if you had to put a ski resort somewhere on this island, where is the most viable (or perhaps the least unviable)?


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Comments

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 16,118 Mod ✭✭✭✭ DOCARCH


    Lugnaquilla.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,440 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Tabnabs


    North face of Kippure? Often snow in the gullies there for weeks on end.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭ Rebelbrowser


    frantically googles both.... I hear them mentioned a lot on here but never actually know where these mountains are.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭ Rebelbrowser


    For those of us not from that part of the world see

    https://visitwicklow.ie/listing/lugnaquilla-mountain-trail/

    and

    https://mountainviews.ie/summit/73/

    Kippure at 757m seems a bit too low. Lug seems to be 925m but looks steep on the photos I've just seen? Not sure you'd get too many long blues out of it....


  • Registered Users Posts: 36 ✭✭✭ Seymour20


    Would have said somewhere in Donegal myself if it’s for frequency of snow you’re looking for. Quality of snow leaves a lot to be desired in Ireland. The easterly sourced powdery snow is much better for skiing on that any northwesterly sourced snow. Then again some decent altitude would help that but Ireland has nothing to offer height wise. Snow making is done when it’s sub zero generally and even getting those conditions at altitude in Ireland doesn’t happen that often. Unlikely the mountains will be below freezing this coming week if temperatures are 13 plus at sea level.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,254 ✭✭✭ Nqp15hhu


    Slieve donard or sawel mountain.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,254 ✭✭✭ Nqp15hhu


    Seymour20 wrote: »
    Would have said somewhere in Donegal myself if it’s for frequency of snow you’re looking for. Quality of snow leaves a lot to be desired in Ireland. The easterly sourced powdery snow is much better for skiing on that any northwesterly sourced snow. Then again some decent altitude would help that but Ireland has nothing to offer height wise. Snow making is done when it’s sub zero generally and even getting those conditions at altitude in Ireland doesn’t happen that often. Unlikely the mountains will be below freezing this coming week if temperatures are 13 plus at sea level.

    Well the highest hills can be around 8c lower than sea level so they will be below freezing a lot of the time! I know the higher sperrins have a semi permanent snow cover in the winter.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭ Rebelbrowser


    Cue more frantic googling....


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,254 ✭✭✭ Nqp15hhu


    This is the forecast for Slieve donard: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/forecast/gceu1pqy9#?date=2021-02-12

    It will still be cold enough for snow up there during the milder weather!

    I would say about 4,000 feet would be the permanent snowline in the winter here. Even though the freezing level occasionally rises to 8,000 feet in winter it’s not a long term or frequent thing.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    DOCARCH wrote: »
    Lugnaquilla.

    Im looking out the window at lug now and its stunning in white.
    About 25km away so I cant say how much there is :D


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14 Sun2Snow


    For me it’s Lugnaquilla, would give a nice mix for black and green runs and all leading to a perfect spot for some apres ski at Glenmalure.


  • Registered Users Posts: 36 ✭✭✭ Seymour20


    Im looking out the window at lug now and its stunning in white.
    About 25km away so I cant say how much there is :D

    There are videos of people skiing down parts of Lug on YouTube so it is possible! Have heard for the bit of skiing you get it’s not really worth the hike.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,254 ✭✭✭ Nqp15hhu


    If you take an average high of 7c and go up by 100 metres taking off 0.6c.

    The -2c average high will be 1500 metres, so 5,000 feet.

    -1c will be 1340 metres, so 4300 feet.

    0c isotherm will be 1150 metres.

    So the average high 0c isotherm would be around 1150 metres.. 3800 feet.

    Slieve donard is not that far off that level.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,307 ✭✭✭✭ nacho libre


    Funnily enough I have been thinking recently what if we had a mountain range that was over 10, 000 feet in the West Of Ireland. Could we get your billionaire to create one? Problem solved!





    If we had such a mountain range right along the west coast, imagine how much drier it would be over much of the country. Maybe there is a parallel world in which that Ireland has such a mountain range. I've been watching Sliders recently. The series went to pot after Professor Arturo left. Oh wait... this is the weather forum...


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 16,118 Mod ✭✭✭✭ DOCARCH


    Seymour20 wrote: »
    There are videos of people skiing down parts of Lug on YouTube so it is possible! Have heard for the bit of skiing you get it’s not really worth the hike.

    Here ya go.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOhEyM_EzeE


  • Registered Users Posts: 36 ✭✭✭ Seymour20


    https://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Knockmealdown/6day/top

    This website is generally fairly accurate and used by many skiers in other countries. Doesn’t have many Irish mountains on it and none from your part of the country up north although that would fall under the UK section. Gives an indication of how high the freezing level will be. Think your estimates there are fairly accurate!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,053 ✭✭✭ DJIMI TRARORE


    Could we just build an indoor ski resort like in Abu Dhabi, 40c outside, - 10 indoor


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,861 ✭✭✭✭ Alun


    When there's a decent amount of snow in Wicklow, you often see snowboarders head for the back of Djouce (northern side) or Tonelagee. I met a German tourist on touring skis on the top of Lug one winter too who asked me if I thought it would be OK to ski down the South Prison. Those who know Lug would know that this isn't really a good idea, so I persuaded him to go back the way he'd come.

    An issue with many potential spots, in Wicklow at least, is the nature of the ground underneath the snow with lots of large rocks and holes. Places in, say, the Cairngorms in Scotland are by their nature much flatter and smoother.


  • Registered Users Posts: 36 ✭✭✭ Seymour20


    Alun wrote: »
    When there's a decent amount of snow in Wicklow, you often see snowboarders head for the back of Djouce (northern side) or Tonelagee. I met a German tourist on touring skis on the top of Lug one winter too who asked me if I thought it would be OK to ski down the South Prison. Those who know Lug would know that this isn't really a good idea, so I persuaded him to go back the way he'd come.

    An issue with many potential spots, in Wicklow at least, is the nature of the ground underneath the snow with lots of large rocks and holes. Places in, say, the Cairngorms in Scotland are by their nature much flatter and smoother.

    Heather and the lack of snow could also be an issue. Also get lots of ledges as the bog drops off a bit or at least you do around these parts. If the snow depth doesn’t cover these your beginner skier is in for a shock.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,861 ✭✭✭✭ Alun


    Seymour20 wrote: »
    Heather and the lack of snow could also be an issue. Also get lots of ledges as the bog drops off a bit or at least you do around these parts. If the snow depth doesn’t cover these your beginner skier is in for a shock.
    Yes, there's a huge difference between experienced back-country skiers hiking up somewhere like Lug and skiing down and actually setting up a proper ski resort for recreational skiers.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,861 ✭✭✭✭ Alun


    By the way, there are skiing areas in Northern England too, in the Pennines and the Lake District at elevations not dissimilar to what we find in Ireland. Generally they're in places that due to the lay of the land and wind direction tend to get, and keep, reasonable amounts of snow even when it's all but disappeared elsewhere.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,570 ✭✭✭ Tyrone212


    We'd need something like this.. the idea never got off the ground. Story is from 2011.

    After a Dutch journalist bemoaned the lack of local mountains for winter sports, a Netherlands-based architecture firm drew up some incredibly ambitious plans for a manmade mountain to satisfy that need, according to Building Design (via Curbed).
    The project sounds over-the-top, but the architects and local officials are reportedly moving forward with the plan and are currently convening a working group to brainstorm ideas.

    The mountain, tentatively called Die Berg Komt Er, or The Mountain Comes, could take thirty years to complete and is projected to cost between $72 billion and $432 billion dollars (yes, you read those figures correctly).

    Investors are already being sought for the project, and Dutch skiing, climbing, and cycling associations have signed on, according to BD.

    If things go according to plan, the peak will be twice the height of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, which rises 3,560 feet above sea level.

    I propose we build one up to 2,500m. Anywhere along the Western coast as it is the wettest. County Galway perhaps, as it is in the middle of the Western coastline. We shall call it Sneachta mór :p


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,198 ✭✭✭ An Ri rua


    Tyrone212 wrote: »
    We'd need something like this.. the idea never got off the ground. Story is from 2011.

    After a Dutch journalist bemoaned the lack of local mountains for winter sports, a Netherlands-based architecture firm drew up some incredibly ambitious plans for a manmade mountain to satisfy that need, according to Building Design (via Curbed).
    The project sounds over-the-top, but the architects and local officials are reportedly moving forward with the plan and are currently convening a working group to brainstorm ideas.

    The mountain, tentatively called Die Berg Komt Er, or The Mountain Comes, could take thirty years to complete and is projected to cost between $72 billion and $432 billion dollars (yes, you read those figures correctly).

    Investors are already being sought for the project, and Dutch skiing, climbing, and cycling associations have signed on, according to BD.

    If things go according to plan, the peak will be twice the height of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, which rises 3,560 feet above sea level.

    I propose we build one up to 2,500m. Anywhere along the Western coast as it is the wettest. County Galway perhaps, as it is in the middle of the Western coastline. We shall call it Sneachta mór :p

    I think a Star Trek holodeck might come in cheaper.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,023 ✭✭✭ Donegal Storm


    Funnily enough I have been thinking recently what if we had a mountain range that was over 10, 000 feet in the West Of Ireland. Could we get your billionaire to create one? Problem solved!

    The mountains in the Pacific NW in the US are a good window into what we'd probably experience if we had such mountains.

    The aptly named Paradise calls itself the snowiest place on earth with an average of 17 metres every year :eek:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradise,_Washington


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,997 gally74


    Funnily enough I have been thinking recently what if we had a mountain range that was over 10, 000 feet in the West Of Ireland. Could we get your billionaire to create one? Problem solved!





    If we had such a mountain range right along the west coast, imagine how much drier it would be over much of the country. Maybe there is a parallel world in which that Ireland has such a mountain range. I've been watching Sliders recently. The series went to pot after Professor Arturo left. Oh wait... this is the weather forum...

    firned of mine always reckoned we should dig out CAVAn and create a 10K meter peak near athlone


  • Registered Users Posts: 475 ✭✭ Speedline


    Wasn't, or isn't there an artificial ski slope in Wicklow somewhere? I remember it a long time ago on the way to Wexford, pre motorway and bypass times. I'm almost sure it was near Enniskerry somewhere.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,448 ✭✭✭ Mimon


    gally74 wrote: »
    firned of mine always reckoned we should dig out CAVAn and create a 10K meter peak near athlone

    Mad fella I'd say he is :rolleyes:

    Nice stoner idea but why would you ruin the beautiful rolling hills and displace the nicest and most selfless people in the country :) Plus ruin one of the snowiest parts of the country :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 103 ✭✭ Lip Out


    I have done a fair bit of snowboarding and skiing on the Wicklow Mountains over the years. Lug would probably be best in terms of the amount of days it has snow cover each year. Here are two photos from back in January 2010 up by Luggala and at the carpark for Djouce. And no... thankfully that car was not mine and yes, it did remain there snowed in for several weeks.

    543337.jpg

    543338.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,996 ✭✭✭✭ gozunda


    Speedline wrote: »
    Wasn't, or isn't there an artificial ski slope in Wicklow somewhere? I remember it a long time ago on the way to Wexford, pre motorway and bypass times. I'm almost sure it was near Enniskerry somewhere.

    There was afair....

    Thing is many ski resorts use manufactured blown snow using snow cannons



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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,636 ✭✭✭ Elmer Blooker


    It wouldn't be economically viable to develop an Irish ski resort and not because our mountains aren't high enough but good skiing conditions would occur maybe only once every ten years.
    A good snow pack is required and I'm sure there is on Lugnaquilla right now but that will be gone in a few days time.


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