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Skiers and snowboarders gear up for the Mighty Coe snowsports festival weekend at Glencoe Mountain Resort

By John Davidson

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Snowboarding will feature at this weekend's Mighty Coe event. Picture: Steve McKenna
Snowboarding will feature at this weekend's Mighty Coe event. Picture: Steve McKenna

Snowsports fans are in for a treat this weekend with the UK's first ever ski and snowboard festival taking place in the Highlands.

The Mighty Coe will include guided trips, lessons for all abilities, safety training and advice and many of the industry's top brands.

Taking place at Glencoe Mountain Resort, the weekend of events takes inspiration from the huge growth in ski and snowboard touring during the Covid lockdown and encourages people to opt for more sustainable skiing closer to home.

A bar and food stalls will keep people fuelled up and there will also be family-friendly activities and skills sessions.

Festival organiser Neil Dalgleish said: “Apart from just getting together to celebrate skiing and snowboarding after the last two years of misery, one of the aims of the festival is to encourage people to discover the joys of getting into the backcountry – safely.

"People can find out what kit they need, maybe try some of it, and join a group to learn the basics of what to do and how to stay safe while doing it.”

At the heart of the daytime snow action will be a piste-side festival village, with exhibiting or equipment testing from leading brands. UK snowsports retailer and festival partner Ellis Brigham will also be providing some festival shopping opportunities.

For those wishing to progress their skills, a programme of courses and sessions includes guide-led ski touring – with test kit included – from Salomon and Atomic will also be providing a taste of the backcountry experience and a chance to try their skis. The usual variety of ski and snowboard lessons will also be available.

The festival also features The North Face and Ellis Brigham Snow Night – a film and apres night which has already toured to London and Manchester. Scottish lockdown snow film Grounded will receive a rare showing alongside Versatile with Victor De Le Rue and Sam Anthamatten, and the Ultimate Run with Markus Eder – widely regarded as the best short ski film ever made.

Skiing with a view – a piste-beater parked at the top of Glencoe Mountain Resort. Picture: Steve McKenna
Skiing with a view – a piste-beater parked at the top of Glencoe Mountain Resort. Picture: Steve McKenna

The Snow Night will also be something of a baptism for Glencoe Mountain Resort’s newly rebuilt café complex, which was destroyed by fire on Boxing Day 2019.

The idea for the Mighty Coe was born during the Covid lockdown, and is in part a response to the renewed interest in ‘home snow’, but also the bigger climate picture.

Mr Dalgleish explained: “Look at the tragedy happening to the glaciers and to the weather. We have to change what we do – all of us. I hope this festival will show that you can still have an amazing time in the mountains without flying off to the Alps or wherever.

"Learning to make the most of our less-polluting opportunities closer to home has to be a part of the future for UK snowsports enthusiasts.”

The festival has partnered with climate action charity Protect Our Winters, whose aim is to help passionate outdoor people become effective climate advocates to achieve systemic solutions to climate change.

The Mighty Coe aims to be an annual celebration of skiing and snowboarding for the UK, both on piste and in the backcountry, and takes place on Saturday and Sunday, March 26-27.

More information is available at www.themightycoe.com

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