Thousands of skiers and snowboarders flocked to Scotland's ski slopes to take advantage of the "fantastic" conditions following a heavy snowfall last weekend.
Police were called to the Scotland's busiest resort, Glencoe, to attempt to manage traffic.
According to the Telegraph, enthusiastic motorists who were eager to get to the slopes abandoned their cars on the verge of the A82, the main road that links Fort William and Glasgow, blocking the road.
The popular ski resort stopped selling lift tickets by early afternoon as the car park was full and the resort was "mobbed", a spokesperson for Glencoe told the Aberdeen Press and Journal.
Glencoe wasn't the only resort mobbed with people . The Cairngorm ski area welcomed nearly 4,000 people to the resort over the weekend while 3,000 people visited the Nevis Range ski area.
The excellent skiing conditions coincidentally coincided with World Snow Day, a Féderation Internationale du Ski initiative to encourage people onto the slopes.
"This special day tends to coincide with the snow-bearing storms which set us up for the winter season, albeit this year all five mountain resorts have already been operating," said Heather Negus, Chair of Ski Scotland.
Alternative places to ski
Police called as Scottish ski slopes mobbed due to fantastic conditions
Europe's newest ski haven Bosnia offers an affordable and fun alternative to European favourites, like the Italian Alps and French Pyrenees. Bosnia is home to first-class slopes, as well as local culture and spectacular scenery. The great-value destination provides travellers of all abilities with somewhere new to ski and socialise this winter. Ski Sarajevo marks the 30th anniversary of the Bosnia Winter Olympics 1984 by offering cheap ski holidays to Jahorina, located 28km from capital Sarajevo, from just £269 per person.
With its affordability and chic après-ski scene, Solden is a great alternative to Austria's St Anton. Located in the Otz Valley, Solden is a relative newcomer to British skiers but is becoming more popular due to its excellent snow record. The resort's extensive network of slopes offers runs for all abilities and a six-day lift pass can be extended to include the neighbouring resort of Obergurgl. Chalet Karl Riml is ideally located close to the lifts and boats all the perks of a catered chalet with Austrian charm. Ski Solutions offers seven nights catered accommodation from £489, including meals and transfers.
One of Europe's best-kept secret ski resorts is Baqueira in Spain. Set in the heart of the Pyrenees, the resort is excellent for intermediate skiers and nestled among dramatic scenery. A favourite of King Juan Carlos and the Spanish Royal Family, Baqueira is family-friendly and offers fine dining plus lively nightlife. Keen skiers and boarders will adore the extensive terrain and off-piste possibilities at Spain's largest winter resort, which is off the British ski radar. Best of all, Baqueira has high-capacity lifts meaning rush hour queues are almost unheard of. Scott Dunn offers seven-night holidays at the five-star La Pleta, from £1,080 per person including British Airways flights.
Like St Anton but wish you could experience it without the crowds? Head to its chic little sister St Christoph for the best of Austrian skiing with a smaller, more exclusive feel. Located in the heart of the Arlberg ski area, picturesque St Christoph was originally a refuge for weary travellers crossing the heights of the Arlberg pass, but has become a centre for first-class hotels and gourmet cuisine. There are pistes of more than 2,500 metres and a link to St Anton for when you do want to dip into its buzzing après ski scene. Scott Dunn offers a seven-night holiday to St Christoph including a stay at the rustic Arlberg Hospiz from £2,460 per person with British Airways flights and transfers.
Italy's Dolomites are a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered by skiers. With some of the most beautiful mountains in the world, the jagged peaks of the Dolomites are home to 12 ski areas all accessible with one ski pass. The lifts are fast and super-efficient, while more than a thousand kilometres of well-groomed pistes range from wide, confidence-boosting boulevards to challenging couloirs, including the unique and wonderful Sella Ronda. The Dolomites are ideal for any budget too. You'll find affordable trips with Inghams, easyJet Holidays and Ski Total. Want luxury? Abercrombie & Kent Villas offers seven-night breaks at Chalet Iergl in San Cassiano from £3,010 per person.
Often overshadowed by its glitzier neighbours Courchevel and Meribel, Les Menuires is perfect for access to the Three Valleys ski area for less. The resort offers excellent snow and skiing for all abilities and it comes with an affordable price tag. Located 1,800 metres below Val Thorens, Les Menuires has superb pistes: nursery slopes, wide runs, challenging blacks and vast off-piste areas. The resort is relatively quiet but there are plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from. For the best value and location try an apartment - the majority are ski in and out. Powder White offers seven nights at Les Alpages de Reberty from just €175.50 per person based on six sharing.
Can't bear the thought of a summer off the slopes? Head Down Under to New Zealand and explore some of the most spectacular Alpine skiing in the world between June and October. Base yourself around the spectacular Lake Wanaka and enjoy access to five incredible resorts including Treble Cone and Cardrona. For something a little different, opt for Snow Farm, which is known as New Zealand's only commercial cross country ski area with 500km of groomed trails, plus day and night skiing. A ski holiday in New Zealand also makes for a unique summer getaway if you're not a fan of the heat.
Expert European skiers love it but the resort of Andermatt in the Swiss Alps has always been undiscovered by British skiers. As one of the snowiest resorts in the Swiss Alps, it's also a wonderful alternative for those seeking a bit of luxury away from the Verbier jet set. The town is remarkably tranquil and there are two mountains offering over 78 miles of quiet slopes, with pistes for all abilities. This winter sees the opening of five-star The Chedi Andermatt in December 2013, available via Ski Solutions. The Andermatt-Sedrun ski area is also being developed to open up over 120 new slopes to offer the most extensive skiing in central Switzerland.
Adventure travellers in search of an epic trip will want to check out the ski scene in Iran, which is different to any other country. The mountainous country offers fantastic pistes for skiing and one of the most impressive resorts is Dizin, in the Alborz Mountains north of Tehran. The highest ski lift reaches 11,800ft and the resort has a reputation for providing skiers with powder-like snow, high altitude and north facing slopes. Snowboarding and wild skiing are popular and you'll find restaurants, hotels and holiday cottages at the resort. Travel The Unknown offers 10-day ski holidays in Dizin for £1,495 per person.
If you've taken the kids to family-friendly ski resorts in France, Austria and even Lapland, but fancy treating them to somewhere completely different to what they'd expect, head for Montana in America, where they can experience a ski holiday combined with a working ranch experience. In the winter, Montana turns into an expansive powder hound state, with almost 4,000 acres of slopes at top two resorts Big Sky and Moonlight Basin. Perfect for when you want to join the crowds, the resorts are home to plentiful accommodation, restaurants and off-slope activities. For a more intimate ski experience and to ski with the locals, hit Red Lodge Mountain. Just a few miles away, you can visit the historic mining town Red Lodge and the Lonesome Spur Working Ranch, where you can drive the cattle over the snow-covered trails for a Western-style ski experience. Ranch Rider offers seven-night ski holidays in Montana from £1,369 per person.
Police called as Scottish ski slopes mobbed due to fantastic conditions
With its tax-free status, Italy's Livigno is a superb option for snow sports fans in search of excellent value. The friendly ski resort is nestled between two easily accessible mountain faces with a charming town. This winter, visitors to the resorts have the chance to get out on the Italian pistes with a free ski pass in their pocket if they spend at least four nights in a hotel or seven nights in an apartment. The offer runs from 1 to 20 December and 5 April to 1 May. As over 80 per cent of Livigno's slopes can confirm coverage from their snow-making system, it's also a risk-free option for early and late season visits, meaning you can also save on your flight by avoiding peak travel dates.
Post Office tells us that Bulgarian ski resort Bansko is still the cheapest resort around for bargain hunters and is ideal for families who are looking to cut the cost of their ski break. The Post Office Ski Resort Report revealed that prices for ski equipment, lift passes, ski school, meals and drinks are £885 for a family of four - 23 per cent less than in runner-up resort Kranjska Gora in Slovenia at £1,154. Low-cost airlines easyJet and Wizzair fly to Sofia from the UK and there's affordable accommodation available. AlphaHolidayLettings.com has a selection of chalets and apartments in Bansko, including luxury apartments with full hotel facilities from £99 per person per week.
Cheap flights from London Stansted to Carcassonne with Ryanair make Soldeu in Andorra one of Europe's best ski resorts for budget travellers. What's more, Andorra is well-known for its duty-free status which helps when it comes to the après-ski fun. There's no shortage of bars, restaurants and hotels and drinks are served by the amount you want, not in uniform measures. The village of El Tarter is also home to one of Europe's most respected ski schools so if you're serious about skiing and want to be taught by the best instructors without the price tag, Soldeu is the resort for you. Inghams offers seven-night family breaks in Soldeu from £594 per person on a half-board basis.
Ok, so you probably didn't imagine jetting off to North America on an affordable ski break but a transatlantic trip this winter offers better value than you think. In Canada, you'll find low resort costs for ski passes and equipment, plus the weak Canadian dollar. This winter, the Canadian ski resorts are offering great value packages with plenty of deals to be had. For the best value, head for Banff where you can enjoy seven nights' skiing with return flights, resort transfers from Calgary airport and accommodation at the Inns of Banff hotel in January from £859 per person with Canadian Affair.
Of the Big Four (Austria, France, Switzerland and Italy), family-friendly Ellmau in Austria offers the best value ski resort costs for a family of four with an average price of £1,201. Post Office research found that Ellmau's resort costs were 16 per cent cheaper than Morzine in France, 20 per cent less than Cervinia in Italy and 30 per cent less than Saas Fee in Switzerland. Located in the heart of the Austrian Tyrol, the attractive village combines fantastic skiing options, beautiful scenery and excellent value. Prices can start from as little as €5 (£4) for a hearty Gulasch Soup and you can expect to pay about €3 (£2.40) for a half litre of beer. The SkiWelt links eight resorts and boasts 280km of pistes – the largest linked ski area in Austria – all available to explore on one lift pass, from £155 for six days. Inghams offers seven nights' half-board accommodation at Alte Post from £685 per person, including return flights from Gatwick to Salzburg and resort transfers.
A hidden gem of the Aosta Valley, Pila is the ideal choice for families looking to avoid the hustle and bustle and lift queues of the popular French resorts of Tignes and Val-d’Isere, and get the most from their money. The Italian resort has over 70km of well-groomed pistes catering to all levels, including wide blue runs for beginners. The high altitude means that the resort enjoys a sunny position by day and a good covering of snow throughout the season. Dining out in Pila is reasonably priced, with even the slope-side restaurants offering exceptional value for money, while the après ski scene is laid back. Located just a six-minute walk from the slopes, La Chance is a beautiful boutique hotel in Pila featuring stylish bedrooms and a luxury spa with Jacuzzi, sauna and Turkish bath. Ski Solutions offers seven nights' accommodation and flights from £920 per person, based on a 3 January 2015 departure from London.
The most expensive part of a ski trip can be getting there and with spectacular mountains on our doorstep, who needs to head for the Alps? Scotland's Cairngorms are just a cheap flight away with easyJet and while the actual skiing may not be that much cheaper than the Alps, you won't be paying £5 for a hot chocolate (and The Ptarmigan Restaurant makes the best hot chocolate around!). Plus you might get lucky and see the Northern Lights, making it one affordable Aurora Borealis holiday. Visit cairngormmountain.org to buy ski passes and hire equipment.
As Bulgaria offers such terrific value, it means you can experience luxury without the price tag. Beautiful Pamporovo is set among pine forests and dramatic mountain scenery. It's the second largest ski resort in the country and is situated in the picturesque Rhodope Mountains, with an average 270 days of sunshine a year, offering clear and sunny conditions. For a luxury ski trip at an excellent price, stay at Villa Gella, one of the top chalets in the county with Alpine Guru. Prices start at £7,200 per week, compared to a property in the Alps which would cost no less than €25,000 for a low season week. The chalet spans over one thousand square metres across four floors and offers superb views over the surrounding mountains. There are six bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and a Jacuzzi and spa for relaxing after a long, hard day’s skiing.
In Winter Park, Colorado, prices have reportedly fallen 10 per cent since last season to £2,105 and the Post Office tells us the cost of a family meal on the slopes (£33.35) is lower than Bansko, Bulgaria (£34.75). Winter Park is Colorado's best kept secret and happens to be one of the largest ski areas in America. It receives more snowfall than any other US ski resort, offering great value for money and a huge range of activities for beginners and expert skiers. Virgin Holidays is offering seven nights in Winter Park from £945 per person, including a stay at The Vintage Hotel and flights from Heathrow.