Ski season gets off to a great start

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Thousands took to the slopes last weekend for the opening of this year’s snowsports season.

Icy conditions have led to an earlier opening weekend than last year where there was little snow on the ground.

Donside’s Lecht Ski Centre, near Tomintoul, saw almost 1,000 skiers and snowboarders through it’s doors over Saturday and Sunday.

It is hoped that the enthusiasts will open their wallets in the area and boost the local economy as a whole.

Pat Mathieson of the Lecht centre said: “The weather was just beautiful and it was great to see so many people on the runs.”

“We had a good mixture of people over the weekend, from our usual loyal customers to complete beginners. We’re hoping for a longer season this year so it’ll be great to see how many turn up.”

“We had a quick end to the season last year so having an early start is an bonus.”

The met office is warning more cold weather is to come with a yellow warning of snow for the whole country on Monday (December 3) with as much as half a foot of snow falling over higher ground.

Last year was a poor season for Scotland’s five snowsport centres and Cairngorm recorded the fewest number of days for snow sports in over a decade as it celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Chief Executive of Snowsport Scotland, the governing body behind the industry, Jane Harvey said she was “delighted” with the weekend’s results.

“All we can say is that we’re delighted with the result. We’ve opened well in advance of last year and we hope it can continue. Unfortunately it all depends on the snow.”

She believes that a good season would encourage beginners to take to the runs.

Ms Harvey added: “A good season prompts people who are not experienced in the sports to give them a go.

“We work hard to encourage people to try it, improve their skills with a view to taking to the slopes themselves. A long season will hopefully encourage more people to do that.”