Snowfall for Scotland

13th March 2011, by Chris Gill

Bravehearts in Glencoe

Bravehearts in Glencoe

Severe weather has hit Scotland once again, blanketing the country’s five ski areas in heavy snowfall.

The slopes were transformed from their spring conditions, as wintry storms moved north overnight. In their wake: as much as 45cm has been reported at Cairngorm; 30-40cm on higher ground in Glencoe. Much of it has accumulated in deep drifts, blown on by a very strong wind that has been gusting to 80mph in some areas.

Blizzard conditions and whiteouts are expected throughout the weekend, although lifts are operating in four of the five ski resorts – those brave enough to weather the storm can expect good quality snow on the pistes. But avalanche risk has increased substantially with the new snowfall. And, of course, many high-level access roads have been badly affected by the severe weather; so visitors are urged to check before venturing out.

All resorts but Cairngorm are currently reporting lifts open. The ploughs are working to clear the access roads, but the hill is in stormbound mode at present. Nevis Range has limited skiing on its lower slopes, but Glencoe has managed to dig out its lifts for a full operation on Sunday. The weather has eased further south now, with Glenshee reporting lots of fresh snow on a hard-packed base. All lifts are open at the Lecht, with runs filling in again.

The storms have crossed much of Scotland’s central belt and moved into the Highlands. It’s difficult to imagine when further south in Somerset the skies are blue and settled on Sunday. But at least when this band of weather moves on, there should be very good skiing and boarding available up north.

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