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Cairngorm, Scotland - 22-04-12 (some not very bright pics)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

The season in Scotland has not been a good one. March was more or less completely written off due to very high temps and glorious sunshine. The first ever Coe Cup went ahead towards the end of the month on the ever decreasing snow pack at Glencoe Mountain. The Coe Cup will now be a FWT qualifying event from next season so big ups to the organisers. 

 

Anyway, in the last couple of weeks, our weather has returned to something more like winter and the Cairngorm Mountains have received a healthy amount of snow. Last Sunday, myself and a friend went exploring off the top of Cairn Gorm and off the back for a ski down into Coire an t-Sneachda.

 

The snow was great, lovely soft powder in places, but due to the previous warm weather, there was the occasional rock and heather attracting some base attention. Saw some wildlife and had an interesting traverse out of the coire (pro. coray).

 

 

Ross on top of the weather station on Cairn Gorm

Ross on top of the weather station on Cairn Gorm summit.

 

Heading along to the drop in, just over the cornice in the centre of pic.

Heading along to the drop in to the coire.

 

First, tentative turn in the coire. very loose snow didn't feel great...

First nervous turn. The snow wasn't totally stable feeling here.

 

 

Ross taking it easy. Those rocks/boulders and lochans in the pic are around 700ft below Ross.

Ross taking it easy at the top

 

myself enjoying some lovely snow further down.

opening up a bit on the middle pitch

 

The traverse out begins. It was interesting....

Start of the traverse out

 

 

Myself with the coire behind. My first time there and I spotted some lines that need skiing.

The easier part of the traverse out of the coire

 

Coire an t-Sneachda

Coire an t-Sneachda

 

A friendly wee Ptarmigan and his mate led us out.

Ptarmigan

 

 

post #2 of 14

This looks interesting! Was it all hiked or is it lift serviced? Or do lifts service other terrain like that?

 

My daughter-in-law will be going to vet school in Scotland. Should we bring skis with us when we visit in the winter for Scotland skiing? Or fly to the alps?

Eric

post #3 of 14

Thanks for posting the TR. Looks like interesting terrain for sure. 

 

Eleeski, just take your rocks skis.  If its marginal skiing, you'll be set.  If its awesome, then you'll have fun anyway.  Heck, the way you smile when you ski, it will be awesome no matter what!

 

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Eleeski, the thing with Scottish skiing is that it is very unpredictable as to what the snow will be like at any time more than a couple of days in advance. The skiing can be as good as anywhere on this wee world we all share, like last season and the one before when we had more snow than anywhere in Europe at one point. Or, it can be warm and wet and the window to hit the snow is very small. Bring your skis and prey to the snow gods, or don't prey and book a cheap flight to Geneva or Munich. Worth checking the "Scotland" thread over on snowheads.com
post #5 of 14

I was promised Heather,mud ,rocks and Ptarmigan. I've been misled by a Scot who wished it all for himself.   There's no Heather visible !  I'd bet the mud could be found.  I gave a lesson to a Scot and had her tell  me a bit about Scotland's ski spots. She said they were much northerly ,somewhat remote or far to get to for most folks.  Like most things worthwhile it does take some effort. Thanks for sharing !

 

About those Ptarmigan. They look like a big grouse  that we have around where I have lived. Are they good eating  ?   They like like the size of a pheasant which has a nice bit of breast meat.

post #6 of 14

 

Thanks for posting BIGPMCD!  Brings back good memories, even though it is more than 15 years since I have skied at Cairngorm  (and where I learnt to ski in 68) as I defected  to the Coe in the 90s. Too bad that permission was refused for expanding into Coire an t-Sneachda as it always held the snow pretty well.  

 

For contrast here are some pictures taken in 2006, last time I was up there   when I took my late Mom up the funicular .

 

CIMG0620.JPG

CIMG0614.JPG

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpmacd View Post

Eleeski, the thing with Scottish skiing is that it is very unpredictable as to what the snow will be like at any time more than a couple of days in advance. The skiing can be as good as anywhere on this wee world we all share, like last season and the one before when we had more snow than anywhere in Europe at one point. Or, it can be warm and wet and the window to hit the snow is very small. Bring your skis and prey to the snow gods, or don't prey and book a cheap flight to Geneva or Munich. Worth checking the "Scotland" thread over on snowheads.com

Eleeski, BigP has summed it up perfectly.  I would plan on going to europe to ski if you are across but if you get teh chance to get a couple of days skiing in Scotland as part of the trip, take them.     It is still the only place in the world where you can get powder, ice, slush and corn - all on the same run on the same day!  smile.gif

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

GarryZ... ptarmigan are a minority species and it would be cruel to eat them. They are cool birds, live in the mountains and keep to themselves. Friendly wee things though and show little fear of humans. Pheasant on the other hand are the thickest, most brain dead, bird known to man and deserve all they get!

 

ScotsSkier... Glencoe is my favourite hill, and they held most of the good snow this season, especially over in Spring run and the flypaper. I'm quite glad there is no lift system into Sneachda as it's a remote place which takes a bit of effort getting into and out of. Keeps the wildlife happy and means days like Sunday are possible when it was only myself and Ross skiing that whole are ourselves. There were 3 climbers in there as well going up stuff that anyone would struggle to ski down.

 

Here's a pic from the first ever Coe Cup that I mentioned earlier...

 

Coe Cup backflip

 

And here's a couple of pics from the past two seasons when Scotland was blanketed in thick snow, the country ground to a halt, but the skiers kept on skiing

 

boarder freshies3913024444871301304.jpg

 

Ciste Bowl off piste5779176237687336767.jpg

 

 

 

post #8 of 14

I wouldn't kill any birds and was wondering about their size. Cool. They sound like good company

 

 

Awesome views. 

post #9 of 14

i was tempted to go up today but with my ski stuff being in the loft now i didnt think it was worth the 2 hour drive but dam it looks good... 

 

off to golf instead!!!

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Scottydonald... you missed out. A few pics from Sunday.

 

33960_400481319983105_100000637202864_1258448_1843977159_n.jpg

 

 

Me skiing into Sneachda

545910_400481479983089_100000637202864_1258452_579852559_n.jpg

 

 

DSC_0082.JPG

 

 

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Coronation Wall... beautiful snow.

 

DSC_0096.JPG

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

The Cairngorms

 

DSC_0107.JPG

post #13 of 14

Those look like some nice pitches. I will have to try skiing there when we visit. I'm stoked!

Eric

post #14 of 14

dammit did look good!!!

 

my golf was bad too... 9 over and worst round of the season so far!!!!!

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