CairnGorm Mountain is go for a final weekend of lift served snowsports, with a 20quid weekend ticket this Sat & Sun. A May heatwave is set to develop as Northern Blocking takes hold, so come and get some classic late season Scottish Spring Snow t-shirt riding. This might be summer, make the most of it!
SUMMER SOLSTICE SLIDE - With the Solstice falling on Monday 20th June, join us for a mid-summer slide at Glencoe on Saturday 18th June. Cliffhanger Chairlift will run to ease access to remaining snow patches on the upper mountain.
CairnGorm Mountain will open for lift served snowsports on Sat 7th & Sun 8th May for what is planned to be closing weekend. Weather is set fair, decent Sunny Spells not too much wind and warming up, we should get some classic Spring Snow t-shirt sliding to round of the season.
As we move into the weekend it will become hot for the time of year across Highland Scotland as Northern Blocking takes hold and low pressure pumps very warm air in from the SE, temperatures on the hills will reach the mid teens on Sunday, towards the mid 20?s °c in the Central Highland glens.
On CairnGorm the Top Basin runs retain a good cover, with the Traverse, 105 and Coire Cas providing a long run to mid-station. Upper Cas retains a decent width of cover. Upper White Lady is good for ?, but is broken on approach to mid-station through the skirt so some walking will be required from it to regain the lifts. At time of update the expectation is the Funicular, Coire Cas, Ptarmigan and Coire na Ciste T-bars, plus the Polar Express Poma will operate this weekend. M1 uptrack needs some work, will have to be assessed.
Earlier in the week there had been further fresh snow falls, Mayday Monday saw blizzard conditions on CairnGorm restrict uplift to the Funicular for much of the day, while Glencoe was StormBound. By Wednesday morning 7-9 inches of new snow had fallen with significant drifting on Meall a? Bhuiridh, with lighter winds on Thursday tourers have been up at Glencoe and laid some tracks on the Spring Run.
Weather permitting the Access Chair at Glencoe and Gondola at Nevis are open daily, but the CairnGorm Funicular is closed through to 16th May for work on the Top Station (though it maybe available at the weekend for snowsports uplift).
This weekend see?s the mass start Macavalanche downhill bike race from high on the Main Basin at Glencoe, there will be timed seeding runs from the Top of the Cliffhanger in the morning, before the main event in the afternoon. It?s great fun to watch, so well worth skiers and boarders getting up to hike for some turns and timing it to take in the race. Most upper runs retain good cover, still wide and deep in the Main Basin, Spring Run and the Flypaper, the natural snowfields of most mid runs likewise.
At Nevis Range the Goose still has decent cover, but the most extensive snow is in the Back Corries, so there is still some potential for touring / hiking for some spring steeps.
If heading out beyond officially open terrain on CairnGorm and anywhere else in the mountains, given the prospect of high temperatures consider the risk of wet snow avalanches and particularly potential for full depth slides.
Lift served mountain biking is due to resume this Saturday (7th May) at Nevis Range and the following Saturday 14th May at Glencoe.
Friday will be a dry day with some decent Sunny Spells, the best of these towards the Western parts of the Central Highlands. Light and variable winds, around 10 gusting 20mph, dropping away in the West. Feeling warm in the Sun, with +5 to +6°c at Munro Level.
Broadly similar day for Saturday, but a slightly fresher NE breeze, around 15 gusting 25mph, but gusts 30 to 35mph possible over the Cairngorm Plateau. Between +4 and +6°c at Munro Level.
By Sunday much warmer air will have moved in over Highland Scotland, a day of long Sunny Spells, beware of a risk of late afternoon or early evening thunderstorms. LIght to moderate SE wind generally at 15 gusting 25mph. Around +12 to +14°c at Munro Level, snow will amplify risk of sunburn and heat risks.
By Monday with Northern Blocking taking hold across and to the North of Highland Scotland a day of largely unbroken Sunshine is expected with Munro Level temperatures nudging 16°c towards the West, a degree or two cooler in the East with the light SE breeze.
The current indications from the forecast models has Northern Blocking dominant for the foreseeable, Highland Scotland is thus likely to see the most settled weather and warmest temperatures may well be in Western areas of the Central Highlands. A prolonged warm and dry spell is looking possible, but despite that in dry air and relatively light winds the day to day rate of snow melt is likely to be relatively slow, though any windy days will greatly accelerate it.
There is of course a risk with such Northern Blocking that the floodgates could open from the North to bring a return to wintry conditions if the high pressure drifts, so it is possible we could see some impressive temperature swings going through mid month.
Check the MWIS and Met Office Mountain forecasts for the latest detailed area mountain weather outlooks.
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.
CAIRNGORM: SSC and Loch Morlich webcams are online.
AVIEMORE: Aviemore, Inverdruie and Loch Morlich cams online.
GLENCOE: Mountain webcams are online. Trial Coire Pollach Cam is now offline and a permanent camera will be installed for Old Mugs Alley during the Summer.
NEVIS: Goose and Braveheart Cameras online at present, but will only be intermittently available outwith the snowsports season due to summer maintenance work on the mountain .
Glencoe: 01855 851226 www.glencoemountain.co.uk
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