Login
Username:
Password:
You are NOT Logged in.
Chat about all aspects of snowsports, backcountry, climbing and mountaineering.
Goto Thread: PreviousNext
Goto: Forum ListMessage ListNew TopicSearchLog In
Goto Page:  Previous12345Next
Current Page:4 of 5
WindyMiller


Posts: 525
Joined: Sep 2010
Last Visited: 18:42
16th Jan 2018
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 17.11hrs on Tue 2 Jan 18
Thanks for that sspeirs, I will try to keep my posts informative and interesting.

100% right Alan. the gun barrel is stuffed with man made snow and beside the two T40 guns the TF10 has been building snow in the areas between the zigzags which they have been pushing out on to the pistes.

I was going to start to-days post with how well the runs are filling in. It was snowing heavily by 11:00 with a cairngorm breeze blowing creating large drifts. The upper cas, which was not skiable yesterday, was wide and soft giving nice turns. The M1 piste was nice and soft to the 105 cross over. The main cas run was filling in too giving a better run than yesterday. The lower runs were improving though a puddle had formed just after the sunkids load area.

By 13:30 the cairngorm breeze had built to a full blown hoolie with the snow getting stripped off the runs. It became impossible to see where you were going and the thin areas of the cas were back to rock. The cross over from the 105 became gravel. Massive drifts were forming and were like hitting a brick wall in the zero visibility. We just made it to mid station more or less in one piece and met ops2 who had just skied down in front of us. It was then he decided to call it a day for the mountain skiing and quite right too. I skied down to the day lodge, the puddle was starting to freeze but the wind had stripped the snow at the corner before turning into burnside and you had to shuffle your skis over the rock to get passed.

On the upside, a lot of snow was falling and large drifts were forming along the fences, if the wind subsides the machines will have snow to push around. It will be a case of looking at the update on their website to see what will be open tomorrow.

I will get some people pictures on face book later for the folks that were skiing with us today.
[www.facebook.com]

Graeme

M1 had one machine width of soft snow.
 


Skiing backwards back up the traverse wind assisted.
 


Upper cas was filling in, who knows what has happened now!
 


This is what was happening in the afternoon, the wind stripped the snow off the runs. Time was called on skiing just after this picture.
 


The lower slopes were catching the wind blown snow until you reached the upper corner of burnside, this was stripped back to rock.
 






Edited 1 times. Last edit at 17.21hrs Tue 2 Jan 18 by WindyMiller.

Attachments: lower slopes.JPG (154kB)   upper cas.JPG (171kB)   Traverse.JPG (161kB)   cas afternoon.JPG (170kB)   M1.JPG (156kB)  
WindyMiller


Posts: 525
Joined: Sep 2010
Last Visited: 18:42
16th Jan 2018
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 17.26hrs on Wed 3 Jan 18
The wind dropped to hardly anything with sunshine and occasional light snow showers passing through, a complete contrast to yesterday.

As hoped, yesterdays storm created large drifts which the machines used to patch the run to mid station. There were winners and losers, the M1 piste gained also the upper mountain. The cas main run lost snow and it is back to using the tow path. The traverse and upper zigzag gained and the lower runs to some extent. The lower zigzag is still not skiable.

The M1 tow track has now been pisted and the lift was being de-iced as was the ptarmigan. I hope these will be in use very soon as the wait for the train was getting a bit annoying in the afternoon to say the least. They continued to sell tourist tickets even though skiers were being left at mid station for up to two train loads before getting on. The tourists were not too happy either as in we all squeezed in sweaty and steamy, dropping snow all over them on their way up for cake. In the past some drivers were blocking off part of the train so the tourists were separated from the mid station skiers but for some reason this did not happen to day.

Still skiable back to the day lodge but quite rocky in places.

I noticed the ground staff moving the two T40 snow canons lower down to just above the sunkids area, looks like they are going to try and fill this area a bit more.

Best run of the day was by far the fiacaill traverse over to the ridge and down the old t-bar track onto the top zigzag. Thin in places but well worth the shuffle up to the cas bull wheel from the traverse.

Over all a good day on the mountain, good soft fresh snow.

face book pictures of people going up later.
[www.facebook.com]

Graeme


Upper slopes filling in, plenty of snow moving going on much of the day.
 


Traverse entrance better than yesterday
 


Gun barrel getting a bit icy, catching a few people out.
 


lower slopes have a lot of man made snow.
 


Best run of the day, Fiacaill. This is well off piste and a closed area, you are on your own over here.
 









Edited 1 times. Last edit at 17.34hrs Wed 3 Jan 18 by WindyMiller.

Attachments: Fiacaill.JPG (202kB)   upper traverse.JPG (212kB)   Upper slopes.JPG (175kB)   gun barrel.JPG (189kB)   lower slopes.JPG (225kB)  
carsey


Posts: 242
Joined: Jan 2016
Last Visited: 23:08
16th Jan 2018
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 19.11hrs on Wed 3 Jan 18
Any updates on how the snowfactory is working? was it still used during the brief milder spell last week?

WindyMiller


Posts: 525
Joined: Sep 2010
Last Visited: 18:42
16th Jan 2018
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 20.35hrs on Wed 3 Jan 18
carsey Wrote:
Any updates on how the snowfactory is working? was it still used during the brief milder spell last week?


It appears to be working very well and yes it was being used during the milder spell last week. It allowed standing classes to continue when the rest of the mountain was closed. I was surprised how good the surface was to ski on, not like the icy canon snow when it gets wet and freezes, more like granular spring snow.

I often use the patch when skiing back to the day lodge (even though the run is closed). If they go ahead and place it near the sunkids as one of the ideas is,this will allow the snow to be pushed up and down the run, it will be a game changer allowing the mid to day lodge to open for skiing.

What I do not know is the economics and I am not sure if they have been calculated yet but from what I have seen the area produced has been full of classes nearly every day.

My personal preference, and that of a number of instructors, would be to ditch the plans for the plastic slope and go for this. Real snow beats plastic any time, it will boil down to how much it costs vs income from lessons.

Graeme

tupp


Posts: 201
Joined: Apr 2010
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 21.06hrs on Wed 3 Jan 18
WindyMiller Wrote:


My personal preference, and that of a number of instructors, would be to ditch the plans for the plastic slope and go for this. Real snow beats plastic any time, it will boil down to how much the lobbying from local interest groups forces HIE to pay for them out of the public purse. Thus making CML appear competent.

Graeme


Corrected that for you Windy.

Incidentally, I marvelled at the recycling I saw going on with the snow factory last Friday. The outlet pipe was busily spewing snow onto the bank of the burn below the Daylodge. The snow then slid down into the burn only to be sucked up downstream and pumped right back into the factory. Outstanding to see CML turning their back on their recent destructive ways and embrace a greener operating policy.



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 21.09hrs Wed 3 Jan 18 by tupp.

carsey


Posts: 242
Joined: Jan 2016
Last Visited: 23:08
16th Jan 2018
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 23.23hrs on Wed 3 Jan 18
tupp Wrote:
WindyMiller Wrote:


My personal preference, and that of a number of instructors, would be to ditch the plans for the plastic slope and go for this. Real snow beats plastic any time, it will boil down to how much the lobbying from local interest groups forces HIE to pay for them out of the public purse. Thus making CML appear competent.

Graeme

Corrected that for you Windy.

Incidentally, I marvelled at the recycling I saw going on with the snow factory last Friday. The outlet pipe was busily spewing snow onto the bank of the burn below the Daylodge. The snow then slid down into the burn only to be sucked up downstream and pumped right back into the factory. Outstanding to see CML turning their back on their recent destructive ways and embrace a greener operating policy.



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 21.09hrs Wed 3 Jan 18 by tupp.


Probably technoalpin idea lol.


However, interesting to see it worked well during the milder period, and allowed lessons to continue.

bogbiker


Posts: 72
Joined: Feb 2009
Last Visited: 16:01
4th Jan 2018
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 14.45hrs on Thu 4 Jan 18
carsey Wrote:
tupp Wrote:
WindyMiller Wrote:


My personal preference, and that of a number of instructors, would be to ditch the plans for the plastic slope and go for this. Real snow beats plastic any time, it will boil down to how much the lobbying from local interest groups forces HIE to pay for them out of the public purse. Thus making CML appear competent.

Graeme

Corrected that for you Windy.

Incidentally, I marvelled at the recycling I saw going on with the snow factory last Friday. The outlet pipe was busily spewing snow onto the bank of the burn below the Daylodge. The snow then slid down into the burn only to be sucked up downstream and pumped right back into the factory. Outstanding to see CML turning their back on their recent destructive ways and embrace a greener operating policy.



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 21.09hrs Wed 3 Jan 18 by tupp.

Probably technoalpin idea lol.


However, interesting to see it worked well during the milder period, and allowed lessons to continue.


Whilst I do agree that the system works, I have to say I am disappointed with the volume of snow produced. It has been running for nearly a month now and the area of snow produced is small, only really benefiting those having lessons.


I do think it would be more beneficial to the area as a whole to position it close to the middle station.

carsey


Posts: 242
Joined: Jan 2016
Last Visited: 23:08
16th Jan 2018
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 14.55hrs on Thu 4 Jan 18
Would have been nice to see the patches it produced.

I know Glencoe seem to be building large piles ready to get a proper run pushed out rather than pushing it out after a overnight farm.

bogbiker


Posts: 72
Joined: Feb 2009
Last Visited: 16:01
4th Jan 2018
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 16.03hrs on Thu 4 Jan 18
carsey Wrote:
Would have been nice to see the patches it produced.

I know Glencoe seem to be building large piles ready to get a proper run pushed out rather than pushing it out after a overnight farm.


If you look at their Facebook page, there is a panoramic image taken yesterday. That shows the entire beginners area that they have (mostly) created with the Snow Factory.

telenord


Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2016
Last Visited: 17:07
14th Jan 2018
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 16.44hrs on Thu 4 Jan 18
I have cross-country skated the snow factory patch on a few occasions. It is 100m long and reasonably steep. It skis very well provided it has been pisted and spun.

Like Windy, I would like to see the snow used to make a run. By moving the factory to the Shieling it would allow snow to be pushed down to the Shieling tow and keep at least one run going. It may also be useful to keep the Polar Express (at least) going as this may allow non-skiing visitors to exit the Ptarmigan building.

I understand that the unit is for demonstration purposes only. A purchased factory is larger and produces greater volumes of snow. This may raise issues of water supply and snow distribution. Where I have seen factories operating overseas, they produce a mountain of snow from a nearby reservoir and move the snow with a fleet of diggers and lorries. Under these conditions a top to day lodge run would be very possible.

Be fun to see what happens but I am envious of The Lecht who will demo the factory next. They could keep all their beginner runs and more open.




WindyMiller


Posts: 525
Joined: Sep 2010
Last Visited: 18:42
16th Jan 2018
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 19.04hrs on Thu 4 Jan 18
Many of the tourist have now gone home leaving the runs significantly quieter today. Just as well as the runs have been damaged with the heavy traffic, much thinner than yesterday. The snow has gone hard and icy and when they soften up in the afternoon the grit and stones are coming though, not just at the zig zag corners but in quite a large number of open areas.

The M1 is still ok to ski but the cross over to the 105 is in poor condition. I skied this only once. The cas tow path is now like skiing sand paper. Even the top of the traverse is suffering.

The M1 poma was running which was good as no need to use the train of shame though the path was thin and narrow.

The visibility was coming and going with mist and occasional light snow shower passing through. We need a lot more snow to fall to bring the runs back to good condition.

I was Jonny-no-mates today so no people pictures on face book.

Graeme

This is the upper traverse before the M1 turn off, very gritty and hard ice. The traverse its self is still nice and soft.
 


The M1 is ok, half width and a bit hard under foot.
 


This is why I only skied the M1 once, the cross over is very thin and rocky. This is a normally a fast ski area and a lot of damage can be done to your equipment if you hit the rocks.
 


Even the upper cas has grit coming through, the tow path is quite worn.
 


The gun barrel was hard and very icy. Ski classes were having difficulty in here and those with out instruction were just wiping out. Must admit I had a few wobbles too.
 


Snow dances required.




Edited 1 times. Last edit at 19.15hrs Thu 4 Jan 18 by WindyMiller.

Attachments: Upper Traverse.JPG (178kB)   cas.JPG (175kB)   Cross Over.JPG (176kB)   M1.JPG (167kB)   Gun Barrel.JPG (167kB)  
01cookjk


Posts: 23
Joined: Jan 2014
Last Visited: 12:12
12th Jan 2018
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 00.11hrs on Fri 5 Jan 18
Seems to be a different story on the west coast - probably around 10-20cm more snow, a bit milder perhaps, but less winds.

Nevis & Glencoe seem to be well on their way to having a good percentage of runs open.

As for the SnowFactory, I believe that the units come in 5 varieties - Demo, which is probably the one being trialed at Cairngorm, then 1u, 2u, 4u - 4u Being 4units which work together to produce a lot. If or not the 4 units contain the same bits of machinery, I do not know.

TechnoAlpin also seem reluctant to release any info on water consumption, and more importantly, power consumption, though looking at screen grabs from promo videos showing them being fitted, I suspect between a 60amp 3phase - 200amp 3phase supply is probably needed, depending on installation size.

This summer Whakappa & Turo ski areas in New Zealand managed to open up a 400m/30m wide run using a snowfactory, which I think was in the form of 2 shipping containers.

Technicalities over, Im definitely going skiing this weekend!

Olderalan


Posts: 1488
Joined: Feb 2006
Last Visited: 10:58
5th Jan 2018
What's this?What's this?What's this?
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 11.03hrs on Fri 5 Jan 18
WindyMiller Wrote:
Many of the tourist have now gone home leaving the runs significantly quieter today. Just as well as the runs have been damaged with the heavy traffic, much thinner than yesterday. The snow has gone hard and icy and when they soften up in the afternoon the grit and stones are coming though, not just at the zig zag corners but in quite a large number of open areas.

The M1 is still ok to ski but the cross over to the 105 is in poor condition. I skied this only once. The cas tow path is now like skiing sand paper. Even the top of the traverse is suffering.

The M1 poma was running which was good as no need to use the train of shame though the path was thin and narrow.

The visibility was coming and going with mist and occasional light snow shower passing through. We need a lot more snow to fall to bring the runs back to good condition.

I was Jonny-no-mates today so no people pictures on face book.

Graeme


 


This is why I only skied the M1 once, the cross over is very thin and rocky. This is a normally a fast ski area and a lot of damage can be done to your equipment if you hit the rocks.
 



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 19.15hrs Thu 4 Jan 18 by WindyMiller.



Graeme,
Thanks for posting. Your picture of the M1-Cas link show the unmaintained fencing which is in ruins....little wonder then that it was thin and rocky. You'll be getting a call to the headmasters office for pointing that out!

Kind regards

Olderalan

WindyMiller


Posts: 525
Joined: Sep 2010
Last Visited: 18:42
16th Jan 2018
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 17.23hrs on Sat 6 Jan 18
Olderalan Wrote:
Your picture of the M1-Cas link show the unmaintained fencing which is in ruins....little wonder then that it was thin and rocky. You'll be getting a call to the headmasters office for pointing that out!

Kind regards

Olderalan


You are right Alan though I am more concerned over the condition of the Fiacaill Ridge poma fence. It is much more exposed and marginal. The amount of fence that is flat here will impact its snow holding capacity.

The over night and this mornings snow have improved the open areas significantly compared to Thursday. The cover is still thin but the large brown areas are now covered again. The Ptarmigan t-bar was operational and the bowl has filled in giving a number of routes back to the restaurant and lift load areas.

The cas is much better and some were using the main run again though in the poor visibility I kept out, the rocks are just below the surface.

Oh I should have mentioned, to-day was a real pea souper, heavy snow in the morning with freezing fog most of the day causing ice on your goggles. The sun did make an appearance for a few seconds but for most of the time is was skiing by brale.

The bottom zigzag has been opened giving an alternative to the gun barrel.

The lower slopes still have a closed sign. They have been pisted 2/3 of the way down but it was too thin for the machine to finish off down burnside. It would have caused more damage to the surface than it would help. Even with out being pisted the ski back to the day lodge was quite pleasurable. A good ski from the top of the ptarmigan back to the day lodge, did this a number of times.

The M1 poma did come on for a short time but it had a mechnical issue and was shut down again. I saw a jocky wheel attached to a returning poma bar! The guys were working on it this afternoon.

The forecast is for sun tomorrow, it could be a good day though if you are coming up remember the runs are limited and thin. If crowds turn up it will scrape the surface just like last Thursday, be prepared.

Graeme

Massive queues today! I think Amanda was actually just shooting the breeze with the lifty. The ptarmigan opened today but few were using it as it was bitterly cold in the freezing fog and snow showers. I liked it as the snow was excellent.
 


mid mountain is improving and a few were venturing off piste. I was more hesitant as I knew what it was like two days ago.
 


The lower slopes now have a wide cover though it is still thin in places. The all the canons are running though when I took this picture one was off as they cleaned its filter.
 


Burnside is back to being an easy ski as are the other routes back to the day lodge and lower car park. Officially closed as they are not 100% pisted.
 


Even the lower snow canon was running helping the snow factory. The man made snow was being used by the ski school. Plenty of snow to allow skiing back to the lower car park.
 





Edited 1 times. Last edit at 17.34hrs Sat 6 Jan 18 by WindyMiller.

Attachments: ptarmigan.JPG (169kB)   snow making.JPG (216kB)   mid mountain.JPG (180kB)   lower slopes.JPG (209kB)   burnside.JPG (186kB)  
WindyMiller


Posts: 525
Joined: Sep 2010
Last Visited: 18:42
16th Jan 2018
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 18.40hrs on Sun 7 Jan 18
What a superb day to have been on the mountain and for the folks that could not make it, don't feel bad it was rubbish winking smiley

The sun was out right up till 15:30 allowing us to now see the snow that fell over the last 24 hours. A good covering has accumulated in places allowing some adventurous off piste especially on the east of the ptarmigan.

The mountain is now open top to bottom though you still have to be careful of thin areas.

The Ciste t-bar opened with good routes down the M2 and the fairway. The ciste bowl is still closed as the burn has not covered yet but it was a good ski on the un-pisted snow.

The ptarmigan traverse and main bowl have filled in with a few thin areas but over all was giving good skiing anywhere you wanted.

The surprise was the removal of the closure ropes of the M2 down to the day lodge. It is officially un-pisted and un-marked but was an excellent ski down a well groomed track to the last two pylons of the day lodge poma where the snow was a little thin for the machine to continue but very nice to ski on. The new fencing on the mid section has helped the steep area prone to scouring retain the snow. The run was very quiet allowing some fast skiing down this section, great for full speed racing turns smiling smiley

The snow has started to consolidate away from the marked runs and we made the most of this putting first tracks on the east ptarmigan and over to the meadows. By the end of the day the east ptarmigan was now and accepted run by many. If you know your way the meadows were giving very nice skiing and you could make it back to the ciste t-bar if you got your tuns correct.

Something appears to have gone wrong, by 10:00 the car parks were full and they suspended ticket sales but the runs were very quiet. The ciste was ski on most of the time and the ptarmigan only had a queue when a class turned up. The train was running with less than a third of its capacity. So for full car parks, where was every one?

The west wall poma has been de-iced and the rope was running for a while. The tow track has been pisted and looks ready to go. The problem is with over yonder. There is not much snow there and the anoch bowl is not good. I hope they can get a route sorted to get this open.

Best run of the day, off piste has to have been the east ptarmigan and the meadows. On piste by far was the M2 then joining on to the day lodge.

I will put further picture on face book later,
[www.facebook.com]

Graeme

East of the ptarmigan, fresh tracks in the morning, by the afternoon it became an established run.
 


Off piste, on the way back from the meadows to link up with the ciste t-bar
 


M2 in great condition with help of the new fencing, fun to have a flyer down it and to scare a few tourers on the way up, and I was on my touring kit not my down hills grinning smiley
 


The WWP was being prepared, the issue is with over yonder and the anoch bowl, not much snow here.
 


The day lodge run was pisted to just above the load area, an easy ski down.
 






Edited 2 times. Last edit at 18.55hrs Sun 7 Jan 18 by WindyMiller.

Attachments: WWP.JPG (205kB)   off Piste.JPG (175kB)   day Lodge.JPG (235kB)   M2 Steep.JPG (195kB)   East Ptarmigan.JPG (190kB)  
Goto Page:  Previous12345Next
Current Page:4 of 5
Your Name: 
Your Email: 
Subject: