10 Days till Mid-Summer – Lets Ski!

The Summer Solstice is fast approaching once again, so it’s time to dust down the planks (they shouldn’t have gathered to much dust with the last day of lift served sliding being 5th May this year) for the mid-summer snow pilgrimage.

Late June Air!

Since the 21st of June is a Saturday, the plan is Saturday on CairnGorm Mountain. We’re keeping an eye on Meall a’ Bhuiridh but the Main Basin has sadly had a bit of a shift with a return to less settled and wetter conditions. Final details and day will depend on the weather, if the Sunday is looking better then we may Switch, keep an eye on this blog and the Forum.

The intention at this stage is to meet in the Daylodge Bar on CairnGorm Mountain between 10 and 10.30am.

However the actual Summer Solstice is at 23.59hrs BST on Friday 20th.  If the weather is good a mid night slide and a camp or snow hole night may be in order, if interested drop a comment below or in the forum thread.

At least 200ft of vertical is still possible on the SE snow patches so enough to get a very respectable run in and build a good kicker.

Webcams – one season on!

Winterhighland operated it’s own webcams for the first time in winter 2008, with our White Lady webcams being viewed 1,290,923 times during the 2008 season.

Initially 2 then 3 cameras situated in the Scottish Ski Club Hut at 2500ft on CairnGorm Mountain offered a range of views up the White Lady and out over Coire Cas, the camera views have been adjusted for summer and will remain available when the system is not at base for further development to improve the camera system for next winter.

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During May Winterhighland has been trialling a Logitech Auto Focus webcam in the SSC Hut, this has given great image quality and we will be looking at upgrading the cameras to give sharper views all round as well as developing a more interactive interface for viewing recent images, archived images and latest cam video clips.

This was partly a developmental system to test out the scope for using relatively low cost but higher grade USB consumer webcams as opposed to expensive IP network cameras – providing scope for utilizing low cost hardware in locations where harsh operating conditions could be expected to shorten the operating life or in some cases destroy IT hardware. The successful use of GPRS in a location with a poor and marginal GSM signal offers greater flexibility for locating cameras and the system provides scope to have camera systems which can be deployed in different buildings and huts to provide the most useful views.

Here’s to there being at least as much snow again to watch on the cameras in 2009. :)