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With the opening of Glencoe, all five of Scotland's ski areas are now up and running for the season with conditions reported to be good. Most have a deep base, some with fresh snow.

Chair of Ski-Scotland Heather Negus said that the excellent snow has given them their best ever early start to the ski season. 'CairnGorm has already had more than 10% of its target number of snowsports customers for the whole year, while the Nevis Range opened earlier than ever - the first week of December - and is now open daily along with CairnGorm, Glenshee and The Lecht. And it's great news that Glencoe is also opening some intermediate and advanced runs.'

Access to the ski areas is good, despite snowfall in England and Scotland causing mass disruption on the UK's road and rail networks. Many of the ski area access roads are currently better cleared and gritted than main roads farther south.

'So far, almost 33,000 skiers have managed to reach the four ski areas which have been open, so you can tell the roads are not that bad!' Negus said. 'Of course, we still advise skiers to check both snow conditions and road status before setting off, which can be easily done on the official website www.ski-scotland.com, where live webcam images also show conditions as they really are.'