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Back to the nondescript mild murky snow eating weather! : (

This Report for the Scottish Highlands was issued at
19.12hrs Tuesday 22nd April 2014.
Rescheduled Coe Cup is this Saturday (26th April), come up for a spring slide and take in a bit of the Coe Cup action as well. Should be a great weekend, can we have the Easter High Pressure back for it please!

CairnGorm Mountain has shifted to summer opening hours: First train up is at 10am, tows opening from then.

After a cracking Easter weekend the weather's gone downhill this week and unfortunately the snow is going downhill in liquid form at quite a rate as well. We're back into the mild, murky, damp East to South airflow that seems to have been fairly persistent in recent weeks. Snow has not been refreezing the last couple of nights, but the snow has been pretty good spring snow despite that.

Ordinarily one would expect the West to have the best overhead in such a setup, but it was uniformaly driech across the mountains of Highland Scotland on Tuesday and with the wind a bit South of East and a front approaching the West Coast, CairnGorm will probably get off to the best start on Wednesday. However showers are likely to develop later in the day.

In terms of what's available snow wise, Glencoe and Nevis best for more experienced riders, while CairnGorm is the pick for novices, early intermediates and those wanting to hit the park and pipe. The Ptarmigan Park having a range of features for all abilities and there's also the Marquis Well halfpipe, situated just above the Ptarmigan Tow. Check out the Pix from Saturday of the park features.

Glencoe remains way ahead in terms of cover, with a still very substantial depth of snow on much of the front of Meall a' Bhuiridh. There's still loads of fun lines to be ridden all over the mountain on the soft spring snow and plenty of unusual ways to link between the main runs on the mid and upper mountain.

With the Haggis Trap still buried under deep snow the Main Basin is a wide motorway top to bottom. It's offeirng a wide groomed line in the morning, but Happy Valley is now being left to build small spring snow bumps. If you want bumps on a moderate blue, you'll have a blast on it. Mugs Alley is still good back to the Cliffhanger Chair (and Wall T-bar) for those looking for a long green and the Bunny Run / High Road are wide and easy going too. On the East Ridge beware of unmarked crevases, chat to patrol for the latest info.

A short walk to the Plateau Cafe to access the mid-mountain lifts. The walk is shorter than the Poma and takes between 6 and 10mins.

On CairnGorm Mountain the Ciste and Ptarmigan Bowls retain great cover, but the Fairway has no snow, below the Top Station. So for a longer green try the Ciste Bowl instead. If you are comfortable with the Ciste Bowl, Coire Cas is perfect for you and it's been much quieter, Traverse is good and Coire Cas has generally had the best spring snow in recent days. Top tows have been affected by the E / SE wind in recent days, so at times uplift has been limited to the Funicular and Cas.

White Lady (red) remains in good shape once onto the Lady proper, access from the top of the Traverse, then cross the M1 uptrack, it might be required to unclip for a bit here. The Ciste Gully and West Wall are in superb shape, but now the preserve of those willing to hike or skin up. Up the old track to the corner of the Daylodge Poma and down lets the Funicular do most of the vertical.

At Nevis still huge cover on Goose Gully and the Allt Sneachda is still complete to the Quad Bridge. Small walk required each direction from there to/from Top Station and Quad. Warrens can be accessed via the Summit, but links slightly broken. The Back Corries have been offering some superb spring snow riding recently. Return from the back requires walking approximately half of Rob Roys Return. Braveheart Chair is not scheduled during the week, but it's hoped to open it at the end of the week for the weekend if conditions and weather are suitable.

Glenshee and the Lecht are currently closed.

:: Terrain Parks
CairnGorm: Ptarmigan Park has a large selection of features for all ranges of abilities, including a couple of easier ride on boxes. Three banks of kickers, getting progressively smaller / easier down to the base of the Ptarmigan Tow. See Pix from the Slopes for photos of the park and pipe features.

Above the Marquis Well Half Pipe is open weather / snow conditions permitting, but it is a hike too feature situated just above the Ptarmigan Tow.

In the Cas Boulderfield, the remains of the Cas shred provides various bumps, wee kickers and rollers to hit. There's also a pipe jib.

Glencoe has a flat ride on box situated on the High Road as well as a large roller.

At Nevis Range there are several rails / boxes dotted about the mountain and a kicker on Cats Alley.

Follow our Freestyle Thread in the
Forum. Please spare a few moments to post a park report, if you wish to add numerous photos you can do this in the Public Reports and post a link in the Forum Thread.
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:: Webcams
Get an early weather check, first cam updates are now around 5.15am on CairnGorm and 5.30am in the West.

Glencoe: SSC Hut having intermittent comms issue, possibly very high 3G network loading reducing range of Rannoch Moor mast over the holiday weekend.

CairnGorm: All cams online. SSC AWS back online, hope to get Loch Morlich AWS on soon (both failed to restart normally after the widespread power outage last week),

Nevis Range: Summit cams online, but need re-aligned. One day when sorting this is planned the wind will co-operate!

:: Mountain Weather Outlook
Despite SE winds, the best of the weather might be found on CairnGorm on Wednesday morning, some brighter spells possible before showers build into the afternoon. Whereas the West Coast will be overcast from the off as a weather front pushes up the West Coast. However as the front clears through, though some sharp showers will follow it should clear out the clag that plagued the West Coast all day on Tuesday. Winds will be between S and SE, generally 20 gusting 30mph, but a risk of considerably higher gusts around the Nevis Range which may affect uplift, so please check AM.

Thursday looks like a day of lighter winds and more widespread brightness, but a risk of afternoon Thundery showers developing. FL staying above the tops, light to moderate South wind.

Friday sees the wind back Easterly, gusts to 20 to 30mph. This will bring more widespread cloud back into the Eastern Highlands, so a largely overcast day, though away from the most Eastern hills probably largely dry, though the risk of the odd shower. Should be brighter on the West Coast, latest data suggests Nevis and Glencoe should stay dry through lift operating hours (but the mesoscale detail was a bit of a turkey for Tuesday, so we shall see)!

On Saturday the East wind will freshen to be strong, to gale force for the Northern Cairngorms where gusts to 45 to 50mph look likely. Overcast with drizzly showers, total precipitation amounts likely fairly small but the drizzle could be rather persistent. FL remaining above the tops, Munro Level temperature +3 to +5°c. Towards the West Coast it should be largely if not completely dry with some brighter or sunny spells close to the Coast.

Check the MWIS and Met Office Mountain forecasts for the latest detailed area mountain weather outlooks.

:: Scottish Snowsport Areas: Snowphones & Websites
Glencoe: 01855 851226
www.glencoemountain.co.uk
Nevis Range: 01397 705825 www.nevisrange.co.uk
Lecht: 01975 651440 www.lecht.co.uk
CairnGorm: 01479 861261 www.cairngormmountain.co.uk
Glenshee: 013397 41320 www.ski-glenshee.co.uk
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tricky
Northern Cairngorms Outlook
sun-rain-showers.png
Wednesday 23rd April
FL: >Tops.  Showers
914m: 5°c SE 20 gust 30mph
sun-rain-showers.png
Thursday 24th April
FL: >Tops.  Showers
914m: 4°c SE 15 gust 25mph
More... 
  18.49hrs Tue 22nd Apr
West Highlands Outlook
rain-showers.png
Wednesday 23rd April
FL: >Tops.  Showers
914m: 6°c SE 20 gust 35mph
sun-rain-showers.png
Thursday 24th April
FL: >Tops.  Showers
914m: 4°c South 10-20mph
More... 
  18.49hrs Tue 22nd Apr
Southern Cairngorms Outlook
rain-showers.png
Wednesday 23rd April
FL: >Tops.  Showers
914m: 4°c SE 20 gust 25mph
sun-rain-showers.png
Thursday 24th April
FL: >Tops.  Showers
914m: 3°c South 15-25mph
More... 
  18.48hrs Tue 22nd Apr
Glencoe // Mon 21st Apr
>>>
Laying down a turn on the Main Basin high above the moor.
CairnGorm Mtn // Sat 19th Apr
>>>
Riding the Marquis Well Halfpipe. Reshaped Sat afternoon for Sunday.
Glencoe // Fri 18th Apr
>>>
Spring is King on the East Ridge of Meall a' Bhuiridh
Glencoe // Tue 15th Apr
>>>
Snow with a view, making tracks for the Flypaper mid morning.
Glencoe // Mon 14th Apr
>>>
This is why it's called the Spring Run! Good forecast for Tuesday.
CairnGorm Mtn // Thu 10th Apr
>>>
Lovely way to end the day with a run down Fiacaill a' Choire Chais from 1141.