the general situation
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Sharpen your edges... and chase the Sun around the slopes!

This Report for the Scottish Highlands was issued at
20.18hrs Wednesday 21st February 2018.
Progressively drier and colder air means the snowpack is predominantly hardpacked, terrain that will loosen off is likely to be steeper aspects exposed to late morning Sun and there will be less softening than previous days. Sharp edges make a massive difference! Good cover on terrain for all abilities though across the areas.

A widely bright and Sunny Wednesday, but with just a hint of West of South to the wind on Thursday morning a few flurries and more cloud looks likely in the West, the brightest overhead likely to be at CairnGorm and the the Lecht. Gusty winds out of the SE quadrant could impact some higher tows at Nevis and CairnGorm through the coming days, so keep an eye on updates.

After the milder / damper conditions early in the week the snow is setting up hardpacked overnight and today it loosened less and progressively over the coming days there will be less scope for it to soften up. Recently groomed terrain will be best and cannot reiterate enough just what a difference good edges make! It really can be the difference between enjoying a run and a survival course!

Glencoe still has summit to moor riding possible with 2400ft of lifted vertical via the Red Access Run. The Blue Access Run is broken with some walking down the hill track required, but provides an excellent long cruising groomer that is certainly worth it to round of the day (or head down for lunch at the base cafe).

From a third of the way up the Access Chair cover remains extensive and all runs on the mountain retain a wide and deep cover of consolidated packed snow. With an overcast start and possibly a flurry it?s unlikely the snow will loosen up on Thursday, Flypaper has been open the past couple of days but is doubtful for tomorrow though will be assessed AM. All uplift scheduled at Glencoe and all run Wednesday including the Rannoch Button.

Nevis has an excellent wide base on most terrain with huge cover extending down the Goose into the Allt Sneachda where there is one big wide snow field over to and under the Quad. With Rob Roy open there is lots of long green and easier blue options on the lower half of the mountain.

Where there was some thin / worn patches appearing low down at CairnGorm and at the Lecht the drier air has allowed the piste machines to tidy things up again. Above mid-mountain there is a deep base on the principle natural and fenced runs, but the White Lady stayed bombproof on Wednesday.

Most main runs are full width at the Lecht though there is a lot less snow outside the fences than at the weekend. The piste machines have been able to use the snowfactory snow to keep the beginner area in decent shape. If the Harrier or Falcon open, they will need good edges!

Glenshee has all runs complete though the occasional worn / thin areas low down and on the South aspects around Butcharts Access and Carn Aosda, but most runs still have full width cover, open to Coire Fionn.

:: Half Term Survival...
The busiest part of the Half Term period is now behind us and Highland schools extended long weekend is now over. However, across the areas equipment hire is likely to busier than normal mid-week for Thursday and Friday.

Multi-day hires do not need to be returned to the hire department at Glencoe and can be used at Nevis Range (as long as you can return them to Glencoe on the last day of hire).

:: Club Fields
Lowther Hill hopes to run the Summit Tow on Wednesday, members have had an email and will be followed up in the morning with confirmation. You must join online before you can use the clubs tows.

Find out more:

www.yadmoss.co.uk 01228 561634
ski-allenheads.co.uk 0191 5974 174
www.skiweardale.com 01388 317767

:: Mountain Forecast Discussion
Subtle shift in the placement of the high pressure on thursday means the risk of more cloud and a few snow flurries has shifted from the Southern Cairngorms to the West Highlands. Between -2 and -3°c at Munro Level. Moderate Southerly wind will be gustier on and downwind of the Cairngorm Plateau and the Nevis Range.

Models agree on high pressure building into Scandinavia, gradually unleashing the Beast from the East. How quickly deep cold could reach and day to day detail remain uncertain and a further Sudden Stratospheric Warming is adding to model uncertainty!

Apart from possibly the South Eastern Cairngorms it looks like overhead should be bright Friday and Saturday, particularly in the West where the brightness should hold on for Sunday, possibly into next week. Indications now favour SSE wind on Friday, becoming SE on Saturday which could affect some uplift at CairnGorm and Nevis Range, if forecast holds. Glencoe and Glenshee least affected by SE winds.

Inversion conditions could keep Munro Level in the West less cold for a few days compared to the East (and potentially lower levels in the West). However low humidity above the inversion will mean the snow stays pretty solid even in Sun and even if air temperature edges above 0.

:: NEW Winterhighland Android App
Optimised for speedy access to the essential information from Scotland's five snowsports areas on even the slowest mobile connections our new Android app is the easiest way to keep tabs with what's happening on the move and now includes Lowther Hills Ski Club.

:: Webcams and Weather Stations
Lowther Hill: Off grid Summit Camera and Leadhills Village Camera online.

CAIRNGORM: Loch Morlich webcam is online. CML have confirmed publically they removed our webcams from the property of the SSC.

AVIEMORE: Inverdruie and Loch Morlich cams online.

GLENCOE: Network connection up mountain restored after snow burial issue! Mid mountain cam network cable has failed (and is under ground under many feet of snow). Will look at an alternative location for a similar view before the weekend.

NEVIS: Front cams and both Braveheart cams online.

The Lecht // Sun 18th Feb
What's over there? More corduroy as it happens on the Harrier Black.
Glencoe // Tue 13th Feb
When you need the fat skis for heading down from the Access Chairlift... :)
Nevis Range // Tue 13th Feb
Rabbit Run back to the Top of the Gondola in fantastic shape. Excellent riding for all ability levels.
Glencoe // Mon 12th Feb
Lots of fresh snow, lots of drifting, lots more of both tonight! Powder Tuesday in prospect...
The Lecht // Sat 10th Feb
Fantastic conditions on all runs at the Lecht. Beginner area in perfect shape for Half Term.
Glenshee // Sat 10th Feb
Fine afternoon after the wind died down late morning. Looking over the Cairnwell from Carn Aosda.
Glencoe // Sat 10th Feb
Snow is falling to Carpark this evening. Lots of snow forecast over the coming days.
CairnGorm Mtn // Thu 8th Feb
More snow due in tonight.
Northern Cairngorms Outlook
Thursday 22nd February
FL: 2000ft.  Sunny
914m: -2°c South 30-50mph
Friday 23rd February
FL: 1000ft.  Inversion
914m: -4°c South 30-50mph
  19.55hrs Wed 21st Feb
West Highlands Outlook
Thursday 22nd February
FL: 1500ft.  Snow Showers
914m: -3°c SSW 20 gust 40mph
Friday 23rd February
FL: 1500ft.  Inversion
914m: -4°c SSE 20 gust 40mph
  19.51hrs Wed 21st Feb
Southern Cairngorms Outlook
Thursday 22nd February
FL: 1500ft.  Part Cloudy
914m: -3°c South 20-40mph
Friday 23rd February
FL: 1000ft.  Flurries
914m: -5°c South 20-35mph
  19.56hrs Wed 21st Feb
Lowther Hill Outlook
Thursday 22nd February
FL: 1500ft.  Overcast
725m: -2°c South 20-30mph
Friday 23rd February
FL: 1000ft.  Flurries
725m: -3°c SE 20 gust 35mph
  19.56hrs Wed 21st Feb