Ski hopes at CairnGorm, Glencoe, Glenshee, Lecht and Nevis Range

Skier This winter has seen one of the earliest starts to the Scottish snowsports season

All five of Scotland's ski centres expect to be open for skiing and snowboarding this weekend, Ski-Scotland has said.

CairnGorm Mountain and the Lecht opened last weekend and Glencoe Mountain earlier this week.

Nevis Range and Glenshee hoped to have runs available for the weekend if more snow falls.

Heather Negus, of Ski-Scotland, said this was one of the earliest starts to the snowsports season.

CairnGorm Mountain's operators have invested in four new snow cannons in order to open their higher runs.

At The Lecht in Aberdeenshire last weekend, there was enough snow cover for four tows to be opened.

Last year there were lengthy spells with no cover and there was disruption caused by hurricane-force winds.

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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