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Last Updated: Friday, 11 January 2008, 00:05 GMT
Winter snow boost to ski centres
Skiers and snowboarders are expected to flock to the slopes

Scotland's ski centres have had the "best snow for years" as a result of the country's recent wintry weather.

All five of the country's snow sports areas have opened early - an achievement which operators said was highly unusual.

All the areas reported superb snow, with most main runs complete and ample nursery areas.

However, skiers and boarders were reminded to check on snow, weather and road conditions before setting out.

The Lecht opened its Rail Park on Thursday, CairnGorm reported skiing "from top to bottom" and Glenshee has snow over almost all of its three valleys.

Early snowfall

Glencoe has "lots of snow" with all pistes complete, and Nevis Range has good skiing on groomed and packed powder, with a lot of snow below the gondola station.

Marian Austin, managing director of Nevis Range, said: "With all five snow sports areas planning to be open this weekend, we expect that will mean that skiers, snowboarders, and those just wanting some snow fun will be fairly evenly spread.

"In recent years, there has been relatively little snow so early in the season, which resulted in pressure on all services at the ski areas which were open and - inevitably - some queues.

"This weekend and into next week, we expect to be able to welcome thousands of people."

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