Four of the five Scottish ski centres have opened for the 2017-18 ski season this week.
The first to open, Glencoe on the West Coast (pictured above this morning and in video below), said this was their earliest ever opening.
Plenty of #fun to be had at #glencoemountain still.@killamuffin_ and @struan_leo playing about today.Lift open at 9am tomorrow.Get some #turns!
Posted by Glencoe Mountain Resort on Donnerstag, 30. November 2017
Cairngorm opened a top-to-bottom run serviced by their funicular railway yesterday and posted the image below of some of the first arrivals. The Lecht and Glenshee have both opened limited terrain today too.
The four centres opening follows the opening of the ski runs by the Lowther Hills Ski Club in the south of Scotland last weekend.
All four Highland centres report ‘early season conditions’ with thin, in some cases very thin, cover on parts of their open terrain.
Only Nevis Range near Fort William is yet to open but it usually closes for a month from late November to shortly before Christmas for maintenance. It has had quite a bit of early snow too though:
The early start has come thanks to consistent cold weather, some good snowfalls and temperatures low enough for ski areas to run their snowmaking where they have it.
It’s early days but is being taken as a promising sign after last winter’s very limited opening leading to one of the worst seasons for more than two decades with very little natural snowfall all season.
This winter three areas – Glencoe, The Lecht and Cairngorm will be using TechnoAlpin SnowFactory all-weather snowmaking which can cover small areas with snow – for beginner slopes or a terrain park – even in warm weather.
This weekend the Lecht reports that tows expected to operate on Saturday are Eagle 1, Osprey, Grouse, Chairlift (weather permitting), Robin Sunkid, Magic Carpet and Buzzard. All are complete with wide cover of groomed snow. Glenshee aims to open Sunnyside North runs which are also open today.