Late snowfall boosts Scottish ski centres

 

Snowfall of up to 10cm on Scotland's mountains has raised hopes of an end-of-season boost for some of the country's snowsports centres.

Skiers and snowboarders have already been taking to the slopes in the Cairngorms, where the centre is expected to remain open until next week.

Elsewhere, bosses at the centres in Glencoe and the Nevis Range are hopeful of being able to open to the public this weekend.

The April snowfall will be seen by some businesses as a welcome bonus in a season which has seen limited skiing across much of Scotland over the last two months.

Colin Kirkwood, marketing manager of CairnGorm Mountain, said three tows were open at the centre today.

"We've had good conditions in a limited area," he said.

"We expect to remain open through the weekend and into next week. There's more snow forecast and snow has been falling intermittently in the course of today and temperatures are due to remain low.

"It has been a difficult year. We didn't ski at all in March, which is almost unheard of, so we're keen to let people know that we are open for business for skiing. There are still good opportunities. It's been a real bonus."

Matt Dobson - a senior forecaster at Meteogroup UK, the weather division of the Press Association - confirmed that snow of between five and 10cm fell on high ground above 500 metres last night and this morning.

Bosses at the Glencoe Mountain Resort said they were "gearing up" to open after almost two months without any snowsports.

Managing director Andy Meldrum said: "We are ready to go and as soon as we can get all our personnel in place then we will be open. Certainly we expect to be open this weekend, and hopefully before that."

Snow at the Nevis Range, which has also been shut for a number of weeks, was said to be lying down to 600 metres.

While there was not yet enough snow for the centre to open today, the situation is being assessed on a daily basis, with the hope of opening at the weekend.

Marketing manager Heather Negus said: "There's been overnight snow and there is more snow forecast this week. We will look to open this weekend.

"We won't be able to make a decision until nearer the weekend, as it's obviously going to be based on the snow that falls between now and then. If we are able to open, we will definitely be open."

Ms Negus said the bike tracks at the range have, however, opened earlier than usual. "It would be great to see skiing and biking at the weekend," she added.

Spokesmen at Scotland's other two snowsports centres, at The Lecht and Glenshee, both said they did not have enough snow for the centres to open.

PA

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