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Early snow boost for ski resorts

The severe winter weather may have brought many parts of the the country to a standstill, but it is providing ideal conditions for skiing enthusiasts. At the CairnGorm Mountain resort near Aviemore, in the Highlands, there were nearly 200 skiers enjoying a run down the slopes on Wednesday. Thanks to the unusually heavy snowfall, the resort saw 2,500 skiers last month - its highest number for November in 10 years. Skiers currently have two tows and the mountain railway to take them to the slopes. The resort hopes to have three more tows running by this weekend. Colin Kirkwood, from the resort, said: "It is not unusual to have snow at this time of year but it is unusual to have this amount of snow. We've got powder snow - it's ideal conditions for skiers at the moment. "The next couple of days' forecast is for light winds and clear skies but it is expected to be bitterly cold." Mr Kirkwood said the high numbers are despite the fact that skiing only began towards mid-November. But many parts of the hill have received more than a metre of snow since then, which has contributed to the rise in visitors.

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