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Lecht is Best..but heavy snow falling in the West this morning

This Report for the Scottish Highlands was issued at
10.05hrs Wednesday 13th December 2017.
Glencoe, CairnGorm and the Lecht are open for skiing and boarding, the Lecht having the most lifts / terrain open. 6-7 inches of snow overnight at Glencoe with as much again forecast.

Join us to celebrate winter with Warren Miller's LINE of DESCENT in Inverness on Thu 14th. We resume in the New Year in Edinburgh on Sun 7th Jan.

Tour dates & Tickets: http://warrenmiller.co.uk .

It is puking in the West this morning with Glencoe having received 6-7 inches of new snow overnight according to the radar, on the ground there?s been a fair bit of drifting so some of the fenced runs have caught significantly more new snow and at least the same again is expected to fall in the next 24 to 36 hours.

The open terrain on the Plateau area at Glencoe is much improved with a layer of wind blown fresh on top of a groomed base giving fantastic early season turns with a constant top of fresh. Overhead is poor though with a fairly gusty wind and limited visibility due to the snow.

Glencoe are running the Access Chair, the Plateau Poma and the Coire Pollach Tow serving the Plateau Run, Old Mugs Alley, Coire Pollach Run and the Access Return. We will get updated pictures in Pix from the Slopes later. The Plateau Cafe Sledge Park is in excellent condition for those just wanting to go for a play at Glencoe. Runs further up are continuing to fill in.

Overall the Lecht is the best option at present, it is offering the most terrain and uplift after it snowed pretty much constantly on Monday. All the fenced runs are now in great condition with full width cover between the fences. Machine groomed / machine packed powdery snow giving fantastic early season riding, great hero snow for easing into the new season and a few regulars were saying it was the best pre Christmas conditions for several years.

Lecht have the Eagle Poma, Osprey Poma, Falcon Poma, Snowy Owl Chair and the beginner magic carpets open. The Buzzard Poma may open later and the Grouse can run in addition to the Chair if demand. Excellent beginner areas now adjacent to the cafe. An inch or two of new snow, and some snow showers should reach through today and Friday before a largely fine weekend at the Lecht with Sunny Spells and light winds.

CairnGorm has received around 4 inches of new snow and the officially open route down the Traverse, Cas and Zig Zags is now open to the Daylodge level with no mid-station stops today. Falling snow combined with the snow making isimproving the Lower Slopes. Polar Express open for beginners, it should be joined during the morning by the Ciste T-bar, this will serve a pisted route via the top of the M2, then onto the lower Fairway but it's fairly narrow and thin in places.

Despite the severe conditions to end last week, engineers from TechnoAlpin got the first of the two Snow Factories coming to Scotland for the season up and running at the edge of the Cas Carpark on CairnGorm Mountain. The second unit arrived at Glencoe on Monday and TechnoAlpin staff are now working on the setup.

While Glencoe was the first of the Highland mountain areas to open the bragging rights for first lift served turns of the Scottish Season were claimed by Lowther Hills Ski Club who were able to open their nursery slope in Leadhills last Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

:: Summer / Autumn Developments
Despite the poor season last year, there are still some positive lift developments in progress, but due to prolonged planning processes compared to the previous new lifts at Glencoe and Glenshee, main construction won?t begin until next summer. Glencoe has only recently secured all the necessary permissions associated with the Plateau Triple, and preliminary work is underway this autumn, but main construction will take place next summer. Likewise at Glenshee where the new Cairnwell Quad has received planning permission this autumn, but too late to begin lift construction.

:: Warren Miller's LINE of DESCENT
Join us to celebrate winter with Warren Miller Entertainment?s 68th snowsports film, LINE of DESCENT. With 97 minutes of big mountain ski and board action, plus intermission prizes. Next up Inverness on Thursday at 7.30pm in Eden Court.

We have dates from Inverness in Highland Scotland to Newquay in Cornwall through November, December and January.

Tour dates & Tickets:
http://warrenmiller.co.uk .
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:: Mountain Forecast Discussion
Heavy snowfall this morning coming in from the West with around 6-7 inches already at Glencoe and the mesoscale models predict the same or more again over the next 24 hours. Small risk of Thunderstorms so be aware of potential severe squalls, visibility is poor in snow with moderate winds but could whiteout in squalls. Around -2°c at Munro Level, -3°c by lunch and -5°c by dusk, dropping from the West.

Thursday should see a largely if not completely dry day in the Northern Cairngorms with some Sunny Spells, so looks good for taking advantage of the great pre Christmas conditions at the Lecht. In the West clusters of snow showers will come in to the coastal ranges, but some areas will stay dry while others could get several showers one after another. Around -5 to -6°c at Munro Level, Moderate and variable winds becoming North Westerly.

Friday will see a cold Northerly wind around 20 gusting 40mph generally, but convective snow showers could bring locally higher speeds during squally showers. A mix of Sunny Spells and snow showers for the West and Southern Cairngorms while the Northern Cairngorms are likely to see clusters of snow showers merge together as they move in off the Moray Firth.

Both CairnGorm and the Lecht should get a further top on Friday before a settled weekend, with more snow today and tonight at Glencoe it?s looking set for a very good pre Christmas weekend. However beyond the weekend the forecast outlook is exceptionally mild for several days before a transition to a fast moving and stormy Atlantic setup, put off the Christmas shopping, go easy at the Christmas Parties and get up to Glencoe, the Lecht or CairnGorm this weekend and take advantage of good early season snow and weather.

:: 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
Early summer we replaced the off-grid summit webcam at Lowther Hill located on the engine shed of the Lowther Hills Ski Club rope tow with a higher resolution camera. There is also a lower level camera situated on the Hopetoun Arms in Leadhills at around 1300ft.

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. As you maybe aware Mountain Spirit closed down late August. A new Aviemore webcam is in the planning and will hopefully be up and running prior to Christmas.

GLENCOE: All Cams are online. New sledge park cam now online.

NEVIS: Currently no power to mountain cams on front of mountain due to work on the mountain. A new base level webcam is now operational providing a low level view towards the slopes on Aonach Mor. Braveheart cams online.

:: Scottish Snowsport Areas: Snowphones & Websites
Glencoe: 01855 851226
Nevis Range: 01397 705825 www.nevisrange.co.uk
Lecht: 01975 651440 www.lecht.co.uk
CairnGorm: 01479 861261 www.cairngormmountain.co.uk
Glenshee: 013397 41320 www.ski-glenshee.co.uk
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CairnGorm Mtn // Wed 13th Dec
Funicular running non stop now with lower slopes officially open.
The Lecht // Wed 13th Dec
Great early season conditions with machine groomed fresh snow.
Glencoe // Wed 13th Dec
Cover on open Plateau Runs much improved with 9-11 inches of new snow and more due tonight.
The Lecht // Tue 12th Dec
Continual snowfall on Monday means all runs have full cover between the fences, Falcon and Buzzard due to open during Wednesday . Now very good early season riding for all abilities.
The Lecht // Sun 10th Dec
Looking over to the Buzzard Return from the main side.
Glencoe // Sat 9th Dec
Plateau Poma early Saturday afternoon. Open terrain limited to Plateau, but great forecast for next 2 to 3 days.
Glencoe // Fri 8th Dec
Glencoe reopening on Saturday. Plateau lifts and runs open.
The Lecht // Sun 3rd Dec
Top of the Eagle at the Lecht.
Lowther Hill Outlook
Thursday 14th December
FL: 1500ft.  Snow Showers
725m: -2°c SW 20 gust 30mph
Friday 15th December
FL: 1000ft.  Sunny
725m: -3°c North 20-30mph
  20.06hrs Wed 13th Dec