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The hills are still alive

The pictures of thousands of skiers queuing up to take advantage of the snow at Glenshee this weekend should warm the hearts of anyone who cares about Scotland's outdoors industry.

In recent years, our ski centres have sometimes struggled to attract visitors due to a lack of snow - and the allure of foreign resorts - but the fantastic conditions yesterday should remind skiers of the benefits of staying at home.

For a start, the snow is often better in Scotland than it is in many other parts of Europe - even the competitors at the Winter Olympics in Sochi have been struggling with snow-melting temperatures as high as 61F (16C). Scotland's ski centres are also only around two hours away from the central belt, making them easily accessible.

And even when it fails to snow, there is every reason to head to Scotland's slopes. There may be great conditions on the slopes at the moment, but all the resorts have responded to the changing weather patterns in the last few years by diversifying and offering visitors other outdoor activities. With walking, climbing and mountain biking also on offer, snow or no snow, the hills are the place to go.

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