Snowsports Touring & Managed Resorts in Scotland
Mountaineering Scotland has pulled together this simple tourer’s access code with the endorsement of resort managers and users to raise awareness of tourers’ access rights and responsibilities and help everyone have a fantastic, safe day out on the hill. You can read it below, download the leaflet here, pick one up from the resorts or contact us to request a bundle to hand out to your club or group.
Legally* snowsports tourers only have access rights within managed resorts if they do not ‘interfere’ with the primary recreational activities. So, please follow this code and explore responsibly to avoid the risk of forfeiting your access rights.
If you are unsure where to go within the resort area then please ask a member of staff like ski patrol. They will be happy to help and will have information on the best and safest conditions.
Section 6 para (1) (e) (ii) of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 states that “The land in respect of which access rights are not exercisable is land ……. which has been developed or set out ….. for a particular recreational purpose”.
However, Section 7 para (7) qualifies this statement and states that “Section 6 (1) (e) ….. prevents the exercise of access rights over land to which it applies only if - the land is being used for the purpose for which it has been developed or set out, and, in the case of land which is not a sports or playing field, the exercise of those rights would interfere with the recreational use to which the land is being put”
In other words, if touring is considered to be “interfering” with downhill snowsports, then access rights do not exist. However, in the majority of situations, it is unlikely that those who are accessing more remote areas will be interfering with the activities of the managed resorts. Tourers who use the pisted slopes to descend whilst the resort is open will not be interfering with the normal operations and therefore access rights do exist.
The Scottish Outdoor Access Code states that “active pursuits such as …..ski touring, ski mountaineering” are recreational purposes and are therefore included in the access rights.