Cairngorm mountain above Aviemore is the only Scottish ski centre still open for snow sports and it reported 2.5cm (an inch) of new snow. The centre has received 141,000 skier visits to date (more than double the 65,000 skier visits in 2009, recovering from worst season on record in 2007). So far the centre has been open 133 days open since the end of November 2009.
Several hundred skiers enjoyed the fresh powder as Cairngorm entered its seventh calendar month of continuous operation in one of its busiest and most successful seasons in memory.
CairnGorm Mountain will keep its winter sports facilities open for weekends in May if demand remained high - at least 300 skiers a day are needed.
The best season for over 15 years has continued over the May Bank holiday weekend with over 700 skiers taking to the slopes at CairnGorm Mountain and over 1000 non-skiers enjoying the action. Fresh snow overnight on Saturday and Sunday has delighted skiing and non-skiing visitors alike as winter conditions continue to provide snowsports above the mid-mountain level.
Skiing is still possible on runs including the White Lady, M1, Coire Cas and the nursery slope area at the top of the Mountain in the Ptarmigan Bowl.
"The Bank holiday weekend has seen a return to wintry conditions and CairnGorm Mountain has welcomed both skiing visitors and non-skiers many of whom took the opportunity for some fun in the sledge park outside the top station. On Saturday 2nd May we also hosted our first wedding ceremony of the season with 75 guests celebrating the wedding of Jenny and James Purse (Ayrshire)." said CairnGorm's Marketing Manager Tania Alliod.
From Tuesday 4th May, CairnGorm Mountain plan to continue to offer snowsports and sledging at weekends only throughout May. The mountain railway operates every day for non-skiing visitors. A visual celebration of the 2010 CairnGorm winter has just opened with an exhibition of staff photographs entitled "The Big Freeze". Over 50 photographs and a selection of video footage taken during the winter is on display in the Day Lodge depicting highlights and challenges of the 2010 winter season.
Tania Alliod commented:
" This winter has been a season of superlatives for the ski area with vast snowfall combined with relatively stable weather conditions. Many members of the public have followed the season enthusiastically on CairnGorm's own web site and on Youtube and Flickr sites. The public have been fascinated by the amount of snowfall and the Big Freeze exhibition is a response to this interest displaying pictures taken by staff as they have gone about their daily business. Some of the pictures from the engineering and ski patrol team are taken during night shift and early morning and offer a unique insight into the work that has taken place to get the ski area open and operational for the public."
Over 1 million tons of snow shifted from roads and car parks and train track during the season - the funicular train track has been shovelled manually. Twice as many operational staff hours have been worked as last season and Loch Morlich below has been frozen for 96 consecutive days this winter .