North-east mountain resorts are on the brink of opening to winter sports fans after a weekend blast of snow.
The Lecht Ski Centre between Cockbridge and Tomintoul is preparing to open four of its runs this morning.
People in towns and villages across Aberdeenshire and Moray – including Braemar, Alford and Huntly – woke up to a delayed white Christmas yesterday morning.
An unseasonably warm spell in the middle of December melted almost all of the snow which had accumulated at both the Lecht and Glenshee centres.
Last night, spokeswoman for the Lecht, Annette McIntosh, said: “We are hoping to have a couple of runs open tomorrow, we are hoping to have four open.
“It has been a bit late in coming but it always is, last year we were open by December 13. Hopefully it will get better now.
“I think the Eagle, Buzzard, Robin and Wren runs will be open as soon as we have got enough.”
Glenshee Ski Centre, near Braemar, welcomed sledgers yesterday and its cafe was packed, however it runs are yet to open to snowboarders and skiers.
The next nearest ski resort, Cairngorm Mountain near Aviemore, was also preparing to welcome skiers, although high winds may force a rethink.
A spokesman said: “It is looking a lot better now at the top of the mountain and we will spend today looking at our options.
“It is looking very windy for Monday at the moment so we will update when the latest forecasts are in.”