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Glenshee & the Lecht likely to hold on to the best of the overhead the longest on Wednesday!

This Report for the Scottish Highlands was issued at
17.29hrs Tuesday 20th March 2018.
Another bluebird day across the Highland mountains, alas we start to see a breakdown in the weather going into the mid-week period. Early snow, will turn to rain showers in the West and become more scattered. Freshening West wind, least winter better overhead likely Lecht and Glenshee.

Don't forget to check out the Pix from the Slopes, Public Reports and the forum for further information and photos.

A stunning bluebird start to the week with high pressure over Highland Scotland, but alas as we move into the mid-week period the high pressure is set to sink allowing a milder, murkier flow over the top with freshening winds. In terms of the overhead Glenshee looks like it should stay dry through Wednesday and though winds will freshen there shouldn?t be any big issues at Glenshee or the Lecht.

During the day the freezing level will rise to around or just above the tops, this means what has been rather hardpacked to downright icy over recent days will gradually loosen up to granular spring snow regardless of aspect as temperatures creep up. Where accumulations of new snow is lightly skied and ungroomed it may become sticky, but where it is more heavily tracked and pisted that should be less of an issue.

So while overhead wont be as impressive as the past few days there will be opportunities to enjoy what earlier in the week would have been very unpleasant, particularly some steeper stuff on Eastern aspects! Surface conditions are going to be evolving over the next few days, so what is the best options at any given area are likely to change through the course of the day, so some exploring is likely to be rewarded. Speak to patrol to get the latest info on steeper stuff.

Glencoe is still able to offer summit to moor riding via the low level Red Access Run and most of the way via the Blue too, while Glenshee has caught the most new snow over the past few days with the West facing slopes on Glas Maol, Meall Odhar and Sunnyside loaded with windblown and skier tracked / packed fresh snow,

While the Cluny and Fionn Poma slopes have been hardpacked they should loosen up later Wednesday, while Meall Odhar is just one big delightful playground at the moment. Best riding on Cairnwell side between fences on the groomers where the machines have been able to smooth out the contrast in the snow surfaces.

At Glencoe from halfway up the Access Chair there is extensive cover, such that on the Plateau and above it is largely ride anywhere cover. The Main Basin, Happy Valley, Spring Run, Mugs Alley and the Wall being groomed mid and upper mountain, on the Plateau all the green trails are being extensively groomed each morning with excellent riding for early intermediates and good sport for all ability levels. Areas that have been hardpacked should more generally loosen up to granular spring snow Wednesday.

CairnGorm had all lifts except the Sheiling Handle Tow running. Carpark Run and Daylodge very decent, but above the Gunbarrel Coire Cas was stripped to icy hardpack by the strong winds, however the base is expected to loosen up more generally Wednesday, though strengthening wind could affect some uplift

Nevis Range was open to the top Tuesday, but gustier winds could affect higher tows Wednesday at times, so check the latest. Good cover including lower mountain runs and with these expected to loosen up fantastic riding for novices to early intermediates available on the lower mountain.

The Lecht caught most new snow on the Buzzard side, but between the fences on the main side conditions are pretty decent with a deep and full width cover between the fences, expected to become more spring snow like mid-week.

:: Club Fields
Lowther Hill Ski Club may run the Lowther Hill Tow on Tuesday afternoon, members will get an email if opening confirmed. You must join to use the facilities.

In England all the clubfields have all received new snow. Allenheads was open this afternoon into the evening and plan to run Tuesday (and daily as long as conditions allow). Both Weardale and Yad Moss will run on Tuesday, chains or snowtyres required to get to Weardale at present.

Find out more:

www.yadmoss.co.uk 01228 561634
ski-allenheads.co.uk 0191 5974 174
www.skiweardale.com 01388 317767

:: Mountain Forecast Discussion
High pressure sitting over Highland Scotland over the past couple of days will sink to open the door to unsettled conditions coming in off the Atlantic over the top of the high.

A frontal system will bring mostly light precipitation in from the West during Wednesday, this will give some snow showers early, before the freezing level is expected to rise above the summits later in the morning. Glenshee likely to hold on to dry and bright conditions and not too much wind through lift operating hours on Wednesday. Initially -2°c in the West and -3°c in the East at Munro Level, but will rise above the tops, perhaps abrubtly in some locations. Wind speeds will pick up, West 30 gusting 45mph, but gusts 60mph possible on and in the vicinity of the Cairngorm Plateau.

Thursday will be more or less dry in the East but largely overcast, freezing level just above the tops with a moderate to strong SE wind veering SSW. Light snow showers coming into the West as the freezing level lowers back below Munro Level through the course of the day. Uplift should be OK at Glenshee, Glencoe and the Lecht, but could by wind at CairnGorm and Nevis Range on current forecasts.

Early indications are frontal hill snow reaching into the West for Friday and becoming quite slow moving with snow showers further east, but timing and detail not agreed on across the model output yet. NMM and Met Office more bullish on show for Glencoe and Nevis on Friday. Around -2°c at Munro Level, SE 30 gusting 45mph, but likely 40 gusting 60mph on and downslope of the Cairngorm Plateau and through the Nevis Range.

Keep an eye on how the forecasts develop through the week if you are thinking about a weekend slide. A mix of brighter spells and snow showers, these more frequent towards the West, but still some uncertainty on detail and wind speed. Balance of forecasts is such that a bit more wind would cause problems but just a little less should not! Not very helpful for making weekend plans as yet, so keep a close eye on the weather situation.

:: 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
Lowther Hill: Off grid Summit Camera and Leadhills Village Camera online.

CAIRNGORM: Loch Morlich and Aviemore Cams online.

GLENCOE: All mountain and base cams are online.

NEVIS: All cameras were reconnected Tuesday, but problems with reduced signal strength meaning only intermittent images from Summit Cam at present.

Glencoe // Sat 17th Mar
Snowy at times, blowy, but brightened up late in the day at Glencoe.
Glencoe // Tue 13th Mar
Meall a' Bhuiridh in fantastic condition as seen from the Plateau Poma.
Glenshee // Sun 11th Mar
All uplift open and great terrain options for all ability levels across the 4 mountains.
Glencoe // Sun 11th Mar
Bluebird up top with epic views across an expansive sea of inversion mist below.
The Lecht // Sun 11th Mar
All runs have great cover and superb for learning with the nursery slopes just seconds from all the facilities.
Glencoe // Fri 9th Mar
Epic Friday after 4-5 inches fresh with considerable drifting overnight. Sunday best overhead for weekend, but could be freshies on Saturday if wind allows play.
Glenshee // Sun 4th Mar
Still snowing and also blowing, which delayed the road from the South for several hours on Sunday morning.
The Lecht // Tue 27th Feb
Fresh snow and sunny spells between the snow showers, but due to the severity of the forecast the Lecht will be shut on Wednesday. Should be fantastic riding when the weather eases! :)
Northern Cairngorms Outlook
Wednesday 21st March
FL: 2500ft.  Flurries
914m: -1°c West 40-60mph
Thursday 22nd March
FL: 3000ft.  Overcast
914m: 0°c SSW 25 gust 45mph
  16.01hrs Tue 20th Mar
West Highlands Outlook
Wednesday 21st March
FL: 4000ft.  Wintry Showers
914m: 2°c West 35-50mph
Thursday 22nd March
FL: 2500ft.  Light Snow
914m: 1°c South 20-40mph
  15.55hrs Tue 20th Mar
Southern Cairngorms Outlook
Wednesday 21st March
FL: 3000ft.  Part Cloudy
914m: 0°c West 30-45mph
Thursday 22nd March
FL: 2500ft.  Overcast
914m: -1°c SSW 20 gust 35mph
  16.04hrs Tue 20th Mar
Lowther Hill Outlook
Wednesday 21st March
FL: >Tops.  Showers
725m: 2°c WSW 20 gust 40mph
Thursday 22nd March
FL: 3000ft.  Overcast
725m: 1°c SSW 20 gust 30mph
  16.07hrs Tue 20th Mar