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Lecht Opening Thursday....

This Report for the Scottish Highlands was issued at
15.11hrs Wednesday 26th April 2017.
Heavy convective snow showers have piled in of the Moray Firth over recent days and enough snow has drifted in to allow the Lecht to reopen on Thursday. Grab the toys and the opportunity for one more slide!

Several days of heavy convective snow showers streaming in off the Moray Firth into the Northern Cairngorms mean there is now enough snow on the ground for the Lecht to restart the 2017 Scottish Season on Thursday 27th April. We will not spend the whole of April 2017 like March 2012 with no lift served snowsports at all, so take advantage of the improving weather and late snow and grab one more slide at the Lecht.

Just a scattered light snow showers around today and these should ease as a ridge of high pressure approaches for Friday, it now looks as is if we will have a fairly fine and settled May Bank Holiday weekend for the North of Scotland. Though the very cold airflow is now being cut off temperature should rise only fairly slowly, but how long the snow can last remains to be seen so don't hang about and get up and play Thursday if you can.

The Buzzard, North side of the Eagle and Snowy Owl have the best cover, the Buzzard side has the deepest cover with a fence depth in places as the wind direction favoured these fences. Nearly all main runs are complete and the Eagle, Grouse, Snowy Owl and Buzzard runs are pisted ready for Thursday. At the moment the expectation is three main lifts for Thursday, these are likely to be the Grouse or Chair, then the Eagle and Buzzard Pomas, giving access to blue terrain. The Kestrel Beginner Poma maybe also open.

The Piste Bashers have been working on the Falcon and the drifts have been bashed out on the run, but the uptrack needs a bit of work, but maybe a possibility of some red terrain on Friday.

CairnGorm is a mix of wind scoured areas and some big 2m plus drifts along fence lines that were across the NW and Northerly gales. Tourers have managed to skin from the Daylodge to above the Ptarmigan Tow and return all the way including down the lower slopes. Big drifts on the Traverse and Ptarmigan Traverse, but CML say there is insufficient snow, the unofficial word from people on the hill suggest an outbreak of cosmetic snow!

Far fewer snow showers have reached the other areas, there is a light covering of fresh snow at Nevis Range, but only a slight dusting at Glencoe. There are still reasonably extensive higher level snowfields at both for tourers and those will to hike for some turns, but for now the main focus is on the Northern Cairngorms.

Further North in the Highlands there has been even more significant snow fall so some late season touring opportunities exist further North than the snowsports areas.

At Nevis the gondola is open daily wind permitting and skis / snowboards can be taken on the gondola. There are still some reasonable snowfields over the back, in Coire Dubh there are complete lines to the top of the Braveheart Chairlift, but it's a fair effort to get these lines in with a walk up from the top of the Gondola and a walk out from the top of the Braveheart.

:: Mountain Forecast Discussion
Thursday should see light NW winds and few snow flurries around, starting around -1°c at Munro Level but rising to 0 or +1°c late in the afternoon.

A ridge of High Pressure will build for Friday giving a fine day with WNW light becoming variable wind, best of the brightness towards the East. Around +1 or +2°c at Munro Level during the afternoon, but a frost in sheltered glens and corries possible under any clearer spells overnight.

Saturday should be a fine day with Sunny Spells and little or no wind in the Northern Cairngorms and West Highlands, though a light becoming moderate SW may develop in the Southern Cairngorms later. Between 0 and +2°c at Munro Level.

Sunday should be dry with Sunny Spells under part cloudy skies with a Munro Level temperature around +3°c, moderate SE wind, wil be stronger over the Northern Cairngorms on and downslope of the Cairngorm Plateau and through the Nevis Range where gusts to 50mph are possible.

Early indications for the May Day Bank Holiday are for moderate SE winds and increasingly extensive Sunshine developing away from immediate Eastern costal hills. Again stronger gusts over the Cairngorm Plateau and downslopes and through the Nevis Range, much less wind around Glencoe for example due to the SE direction.

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
We have added a new webcam in Leadhills in conjunction with the Hopetoun Arms Hotel and Lowther Hills Ski Club.

CAIRNGORM: SSC and Loch Morlich webcams are online. Loch Morlich AWS is back online for temperature.

AVIEMORE: Aviemore, Inverdruie and Loch Morlich cams online.

GLENCOE: All Cams are online.

NEVIS: Braveheart and base online. Front of mountain cameras currently not available.

:: 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
Friday 28th April
FL: 3000ft.  Part Cloudy
914m: 0°c Little or No Wind.
Saturday 29th April
FL: 3500ft.  Part Cloudy
914m: 1°c South 15-25mph
  12.58hrs Thu 27th Apr
West Highlands Outlook
Friday 28th April
FL: 3500ft.  Part Cloudy
914m: 1°c Little or No Wind.
Saturday 29th April
FL: 3500ft.  Part Cloudy
914m: 1°c South 20-30mph
  12.57hrs Thu 27th Apr
Southern Cairngorms Outlook
Friday 28th April
FL: 3500ft.  Overcast
914m: 1°c SW 10 gust 20mph
Saturday 29th April
FL: 4000ft.  Overcast
914m: 2°c SE 10 gust 15mph
  12.59hrs Thu 27th Apr
Glencoe // Mon 27th Mar
The Main Basin from the T-bar. One last day of fine weather on Tuesday before it becomes breezy and wet - get up and play while you can!
Glencoe // Sun 26th Mar
Looking back to the Spring Run, Spring Paper and Flypaper Bowl from Rankin's Return. Staying Sunny Monday and into Tuesday, play while you can!
CairnGorm Mtn // Sat 25th Mar
Cas Shred terrain park rebuilt for the weekend. Main action in Top Basin .
Nevis Range // Sat 25th Mar
Braveheart Chairlift opened on Saturday and is scheduled for Sunday. Don't forget the suncream!
Glencoe // Sat 25th Mar
In the Haggis Trap on the Main Basin. Another bluebird day forecast for Sunday!
Glencoe // Wed 22nd Mar
Main Basin in good shape after heavy drifting and significant new snow early in the week.
CairnGorm Mtn // Sat 18th Mar
Cover widening out in the Ptarmigan Bowl again - but milder overnight before turning colder on Sunday.
Nevis Range // Sat 11th Mar
Looking back up Lemming Ridge and across to Chancer in Coire Dubh. Braveheart Chairlift made it's season debut on Saturday and is scheduled for Sunday.
Lowther Hill Outlook
Friday 28th April
FL: >Tops.  Overcast
725m: 4°c WSW 10 gust 15mph
Saturday 29th April
FL: >Tops.  Overcast
725m: 4°c SE 10 gust 15mph
  13.00hrs Thu 27th Apr