Amazingly, there is still snow on the hills and skiers and snowboarders continue to enjoy the late conditions at Nevis Range. In spite of the snow, there's plenty of mountain bike activity underway lower down the mountain.
Fort William is gearing itself up for the annual invasion by the world of mountain biking with the second Downhill and 4-Cross events and the fourth Cross Country of the 2006 World Cup calendar.
It's a Bank Holiday weekend so Fort William and Lochaber will be absolutely buzzing. If you haven't sorted out your accommodation yet, try 0845 225 5121 or www.visitscotland.com
From today we'll be providing a page on the website with the very latest availability. www.fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk/accommodation.html#available
Stairway to Heaven
Led Zeppelin fans are in for a treat with tribute band Whole Lotta Led performing in the Nevis Centre on Friday night after the opening ceremony in the town. Tickets are available from www.concertscotland.com until one week prior to the event and then on the door.
We'll be also be giving away some tickets during Friday training.br Please bring your Air Guitar.
Party in the Fort
Plans are well underway for a great evening in Fort William on the Saturday night. Shops, cafes and restaurants will be open till 10pm, plus there'll be special catering, bands and entertainment all evening up to midnight. And the bars will be as popular as ever!
World Cup favourites the Peatbog Faeries will be headlining on the stage in Cameron Square and the whole of the High Street will be jumping in a World Cup Bank Holiday celebration.
Details will be updated on the website as they are confirmed.
Courses on course
As the snow recedes, course preparation work can start in earnest. Helicopters have already been dumping gravel on the Downhill, to fill in some of the holes caused by the winter rains and enable reshaping of berms.
The joinery team will start on what we reckon will be the UK's biggest wall ride and the digger has been modifying the new hip jump at Tower 5. Added to all of this, there will be improved spectator access on the lower section of the course.
On the 4X the first berm is being enlarged to allow cleaner overtaking whilst the XC sees a new technical section at the bottom of the Ridge Run and a new bridge across the burn where the course returns to the World Cup Village.
And soon after the World Cup, work starts on the major changes for the radically altered 2007 World Championships courses.
See the latest photos here.
Pedros clean up in Fort Bill
Pedros, the bike cleaning and lube people will be running the World Cup bike wash this year, making sure that competitors have shiny, speedy rigs no matter how much mud and dirt is thrown their way. Look out for their stand in the Village. www.pedros.com
2006 Crew confirmed
A big thanks to everyone who applied to join the event crew this year and a big 'sorry' to those who weren't selected. We had more than 200 applications for about 150 positions so it was tough for Leemo to make the final selections.
Our crew are crucial to the success of the World Cup _" let's make this another memorable World Cup for everyone.
See you in Fort William
The World Cup Team
Updates will be sent every 2 weeks or when there is any special news. Keep checking the World Cup website which is regularly updated.