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Big late summer Bank Holiday - Highland Scotland set for best of Saturday's weather!

This Report for the Scottish Highlands was issued at
21.19hrs Tuesday 23rd August 2016.
With meteorological autumn just around the corner the nights are drawing in, perhaps not long till the first dustings on the high tops.

CairnGorm Season Passes go up in price again at the end of August - if you are considering one act now. Nevis Range has the latest ending early bird offer through to 14th November.

Just over a week to go until we are into meteorological autumn and that means the big late summer bank holiday weekend is coming up.

At Glencoe the Access Chair is open for sightseeing, from the top a 20 minute walk to the Creag Dhu viewpoint offers a stunning 360 degree panorama over Rannoch Moor, the junction of Glencoe and Glen Etive and down into Glen Etive. Downhill mountain biking on the red and black bike tracks is open daily (wind permitting for the chairlift). Summer tubing continues daily on the neveplast slope at the log cabin cafe with sessions on the hour till 4pm, the cafe serves food until 7.30pm and is open daily till 8.30pm.

Nevis Range also has downhill mountain biking on the go daily wind permitting and there are two short walks to viewpoints from the top of the Gondola. The pine marten cafe at the base is also open daily and there are a range of XC mountain bike trails and forest walks in Leanachan forest.

The last day of lift served mountain biking at Nevis Range is Sunday 18th September, Glencoe?s red and black bike trails and the Access Chair are open daily through Monday 31st October.

Over towards the East CairnGorm?s Funicular is open daily weather permitting, but open hours mid-week are 10.20am to 3.15pm for last train up and 4pm Sat and Sundays.

At the Lecht the Chairlift and base lodge cafe-bar are open daily (check with the centre for the chairlift status) the bike tracks are also open.

After a summer of big projects last year that saw the new Coire Pollach Tow at Glencoe, the Sheiling Tow replacement on CairnGorm and the biggie, the new triple Cairnwell Chairlift at Glenshee, it?s been a less headline grabbing summer. That doesn?t mean there?s not been a lot of work going on though.

At Glencoe the new Plateau Chairlift has arrived on site, but it is almost an 18-month project and is due for completion late autumn 2017 if all goes to schedule. However this summer between 4 and 5km of fencing has already been replaced, the Plateau Poma and runs, Mugs Alley and the Wall T-bar uptrack so far. The new Rankin?s Return further out East on the Plateau that will be fully serviced by the new chairlift for winter 2017/18 will hopefully be complete this autumn, with access from the top leg of Mugs Alley, traversing out East below the Spring Run.

Around the base area at Glencoe work to tidy up and improve the appearance of the base area is ongoing after recent summers construction projects and overhaul of the Access Chair.

On CairnGorm the fencing squad are gradually working their way down the West Wall Poma uptrack with a new rail fence and this should hopefully go someway to reducing the gap between the durability of the runs and the uplift, though not to the extent the chairlift would. The floating bullwheel on the West Wall Poma has been lowered ahead of replacement with a fixed structure, but structural work has yet to begin.

:: Mountain Forecast Discussion
After a spell of hot weather in the South of the British Isles a thundery breakdown is on the cards for the weekend, with a complex low moving slowly North.

The upshot of that is the best of Saturday?s weather is likely to be in Northern Scotland, if you are planning outdoor activities in the Highlands this weekend, then Saturday looks the most promising day. Things may clear to cooler and drier on Monday, but that?s still a fair bit away so keep a close eye on the mountain forecasts.

Indications are for generally close to average temperatures at the start of September, but fairly unsettled Atlantic dominated conditions, with the chance of some cooler interludes of NW winds. May not be long now till we see the first dustings on the tops.

Check the MWIS and Met Office Mountain forecasts for the latest detailed area mountain weather outlooks.

:: NEW Winterhighland Android App
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.

:: Webcams and Weather Stations
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 for the 2017 season.

NEVIS: Goose Cameras online at present, but they along with the Braveheart camera will only be intermittently available outwith the snowsports season due to summer maintenance work on the mountain affecting power availablity.

:: Scottish Snowsport Areas: Snowphones & Websites
Glencoe: 01855 851226
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
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Northern Cairngorms Outlook
Saturday 28th May
FL: >Tops.  Part Cloudy
914m: 7°c SE 15 gust 30mph
Sunday 29th May
FL: >Tops.  Overcast
914m: 8°c East 10-15mph
  20.47hrs Fri 27th May
West Highlands Outlook
Saturday 28th May
FL: >Tops.  Part Cloudy
914m: 9°c East 10-20mph
Sunday 29th May
FL: >Tops.  Sunny
914m: 12°c Little or No Wind.
  20.47hrs Fri 27th May
Southern Cairngorms Outlook
Saturday 28th May
FL: >Tops.  Inversion
914m: 6°c SE 15 gust 25mph
Sunday 29th May
FL: >Tops.  Showers
914m: 8°c East 10-15mph
  20.48hrs Fri 27th May
Glencoe // Tue 18th Oct
Snow lying to below the Rescue Station this morning. Early Bird season passes available till Friday 4th November.
CairnGorm Mtn // Tue 18th Oct
The first mountain turns of the 2017 season give Helen 7 years of skiing every consecutive month on Scottish mountains.
Glencoe // Sat 18th Jun
Preparing for a mass descent of the Main Basin.
Glencoe // Sun 29th May
Launch into Summer... Red & Black bike tracks reopen after the SDA race weekend on Monday morning.
Glencoe // Tue 10th May
Heading into the Canyon. Despite the heat fantastic granular Spring Snow.
CairnGorm Mtn // Sun 8th May
Summer in Scotland is great, this year it was on a Sunday.
CairnGorm Mtn // Sat 7th May
Sunday is closing day on CairnGorm - get up for one last lift served slide to round of the 2016 Season.
Glencoe // Sat 7th May
Macavalanche mass start mountain bike race took place on Sat afternoon. Still plenty for tourers / hikers to get turns in on the upper & mid mountain.