CairnGorm Mountain's thigh-deep powder offers "better skiing than Utah!"
according to ski patroller Colin Matthew. Although The Lecht's powder is "only" knee-deep, Lecht Managing Director, Pieter du Pon said "because the temperature's not risen above freezing since before Christmas, it's really staying nice and fluffy." The other ski areas too have the best early-season snow for a decade, and Glenshee, which has welcomed over 12,000 skiers and boarders since Christmas Eve, now has all three valleys and four mountains open. Across on the west side of Scotland, good early snow is relatively unusual, but both Glencoe Mountain and Nevis Range report an excellent start to the season, with good snow on the upper parts of their mountains.

Chair of ski-scotland, Heather Negus said, "this is a brilliant start to what we hope will be a great season for Scottish snowsports, and skiers and boarders can see for themselves how good the snow is through realtime webcams and panoramas on www.ski-scotland.com. There have been some lovely stories too, like people staying in campervans in CairnGorm's carpark overnight to be first on the powder in the morning, and families who drove all the way to the Highlands from Gatwick after their ski flight to Bulgaria was cancelled. The last I heard, they were having a magic time on the slopes at CairnGorm."

It's not only the ski areas themselves which are benefitting from the good snow; the surrounding villages are also doing good business. Statistics show that for each £1 spent at a ski area, around £4 is spent in the neighbourhood, whether it is on accommodation, food and drink or fuel for the car, which means that snowsports and good snow are great news for the local economy.

"Once the school holidays end, everything will be much quieter, with few queues and spaces in the car parks. And of course mid-week is normally even quieter - that's the best time to come if you can," continued Heather.