Get up and play mid-week. Don't fogey the Suncream and Shades!
Mid-week will be high pressure dominated, look out those shades and sun cream! Get an early weather check with our Glencoe, Nevis and CairnGorm Webcams. They update from first light shortly after 6am at present.
High Pressure will dominate the mid-week period with light to moderate winds and plenty of Sunshine, so given the uncertainty in the forecast by the end of the week the message has to be get up and play over the next few days if you can!
There is still huge cover on the Western Areas and most terrain at Glenshee and CairnGorm. The roller coaster of marked thaw/freeze cycling has left us with a very impressive consolidated base with the exception of the Lecht, which has suffered from being in the snow shadow of the 'Gorms all winter with the persistent South to SW winds.
Most obviously there has been a loss of snow from exposed ridges and open windward slopes, such as the East Lady on CairnGorm. However these aspects often didn't have that much to start with due to the persistent S-W winds and in terms of the ridable terrain the damage has largely been cosmetic. Cover is still largely ride anywhere in the West and at higher levels in the East and the main runs back to base level at Glenshee and CairnGorm remain in good shape.
There was a couple of inches of fresh snow on Monday morning for the Western areas, so a mix of softer snow low down, fresh in sheltered areas and hard areas on exposed slopes.
Though Munro Level temperatures are likely to rise through the coming week, snow melt should be slow at least through the mid-week period and indeed snow may stay firm packed off the sunlit higher slopes, so following the Sun around may well yield the best surface conditions as the harder snow loosens up into granular spring snow. Each diurnal freeze/thaw will further improve the spring snow. A frost is likely at most levels over the coming nights under clear skies.
Glencoe has all but the Top Button open, so the full on mountain area is lift served and the settled weather will mean no issues with lifts getting buried this week. So get up and enjoy the massive coverage on Meall a' Bhuiridh. The East Ridge beyond the Flypaper often loosens up best in the morning facing East, but ask patrol about what's what for the latest info. You don't want to venture on the Flypaper before it loosens up!
Hopefully during the next few days the Ptarmigan Tow can finally be dug out completely on CairnGorm expanding the terrain offering for novices and snowplough turners. In the mean time Nevis Range continues to look the best bet for novices and snowplough turners and snow should soften quicker on the lower mountain in the mornings. All front of mountain lifts and the Rob Roy T-bar are scheduled for the week ahead so there will be a huge amount of terrain for all ability levels. Check in with Patrol by the top of the Summit Tow for the latest on the Back Corries.
Glenshee has great cover across the area, ride anywhere further up and out, but the fenced runs back to Road Level are all in good shape too. Excellent options for all ability levels and a huge range of terrain to explore in the Sun this week. Some duplicate lifts will be subject to demand. Was open out to and including Glas Maol on Monday and no weather issues expected with the lifts in the coming days.
CairnGorm have got the West Wall Poma open again. White Lady was particularly good on Sunday, but hard though grippy on Monday. Carpark Runs still good for return to base as is the Fiacaill Ridge. Daylodge Run very narrow, but uptrack fine and can run for access to the top via the West Wall Poma.
Only very limited snowsports at the Lecht. No complete beginner runs.
Raise has extensive snow cover and excellent riding, and plans to be open on Monday. Check the snowphone (it's back to it's normal number on 015395 35456) for the latest. Visit www.ldscsnowski.co.uk
for membership and tow access details.
All the other club fields require further snow to reopen.
Raise: 015395 35456 www.ldscsnowski.co.uk
Yad Moss: 01388 317 767 www.yadmoss.co.uk
Weardale: 01388 317 767 www.skiweardale.com/webcams.html
Allenheads: 01661 860689 www.ski-allenheads.co.uk
CairnGorm: (1/3) Ptarmigan Tow Webcam is back online, but is likely to repeatedly get buried. Will be dug out when possible.
Glencoe: (3/3) SSC Hut cam is back online with new 3G network link as the sheer amount of snow is preventing the on mountain wifi network from working. Summit hut remains without power and thus the Summit Cam is offline (this outage does not affect operation of the lifts).
A fine, dry and largely bright and sunny mid-week (above any possible inversion mist) is in store with light winds expected. Munro Level temperature rising , but don't expect uniformly soft snow as a result of the temperatures. The dry air will keep dew points low and snow may well only soften on some sunlit aspects, day to day the best snow may shift in elevation and location, so it will be worth exploring.
Possibly a bit more hazy cloud around on Thursday, and becoming overcast from the West and windier on Friday heralding a breakdown in the settled spell. However it's not certain the high will giveway as easily as the forecast models suggest today.
Though today's outlook has taken a turn for the worse as far as the weekend goes, don't write off the weekend just yet. By Sunday the GFS ensembles show a 24°c spread in possible outcomes for the 850hpa temperatures underlining that just about anything could happen by the weekend!
Check the MWIS and Met Office Mountain forecasts for the latest detailed area mountain weather outlooks.
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