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.
The temperature topped 23°c at Loch Morlich on Sunday 8th May with a screen temperature of 18°c at the mid-station platform of the Funicular as CairnGorm Mountain wrapped up the 2016 lift served season on the warmest day of the year so far in Highland Scotland.
While over at Glencoe Saturday saw the mass start Macavalanche downhill bike race from high on snow at Glencoe, signalling the transition from the snowsports season to the mountain biking one with lift served biking due to start on Sat 14th May. Check out some pictures from the Macavalanche by clicking to the right!
On CairnGorm on Sunday there was top to mid-station riding (just!) to wrap up the season, the Top Basin runs retained a good cover for the most part, just a couple of narrowing bits lower down the Ciste Fairway while the Ptarmigan Bowl and Ciste Bowl remain wide. The Traverse, 105 and Coire Cas are still in decent shape mid mountain, though the final run into the mid-station below the M1 queuing area was only just hanging in there.
For those not yet willing to put the plank(s) away for the summer, if you're prepared to do the leg work there's plenty of options still on CairnGorm, at Nevis Range and Glencoe for high level touring and hike to turns. Tourers beware on CairnGorm that the Traverse is likely to be dug out over the coming week now the season is officially over.
In terms of relatively easy to reach snow within the ski area Glencoe has the most extensive and the Access Chair takes you to within a 10 minute walk of the snow with most main upper and mid-mountain runs still skiable. The Main Basin, Spring Run and Flypaper Bowl all have good cover still, Happy Valley is still skiable and mid-mountain the Wall, Canyon and Thrombosis can be skied though Mugs Alley has gone.
Weather permitting the Access Chair at Glencoe and Gondola at Nevis are open daily. It's a longer walk to get to snow at Nevis now, but for those willing to do the leg work there are still lots of options in the Back Corries.
Up on CairnGorm the Ptarmigan Terrain Park has 2 large kickers with a medium and larger take off, there are two sizable rollers below for smaller air. The Funicular is closed until 16th May, so there are no facilities at the Top Station, plus remember once it re-opens the closed system means you can not use the Funicular for uphill travel for skiing and boarding.
Given the prospect of high temperatures consider the risk of wet snow avalanches and particularly potential for full depth slides.
With the Solstice falling on Monday 20th June, it is planned to hold a mid-summer slide at Glencoe on Saturday 18th June, with Sunday as a bad weather alternative. The Cliffhanger Chairlift will run to ease access to remaining snow patches on the upper mountain for around 30-45minutes mid-morning, probably from around 10.30am but details to be confirmed. Usually plenty of time for a bacon roll first!
Last year there were around 100 skiers and boarders up for some summer turns, lets see if we can beat that number this year!
Lift served mountain biking has resumed at Nevis Range, check the report page for daily updates on weather, gondola and track status.
Glencoe is scheduled to resume lift served mountain biking from the Access Chair on Saturday 14th May at Glencoe, but only the very challenging black track will be available for the opening weekend. There has been extensive flood damage to part of the red track and this is currently under repair.
During the early hours of Sunday much warmer air moved in over Highland Scotland behind a warm front. While Sunday was warm, it was fairly hazy, Monday is seeing much clearer skies with stronger Sunshine.
With Northern Blocking taking hold across and to the North of Highland Scotland, today sets the scene for the week ahead with largely unbroken Sunshine. Munro Level temperatures nudging 16°c on Monday and Tuesday, though there will be a moderate occasionally gustier SE wind. That will take the edge of the temperatures at high levels, but also accelerate snow melt. Beware also of the amplifcation of the Sun / heat on snow.
Towards mid-week the high pressure will begin to retrogress and switch the wind to NE, so temperatures will lower a couple degrees on Wednesday then again on Thursday, before a plunge of cold air pushes South during Friday as the high retrogresses far enough to allow a Northerly airflow.
Friday should be dry with good Sunny Spells, but it will be noticeably colder with the freezing level lowering back onto the Highland Munros. Latest model runs suggest the high being slightly more stubborn so the coldest air may sink down the North Sea and the West Highlands seeing a dry weekend to come, with cool temperatures, but pleasant in the light winds. The Northern Cairngorms are likely to catch a few snow showers in the Northerly airflow with the freezing level around Munro Level.
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 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 .
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