Highlands & Islands

Cairngorms and Lecht ski runs could open at weekend

Reindeer in Cairngorms
Reindeer in the Cairngorms where ski slopes could be opened over the weekend

Two of Scotland's five ski resorts hope to have enough snow for snowsports this weekend.

CairnGorm Mountain and The Lecht will have runs open for skiers and snowboarders on Saturday, weather permitting.

The Cairngorms range, which is home to a reindeer herd near Aviemore, has had snowfalls since October.

Sportscotland Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) has reported snow covering summits in the range.

It has also reported on the summit of Creag Meagaidh.

The service will begin issuing avalanche hazard forecasts for the Northern Cairngorms and Lochaber on 7, 8 and 9 December.

SAIS's full service will start on 13 December when forecasts will also be given for Southern Cairngorms, Creag Meagaidh and Glencoe.

CairnGorm Mountain's operations manager Colin Matthew forecast a bumper winter sports season back in August.

He said a snowberry bush that "predicted" hard winters in 2009 and 2010 had shown signs that the coming winter would also be cold and snow-filled.

Mr Matthew said that when the berries appeared early and were large a severe winter followed.

Both 2009 and 2010 were good winters for Scotland's ski centres.

CairnGorm, Glencoe, Glenshee, Nevis Range and The Lecht were able to open early in 2010.

Glencoe opened before Christmas for the first time in 10 years.

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