Cairngorms and Lecht ski runs open for business

Scotland's snow sports areas are hoping for an early season boost

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Two of Scotland's five ski resorts have opened for business this weekend.

The snowsports centres at Cairngorm and the Lecht said there was enough snow cover to get the season under way.

There was around 3in of fresh snow at CairnGorm Mountain overnight. Operators have invested in four new snow cannons in order to open their higher runs.

At The Lecht in Aberdeenshire, there was also reasonable cover. Four tows were open for skiers and snowboarders.

The Cairngorms range has had snowfalls since October.

Sportscotland Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) has reported snow covering summits in the range. It has also reported snow on the summit of Creag Meagaidh.

This week's cold snap is being seen as a bonus in a business that is notoriously unpredictable.

Last year there were lengthy spells with no cover and there was disruption caused by hurricane-force winds.

Both 2009 and 2010 were good winters for Scotland's ski centres.

CairnGorm, Glencoe, Glenshee, Nevis Range and The Lecht were able to open early in 2010.

Glencoe opened before Christmas for the first time in 10 years.

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