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13

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SCOTLAND'S SKI SEASON STARTS
Monday February 13, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

It was a long time coming but the snow began to fall last week and skiers and snowboarders were out on the slopes at the weekend, though conditions were at times challenging. NEW

The weekend was the first test for the five Scottish ski areas as the snow-starved crowds descended. 

This was one of the car parks at Cairngorm, posted by the resort on its Facebook page early on Sunday morning. 

Cairngorm car park, Feb 12 2017Car park filling up at Cairngorm, Sunday morning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The numbers turning up at the mountain forced the ski area to suspend lift passes temporarily.

Last week saw heavy snowfall in the Highlands for the first time since November. 

It led Ski-Scotland, the partnership that includes the five areas - Cairngorm, Glencoe, Glenshee, The Lecht and Nevis Range - to declare it was the "true start of the ski and snowboard season"

"The season actually started really early, back in November," said Chair of Ski-Scotland Heather Negus, "but it has been rather stop-start since then.

"Four of the five ski areas have operated at various times, but the snow has proved to be fickle through December and January. This most recent snow dump is finally giving us the chance to offer skiing and snowboarding for all abilities on a wide variety of pistes - there are a total of 143 runs across all five mountain areas, served by 67 lifts."

So what was it like for the weekend visitors?

Good and not so good.

Comments on social media range from "We had a great day, even our 5 year old loved it" to "plenty snow just a shame you never bothered grooming the runs properly" from a disgruntled snowboarder who says he damaged his brand new board at Cairngorm.

One reply explained "there is not enough snow depth to groom all the runs - they'd only damage the tracks of the piste machine and make the run worse. Days like this you need an old pair of skis or board - a hard lesson to learn sadly."

Cairngorm, Feb 12 2017Cairngorm, Sunday - photo Cairngorm Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Sunday afternoon Cairngorm issue an update about conditions:

We hope the very cold, exfoliatingly brisk breeze today, did not spoil your fun on the Mountain. This wind has scoured some areas, especially towards the bottom of the lower slopes. These areas will be reassessed in the morning to see if we can keep them open.

Snowcover above mid mountain is still pretty reasonable, however be aware of variable snow quality and thin and narrow areas.

Other ski areas also reported "natural hazards" to be aware of.

Nevis Range said on Sunday:
Upper slopes are hard packed with some groomed areas; cover is getting thin in places. Lower areas have some good sliding with some thin areas, natural hazards, scouring and some hard & icy areas.

The ski areas are updating their websites and social media pages with the latest on conditions.

Here are some pictures they've posted on their Facebook pages.

NEVIS RANGE

Nevis Range Feb 11 2017Nevis Range, Saturday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nevis Range sunrise ski patrolNevis Range sunrise ski patrol, Sunday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nevis Range, Feb 12 2017Nevis Range, Sunday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GLENCOE

Glencoe, SundayGlencoe, Sunday - photo Conor Small

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glencoe, Feb 12 2017Glencoe, Sunday - photo Conor Small

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAIRNGORM

Cairngorm, Feb 12 2017Cairngorm, Sunday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Monday morning, conditions on Cairngorm were looking challenging, to say the least!

Cairngorm Feb 13 2017Cairngorm, foggy on Monday morning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cairngorm, Feb 13 2017Cairngorm, Monday morning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A little later in the morning, visibility improved, though fierce winds were reported at the top of the hill.

Still, as one comment on social media pointed out: That's what great about Scottish Skiing...If you can handle skiing in Scotland then skiing anywhere else is a doddle...

PlanetSKI is hoping to visit Scotland for some late season skiing this Spring. 

If you've never been, this is where you will find the ski areas:

- CairnGorm Mountain, near Aviemore

- Glencoe Moutain Resort between Tyndrum and Ballachulish

- Glenshee Ski Centre between Blairgowrie and Braemar

- Nevis Range, near Fort William

- The Lecht Ski Centre, between Strathdon and Tomintoul#

MAIN PHOTO: Nevis Range

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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