Popular Highland slopes at Cairngorm Mountain to open this weekend
A fun-packed day of activities is planned at Cairngorm Mountain on Saturday to mark the official start of the snowsports season.
It is the first time in the resort’s history that a launch date has been arranged as the ski area no longer relies on just Mother Nature.
The Snowfactory and snow canons will ensure that the lower slopes will be in action regardless of the temperatures.
The high tech machine has been producing around 96 tonnes of snow a day since the end of October in preparation for the opening of the 2019/20 ski season.
Susan Smith, interim chief executive at Cairngorm Mountain (Scotland) Limited (CMSL), said: “This is a big day for us, and we’re determined to make it a great one for everyone who comes along.
“There’s so much to do at Cairngorm Mountain and this is an excellent opportunity to celebrate what the centre has to offer.
“The Snowfactory has meant we are able to guarantee snow on the day and have an area of the lower hill open for snowsports."
The cost of ski lift tickets for the day will be heavily discounted to £10 for an adult and £5 for a child.
Three local ski schools Free Ski, Ski Norwest and School of Snowsports will be instructing the under-fives on a riglet (mini taster session) in the car park.
Spud the Piper, Cairngorm Reindeer, Santa and Morag – the resort’s own reindeer mascot – will also be attending, and nature photographer, Andy Howard, will be signing copies of his new book.
Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team members will be showcasing their expertise, and Glenmore Lodge will be promoting ski touring.
The event takes place between 10am and 3pm.
With the funicular out of service since September, last year, CMSL will be running nine surface lifts this year to enable up to 1000 visitors a day to access the slopes when conditions are suitable.
All surface lifts will be operational as and when snow cover and customer demand permits.
It will be CMSL first full winter season at the helm – with a proper run in – after the previous operators owned by Natural Retreats went into administration.