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We've had so much snow our ski resorts could stay open till summer

A SCOTTISH ski resort has recorded its busiest day in a decade with almost 1700 skiers and snowboarders heading for the slopes.

Marian Austin, managing director of The Nevis Range Ski Resort said Sunday's crowd broke a 10-year record as they flocked to enjoy perfect conditions on the mountainsides.

The resort has recorded snow fall for 59 consecutive days, the longest stretch in its history, and there's so much snow that the resort could stay open until summer.

Snow depths at Scottish resorts are said to be higher than the Olympic runs in Sochi and some of Europe's most popular resorts including Kitzbuhel in Austria, Lillehammer in Norway and Courchevel in France.

Conditions are also described as "excellent" at the Cairngorm, Glencoe and Glenshee ski centres.

Ski-Scotland said this snowsports season could match or better 2009-10, which was the best in recent memory.

Average snow depths are thought to be five ft on the lower slopes of Aonach Mor, with 14 ft on the upper slopes and some deep gully areas estimated as being more than 60ft deep.

The resort was unable to operate all of its lifts at the weekend because some were buried under the heavy snowfall.

Lower mountain lifts along with the Quad chair and Warrens T bar opened early in the day on Sunday, while customers were being told to hire ski and snowboard equipment before they travelled as the on-site hire department could not meet the huge demand.

The skiers and boarders were joined by more than 500 visitors who enjoyed sledging, building snow tunnels and igloos, as well as the panoramic winter highland views from the Snowgoose restaurant and bar at 2000ft on the side of the mountain.

Ms Austin said: "We knew Sunday was going to be an incredible day on the slopes as we already had unprecedented levels of snow and the forecast was for sunny spells and favourable winds.

"Despite not being able to open all of our lifts on such a busy day, we've had great feedback from our customers.

"All of our staff have been working very hard in ­difficult conditions and the hill team have been digging out the lifts on the upper mountain almost on a daily basis.

"Operations so far this season have been hampered by the strong winds, however, with the amount of snow we already have, once the weather becomes more settled, the skiing will be amazing and as long as we still have customers we're planning to ski right into spring or maybe even summer."

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