"We have great snow in the Highlands," said Chair of Ski-Scotland Heather Negus. "In fact, some ski areas have had good snow for some time, including Glencoe Mountain which, as early as mid-December, had even more snow than they had at any time over last winter!"

The snowfalls and blizzards of the last few days have freshened up the good base provided everywhere by the earlier snow, and have transformed the runs at Glenshee in eastern Scotland, where there had been less snow than at Glencoe and Nevis Range in the west. The long period of freezing, dry weather in the east also allowed both Glenshee and The Lecht to use their snow cannons to make considerable amounts of artificial snow and CairnGorm to trial theirs extensively.

Heather continued: "Over the last few seasons more and more customers have discovered the great value offered by Scotland's five mountain ski areas which, in the current financial climate, are so much more affordable than skiing in Europe or North America. And snowboarders find that they're also very welcome here, which is not always the case abroad."

All five ski areas are open for business, and all have terrain parks open with rails andjumps for both boarders and skiers to have some fun. Already particularly popular are CairnGorm Mountain's new "mini shred" freestyle parks on different parts of the mountain, which have attracted some great feedback.

With the school half term holidays coming up, the ski areas are looking forward to abusy couple of weeks, and advise that it's best to book accommodation, equipment and lessons in advance to keep your Scottish ski break hassle-free.