Page last updated at 00:48 GMT, Friday, 15 January 2010

Too much snow closes ski centre

The ski resort has enjoyed a bumper season so far

The CairnGorm Mountain ski centre in the Highlands will be closed for the day - because of too much snow.

After a two-day blizzard, the operators have had to bring in huge caterpillar vehicles and snow blowers to try to clear the approach road and the slopes.

Colin Matthew, operations manager at the centre near Aviemore, said roads were blocked by 15ft snow drifts.

He said parts of the funicular railway track up the mountain and the ski-tows had been covered by snow.

Mr Matthew said: "It has blocked our access roads with about 15ft of snow and further up the mountain the drifting has buried our funicular railway track in about 10 places, and the tunnel mouth, and some of our ski-tow towers are just sticking out of the snow."

Clear the roads

He said a major clearing operation needed to take place before it could be opened to the public.

"We had to contract in huge 17-tonne caterpillar earth-movers," Mr Matthew added.

"They have spent two days now working about 18 hours a day trying to clear the roads.

"We have got a single-track road up to our car park and we have to get snow-blowers in to widen the roads and make it two-way traffic before we get the public up."

The CairnGorm Mountain has been enjoying a bumper winter.

It has had its best Christmas holiday season in 14 years, with more than 8,000 skiers and snowboarders using its runs over a four-day period following Christmas Day.

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