Drivers battled with more treacherous weather across the north yesterday after a further six inches of overnight snow added to several days of travel chaos.
The weather also caused disruptions for parents up and down the Highlands as almost 2,000 children had a day off school or nursery due to closures.
A scattering of accidents caused delays for travellers at locations across the region including the main A9 trunk route between Caithness and Perth. All Highland routes were affected by snow.
The Dalwhinnie-Blair Atholl stretch was blocked for a time. A combination of heavy snow and a broken down lorry between Duncanston and Tore left morning delays.
At the Drumochter Pass, several lorries jack-knifed as they struggled to cope. There was drifting snow at the highest point of the pass.
The snow gates were closed on the A93 at Braemar and the Cockbridge-Tomintoul road was also blocked by snow.
Floodwater affected the A82 between Drumnadrochit and Inverness.
A Citroen slid off the road at Carrbridge causing delays in both directions yesterday afternoon.
Weather warnings issued on Wednesday remained in place.
The Met Office forecast more snow on the hills over the next 24 hours but a dramatic improvement at lower levels with much milder temperatures – eight or nine degrees – by Monday.
The big freeze forced the closure of many more schools yesterday. About 1,800 pupils were off, as two secondary, 17 primary and nine nursery schools closed in Highland due to the snow or water, heat and power loss.
A continued severe weather warning prompted a mountain rescue safety plea from police and the mountain rescue and coastguard services after a spate of rescues on the hills.
Rough seas and strong winds disrupted Western Isles ferries for a fifth consecutive day.
Livestock sales in Uist were affected by the cancellations.
The CalMac vessel MV Hebrides had been unable to dock at Lochmaddy on Thursday because gales made it too hazardous to berth and it was forced to return to Skye.
The ship was expected to sail after 5am this morning and begin clearing the backlog of stranded passengers and traffic.