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Scotland celebrates the snow
Monday March 25, 2013 - Email this article to a friend

The snowstorms in the UK have brought a huge boost to Scotland's mountain ski areas. All report unprecedented conditions for the time of year. Easter is set to be one of the best. It has been quite a winter for the UK ski slopes.

There are good winters in Scotland and there are bad ones.

The weather is unreliable, changeable and can not be relied upon for snowsports.

This winter we are happy to report on PlanetSKI that it is currently epic. Perhaps too epic.

The current weather means some resorts were closed because of too much snow and wind.

"SKI AREA CLOSED, ACCESS ROADS IMPASSABLE DUE TO BLIZZARD CONDITIONS AND SEVERE DRIFTING," said the resort of Cairngorm in big bold letters on its web site last weekend.

It has since been able to re-open.

"Top to bottom the snow conditions are fantastic. Ciste Gully groomed hard packed snow with fresh on top. The White Lady piste is groomed perfection. Fence to fence groomed cover on M1 piste. Ptarmigan tow and bowl will remain closed tomorrow as we continue to doze out the track and work on the biggest park to hit CairnGorm. The Park and Ptarmigan tow will re- open on Saturday," said a statement form the resort on Friday.

"Forecast is looking good beyond Easter so get your holidays/time off booked now," it added.

Clearing the way to CairngormClearing the way to Cairngorm













"Not only have the storms brought huge dumps of snow, but it's amazing quality for the time of year. At this time of year, we'd expect spring snow, which is usually quite wet, but what all the ski areas are reporting is lovely soft fluffy snow and loads of fresh powder," said Heather Negus, Chair of Ski-Scotland.

The Scottish ski industry is celebrating, despite the current bad weather, and plans to hold special events for the Easter holidays.

There are half price lift passes at Nevis Range for people wearing fancy dress on Good Friday.

A charity "onesie" event at CairnGorm Mountain on Easter Saturday.

Easter egg hunts at Glencoe Mountain on Easter Sunday, 31st March. 

Later in the holidays, on 6th April, CairnGorm Mountain will also host the Vans New Big Air Competition.

It is not all perfect conditions though.

Far from it. And it is not just Cairngorm.

Many of the centres were closed by strong winds or snow blocking access roads at the start of this week. 

Everywhere, staff were working hard to dig out lifts and clear roads to make sure all pistes are open and accessible for everyone to enjoy the amazing snow.

The 5 Scottish resorts have recorded just under 179,000 'skier days' and using current data, snowsports have already injected over £18M into the Scottish economy this winter.

Of this, £14.4M will have been spent "off the hill" in local accommodation, places to eat, shops and filling stations, with the remaining £3.6M spent at the snowsports areas themselves.

"Most mountain ski areas are not really busy at this time of year, and over the past few weeks there have been few queues, with some ski areas reporting that customers have been skiing straight onto the lifts. While we can't guarantee that will continue we can guarantee some great Easter snowsports in the Scottish Highlands," said Heather Negus.

Meanwhile the Ski and Snowboard School based at CairnGorm Mountain has just successfully completed a re-validation process by The British Association of Snowsport Instructors (BASI) to retain its BASI Approved Ski School kitemark.

"I am very pleased that The Ski and Snowboard School has again been inspected, and exceeded the standards required to be accredited through the new BASI Approved Ski School Scheme," said the operator of The Ski school, Mike Shepherd.

 "It is really good to see that BASI has recognised this need to help develop a culture of quality, and to help not only snowsport schools to become more customer focused, but create a quality kitemark for the public seeking snowsports tuition."

Here's why...Here's why...












BASI helps ensure that organisations involved in offering snowsports instruction are consistent in the quality and delivery of their end product. 

"Whether a member of the public buys lessons from an indoor snowsport centre, dry ski slope or ski school in the UK, they should be guaranteed and assured a recognised level of service," said BASI. 

The BASI Approved Ski School Scheme that offers Approved Centre status is an initiative to develop recognised standards of teaching and customer service, both nationally and internationally within the snowsports industry. 

The instructorsThe instructors








Here on PlanetSKI we will bring you more reports and pictures later of the snow in Scotland over the Easter holidya period.

In the meantime the cold weather in the UK has led to more people booking a last minute ski trip to the Alps and Pyrenees - either to enjoy the great snow or get away for the cold in the UK.

Even the low-level resorts are good.

"It is dumping it down with snow yet again and should be great for Easter," said PlanetSKI reader, Vanessa Fisher, who is currently on holiday with her family in the Swiss resort of Wengen.

Our content editor has just been in the Hautes-Pyrenees - see here for his blog.

While the image below was taken in the resort of Cauterets on Monday.

It is in the Haute-Pyrenees and has had the biggest snow depth of anywhere in Europe this winter - 5.9m.














For the spirit of the mountains


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