Scottish ski centres have been enjoying a bluebird day with fresh snowfall this Saturday, in a lull between storm fronts.
After most of the country’s ski areas managed to open runs in mid-December, warm then dry conditions through January meant that this is the first week for two months that they have been able to open much more than beginner terrain at the base of their slopes. That has been maintained by all-weather snowmaking systems installed at the five Highland centres.
Colder weather and snowfall have now improved things dramatically, although the terrain available remains limited and conditions “early season”. Most of the centres are warning that with the half term holidays here, skiers and snowboarders should ensure they have purchased lift tickets in advance online to both meet COVID rules and ensure they have a slot on the slopes.
According to the SkiScotland site, Nevis Range above Fort William in the west of Scotland (pictured above this morning) has 16 of their 28 runs open and 7 of 10 lifts operating and nearby Glencoe (pictured top this morning) 17 of 21 runs open served by 7 of their 8 lifts.
Cairngorm near Aviemore (pictured below this morning) reported eight of its 33 runs open this morning, the most for two months,
“Thanks to some amazing overnight snowmaking production from our Fan Guns, we are now able to operate the Car Park T bar for its full length, providing snow sports on the Lower Slopes from mid station down,” a social media post explained.
Glenshee (pictured below this morning) said they had five of their 22 lifts operating today with blue sky, sun and fresh snow and at the Lecht 6 of their 13 lifts are running.
The recent storms that have impacted England, Wales and southern Scotland tracked largely to the south of the Scottish Highlands, although the area saw heavy snowfall on Friday with roads passing The Lecht and Glenshee closed for a time.
The coming week is set to bring much more snowfall which will hopefully improve cover further although temperatures are also forecast to rise a little.
Scotland often sees its best snow conditions in spring with centres open past Easter and into May some years.