Hopes of an early start to the Scottish ski season have risen as more snow has fallen through the past 24 hours.
The Lowther Hills club field in southern Scotland (image from the local area taken this morning below) looks set to get bragging rights for being first in the country to open for 17-18 as it plans to open its slopes to members this evening after fresh snow overnight – subject to being able to persuade enough volunteers to man the facilities.
In the Highlands Glencoe (pictured top) reported 10cm of snowfall in an hour today as part of ongoing snowstorms there.
The snow cover at the five Highland centres is so far too thin but several centres have suggested tourers would be able to get some turns in on higher slopes this weekend and the team at The Lecht (pictured bottom) said they may be able to open in a week’s time.
“The snow is too soft and thin to take a groomer down but more snow is forecast for next week, so there’s more possibility of opening next weekend,” an online statement states.
At Cairngorm (pictured below) things are looking good too:
“Winds from the North West at 30 mph and a temperature of -5.0c at 1100m. There is a very high windchill at present. The forecasts are looking very cold and wintry through to the end of the month and in to December so fingers crossed it will not be too long before we can open for snowsports,” a statement from the centre reports.
Trade body Ski-Scotland say that skiers and boarders can still buy season tickets which cover all five mountain resorts and also include benefits at the Snow Factor indoor snow centre near Glasgow.
A limited number of All-Areas Season Tickets are made available each year. Season ticket holders can decide not only which resort to visit and so follow the best snow and weather, they can also by-pass ticket office queues and be first on the pistes – assuming they arrive early enough, that is! Valid all season long at every resort, ticket holders also get free slope time and great discounts at Snow Factor, the indoor real snow ski and board centre as well as free access to all of Iceland’s ski areas.
“At this time of year many of our skiers and boarders play a risky waiting game,” said Andy Meldrum, new Chair of Ski-Scotland. “They want to wait to see what the weather might have in store for us before deciding to buy a season ticket. With just a limited number available, once they’re all sold, that’s it until next winter. However, already all the snowsports areas have had some snow, albeit not yet sufficient to operate. Also, three of our resorts will this winter operate snow factories to provide snow on some pistes, so this season, for the first time, Scotland can offer guaranteed snow!”
Ski-Scotland is also offering one lucky skier or snowboarder the chance to win an All-Areas Season Ticket by taking part in a competition on their Facebook page. Entrants are asked to post information about their best day on the Scottish mountain pistes, using the hashtag #BestScottishSnowDay. The winner will be drawn at random on Friday 8th December.