Similar to the same time last year, the last few days have brought snow and gale force winds. The difference? Last year we didn't have any snowfence on Lowther Hill, the wind scoured the snow off the slope and we were not able to open. Now, thanks to the first lines of basic snowfences that we built in the late Autumn 2016, we got enough snow to open Lowther Hill for our die-hard members. But running the tow in winds of up to 50mph with a windchill of -10°C is not for the fainthearted...

There is quite a lot of preparatory work that needs to be done before opening the slopes and running the ski tows. Volunteers need to be onsite a few hours before opening the tow to set up the equipment and ensure everything is ready and safe for operations. On Saturday, we had a couple of additional jobs on the list. The video above shows you some of it. Freezing fog from the Atlantic had formed a thick hard rime on the tow's rope, therefore the 900 metres of rope had to be hit with ski poles to get rid of the rime before starting the lift. Also, the temporary geosynthetic snowfencing mesh on the lower half of the slope had suffered wind damage and for safety reasons had to be re-attached to the fence posts before opening the tow. Taming flapping sections of snowfencing mesh in 50mph winds was not an easy or quick job!

And of course, don't forget that Lowther Hills is still the only Scottish ski centre without a building where to shelter from the weather! More on this soon, but in the meantime, kudos for our dedicated members who keep upbeat and making the most of what we have, no matter what the Scottish weather throws at them!