Winter is definitely here. Whilst most of the UK and northern Europe have been battered by gale force winds for the past 24 hours Scotland has seen its first major snowfall of the year / winter. Just in time for the BMC Winter meet which is due to take place at Glenmore Lodge from Feb 23 to March 2. They are looking for hosts to attend and help chaperone the 40 international guests around the corries for the week. There´s a fee of £65, but that covers your accommodation, food and entertainment. If you´re interested please call Becky McGovern at the BMC Office 0161 438 3302. Elsewhere ice festivals are in full swing. The 7th Kanderrsteg Festival took place a couple of weekends ago with Ines Papert demonstrating that she has no intention of giving up her place as top lady in the field. She took the honours in the women´s event with Markus Bendler winning the men´s. Evgeny Kryvosheytsev won the 12th Ouray Festival combined comp which took place over the weekend of Jan 10-13. The first round of the Ice World Cup will take place this coming weekend at Valle di Daone in Italy.