Mission almost accomplished…

On Thursday I hit the slopes at Glenshee with the intention of riding all five Scottish Snowsport Areas within five days as the start of half term loomed. Originally my plan had been to get both the Lecht and CairnGorm Mountain in on the Friday and move to the West on Saturday and Nevis Range!

Had I stuck to the original plan I’d have got the five areas done in four days, however having managed to bag B&B in the Caledonian Hotel in Fort William for £19 for Sunday night – I spent a day at the Lecht on Friday and took in CairnGorm Mountain on the Saturday.

A day practicing ‘Jedi Skiing’ at Glencoe on Sunday in incessant snow fall saw four areas in four days. But Nevis was StormBound, the SE wind that was blowing the snow around Glencoe was howling at Nevis and with the same windspeed forecast for Monday, left me with a bit of concern!

Alas the wind beat me, with Nevis Range again afflicted by a substantially stronger wind than generally in the Western Mountains due to local topography. However, it turned out to be a superb day at Glencoe on the slopes of Meall a’ Bhuiridh and five good if varied consecutive days sliding in Scotland. Also repeated trips up ladders deicing cams and weather stations at Glencoe!

On Tuesday it’s back to CairnGorm, may not be much sliding – wee project in hand! ;)

Oh and WordPress is patched up and talking to the server again.

Glencoe Access Run on Sunday afternoon.

Glencoe Access Run on Sunday afternoon.

Glencoe & Webcams

A site visit on a fine July Friday to Glencoe (how pleasant to be able to say that after some of the weather earlier this summer) and a hoof with a pile of computer kit in the Sun to the Glencoe SSC Hut at 2800ft, in order to get the webcam which looks out to Buachaille Etive Mor back on-line. On fine days Ben Nevis is visible on this cam and it’s a great cam to keep an eye on for cracking sunsets in the Summer.

Sun Set from the Glencoe SSC Hut

Sun Set from the Glencoe SSC Hut

Lots of people walking on the hill and riding the chairlift, it’s been a good busy summer week at Glencoe with the fine weather.

Winterhighland now manages 12 physical webcams (the Glencoe Access Chair camera provides five views in total) and some new additions are in the pipeline ahead of winter 2012. A big thank you to those who have directly supported Winterhighland in establishing and maintaining a network of cameras, including forum members who have ‘Winterhighland Snowflakes’ as a public thank you. See www.winterhighland.info/support for more information on helping Winterhighland further improve our camera network.

Also a big thank you to the guys at Glencoe for their help and support, plus to the Scottish Ski Club (www.scotski.org.uk) for hosting some of our cameras both at Glencoe and CairnGorm Mountain. Also thanks to the club sparky for installing the additional power sockets in the ‘Coe hut!!

Glencoe Webcam Update

Was doing some work on Wed afternoon on the Glencoe Webcams and network. The SSC Hut computer is back online, but was brought back up too late to take any photos (as it was dark), but should be taking images from first light Thursday (fingers crossed!).

The Access 2200ft Camera is being re-configured to work with a different network configuration and it’s hoped to have it back on the mountain and updating within the next couple of weeks, all being well sooner.

Snow greets new WH Glencoe Webcams

A blustery and snowy Autumn day at Glencoe on Friday, which wasn’t the best for lugging computer equipment to 2800ft on a Scottish Mountain. www.winterhighland.info/cams/glencoe .

Snow starting to lie to the top of the Access.

Snow starting to lie to the top of the Access.

Thanks to  the Scottish Ski Club (for their support and hosting the kit ),  the staff at Glencoe for their assistance today and to those who have generously contributed to the Winterhighland cause this autumn, we now have two new Winterhighland Webcams up and running at the Glencoe Scottish Ski Club Hut on Meall a’ Bhuiridh.

For now this is a very temporary installation that will be made more permanent in due course. With snow on the ground and more forecast the mission was to get some webcams to let people see the weather and snow asap. So with the wind forecast markedly improving for Friday with Thursday’s updated forecasts, after a couple of phone calls, a computer system was hurriedly set up  and a Vodafone usb dongle bought shortly before 7pm, once some frantic googling appeared to confirm ways existed to get it to fire up under Xubuntu linux on a ancient P3 with 256mb of RAM!

Here comes the computer

Here comes the computer on it's way up the Cliffhanger Chairlift on Friday afternoon.

The equipment and that necessary to set-up the gear up and get it on-line were carried up on the Access and Cliffhanger Chair, and lugged over the Plateau. The views currently on offer are dictated by proximity to power and the need to keep the cameras close to the computer, a new power supply and usb extender cables will be used when the system is permanently installed, this will provide an improved view up to the Top Tows, plus allow a camera to be higher up looking down over the Canyon to the Wall. There is also the  possibility of sitting the cameras at the other side of the hut, looking down the Cliffy line and over the upper part of Mugs Alley (or indeed an additional camera for this), so let us know what view you’d prefer and this will guide the final placement.

Webcam looking out the gable end of the SSC Hut.

Webcam looking out the gable end of the SSC Hut.

Glencoe is go for 2009/2010

The news skiers and boarders have been waiting for and which those who believed kept saying would come. Glencoe is go for 2009/2010. grinning smiley thumbs up

Official press release…

A last ditch agreement between David Campbell and a group of snow enthusiasts headed up by Falkirk business man and self-confessed snow nut Andy Meldrum has assured the future of the Glencoe Ski Centre. Andy is an experienced recruiter, marketer, trainer and public speaker who built his current company, AM-Distribution into a successful international business with distributors in the UK and Southern Ireland.

Drawing on his early experience of teaching skiing and running his own outdoor centre at the Spittal of Glenshee, Andy believes that he and his team, with the support of the local and snow sports community, have the background and commitment to make Glencoe a successful, year-round, destination.

Andy is absolutely delighted to announce that the ski centre will definitely be opening its doors this season and would like to thank David Campbell for his patience during the necessary lengthy negotiations that led to today’s announcement.

Bobby Munroe, resort manager, says “this is really great news for Glencoe snow sports enthusiasts, for Scottish skiing and for local employment. We’ve got a lot of work to do to be open for the start of the season, but we’re all up for the challenge”.

Bobby Williamson, Glencoe ski patrol, who, in the background, played an important ambassadorial role to ensure that Glencoe stayed open, says “the resort with Scotland’s premier ski and snow board terrain and an enviable weather record has been thrown a lifeline”.

To promote the re-opening of the Glencoe Ski centre season passes are being offered at the specially discounted price of £250 (normally £300) until the end of November. For more details give Angela a call on 01855 851226.

In addition to plans for the development and improvement of the facilities for skiers and snowboarders, the new owners plan further development of the resort as a year-round facility; with new mountain bike trails (and bike hire), an adventure play-park, dry ski slope and archery range being on offer for the 2010 summer.

The café also plans to launch its great new re-vamped home baked menu within the next few weeks.

The new owners believe that the best way to safe guard and develop skiing at Glencoe is to explore the possibility of snowmaking to ensure that the centre is less dependent on the vagaries of the Scottish climate. “With this in mind we plan to have a number of weather stations up and running by the start of the season”.

“We have an uphill task ahead of us but with the support of the local community, ski clubs, ski patrol and you the general public, we are certain that we can not only safeguard the future of the resort but improve and develop its facilities.”

We look forward to meeting you on the hill this season.

Andy Meldrum