Scottish ski centres, especially Glenshee and the Lecht, were hit by the ‘Beast from the East’ weather system last week and into the start of this.
Heavy snowfall affected the slopes and blocked access roads, with police closing snow gates on the main roads to the centres.
With the weather easing up this week, roads have reopened and there will be superb conditions at all five centres in Scotland, with plenty of fresh snow and pretty much everything open.
The week ahead will stay cold with more snow so prospects are good for the final few months of the season.
CairnGorm and Nevis were closed on Sunday due to south east winds, which were stronger than expected.
The A93 to Glenshee opened quickly from the north, but it took till late morning to open from the south as the snowblower had to recut sections after stronger than expected overnight winds. Glenshee was able to get open out to the Beag in the middle valley in the morning, and just before 3pm the Meall Odhar Poma came on.
There have been substantial snow falls across the Cairngorms in the past week, but the snow is very wind affected.
Given the ferocity of the wind the snow on the ground travelled quite a long way at ground level, meaning it was not light, fluffy powder, but quite slabby and wind packed. However snow continues to accumulate in less windy conditions so surfaces are getting more powdery.
The season continues its early promise, with over 132,000 ‘skier days’ already recorded at the five mountain resorts, more than double the total for the whole of last season and is more than 7% up on the successful 2015-16 season.
“We’re even closing the gap on season 2014-15,” said chair of Ski-Scotland Andy Meldrum last week. “That season finished with more than 200,000 skier days in total.
“We estimate that already this winter we have generated over £13.2 million for the economy, of which at least £10m will have been spent ‘off the hill’ in accommodation, shops, eateries and filling stations.”
l A skier day means one person who skis/boards on one day – many are serial visitors and are counted each day they enjoy their snowsports.