Summer Solstice Ski & Board on Sunday 21st June...
Join us for one last lift assisted slide on Mid Summer's Day at Glencoe (Sun 21st June) when the Cliffhanger Chair is due to run in the morning to help get skiers and boarders up the mountain. 1200ft vertical still possible from the top.
Nevis Range will be running the Quad Chair similarly to ease access snow on the upper mountain.
Sunday is the Summer Solstice and remarkably there's even more snow this year than last! Both Glencoe and Nevis Range will be spinning an extra chairlift in the morning to ease access to the remaining snow for a party lift assisted hike and ride mid-summer ski and snowboard session.
Perhaps not that surprising there's even more snow left than last year given Meteorological Summer arrived with new snow lying to below 2000ft and more significant accumulations and fresh drifting at higher elevations with the first day of June delivering high level blizzards. Indeed snow fell for several days at the start of the month, and even on Thursday 18th there was snow showers at the top of Meall a' Bhuiridh.
Glencoe's mid-summer slide has been planned for sometime so we're hoping there will be another cracking turnout, let's try and beat last year's figure of between 70 and 80 skiers and boarders. If you wish to make a weekend of it at Glencoe and camp (or stay in a Hobbit) on the Saturday, the cafe is open late till 11pm.
The plan is to meet at the base Cafe at 9am Sun 21st June for a spot of breakfast before heading up the Access Chairlift with the aim to be at the Cliffhanger Chairlift for around 10am. The Cliffhanger will run for around 20 minutes to get everyone attending up to the mid-mountain level, from where we'll hike and ride the upper mountain runs. Typically starting in the Main Basin, moving on to the Spring Run and then for the more advanced riders a final blast down the Flypaper Bowl!
There is still just under 1200ft of vertical descent possible down the Main Basin and out onto the Wall on the mid-mountain, which is still complete to just short of the Plateau Cafe level. On the Upper Mountain the Spring Run and Flypaper Bowl are still in remarkable shape given we are past mid June. The Spring Run is complete from just below the crest out onto the corner of Mugs Alley, cutting left allows you to drop out to Thrombosis mid mountain.
The Canyon is still skiable mid-mountain, but strictly experts only and needs to be treated with the upmost respect. There's some huge cracks and crevasses that end in the waterfall underneath!
Bring a shovel if you have one to help build a kicker to session in the Main Basin!
At Nevis Range there is a large snow field in Goose Gully which is complete to a bit below T4 of the Goose Tow, sadly the uptrack isn't though, so once off the Chairlift it's a hoof up to the top. The Back Corries are where most of the snow is though, but these are steep and only suitable for experts with suitable equipment and skills.
At both Glencoe and Nevis there will be no ski patrol and everything is un-patrolled / un-marked, so ski and ride with care!
If you can't make it up on Sunday, remember the Access Chairlift is open daily at Glencoe and it's still less than 10 minutes from the top to where the snow starts for ski tourers.
Lowther Hills Ski Club open day was attended by over 40 members and potential members on Sunday 31st May. Those in attendance were taken by mini-bus up the hill in groups to see the work done by club volunteers over the past 8 months since the club dismantled the former Harwood Rope Tow. Over the winter this was re-installed it on Lowther Hill, providing a 500m main lift.
It's hoped to install permanent wooden snow fencing on the hill this summer / autumn and install a proper wooden clubhouse on the slopes. Don't forget that everything the club does depends on volunteer effort, so if you want to get involved in a different aspect of snowsports any help is appreciated.
Nevis Range is open daily for lift served mountain biking through to early September. Check the Nevis Report page for daily updates and weather, plus news of event closures.
Glencoe's red and black tracks are both open daily wind permitting. There is a new section on the black track which bypasses the steepest and roughest section of the track, but it's still a very formidable challenge!
It's all eyes on Glencoe and Glenshee which will see this summers most visible and major developments with a new lift apiece, and the hardware is now on site in both instances. Glenshee is replacing the old Cairnwell Chairlift with the Tiger Triple Chair, which along with the Baddoch Chairlift will mean a four fold increase in uplift capacity from the carparks on the Cairnwell side of the mountain compared with 2010.
At Glencoe a new Tow will run from below the Plateau Cafe up the side of Old Mugs Alley to just above the top of the Plateau Poma. This will directly serve some of the easier terrain on the Plateau / lower mid-mountain, as well as allowing direct return from the cafe to the Plateau runs and should indirectly free up capacity on the Cliffhanger Chair and Wall T-bar by spreading the load over more uplift.
Also at Glencoe a new shower and toilet block for the hobbit houses is now in place and just awaiting the finishing touches. Landscaping around it is underway to create a new improved camping area and that is due to turfed in the next few days.
The Plateau Cafe is due to be extended with new toilet facilities and will be re-roofed over the summer. Around 2 km of new snow fencing are required for the new T-bar and another 2km of fencing are due to be upgraded.
Optimised for speedy access to the essential information from Scotland's five snowsports areas on even the slowest mobile connections our new Android app is the easiest way to keep tabs with what's happening on the move.
Our on mountain webcams update from around 3.30am at this time of year, with updates till around 10.30pm.
CAIRNGORM: All online. SSC AWS now back in service, we are looking to replace this with an upgraded weather station before next season as it's no longer possible to get replacements for the current station.
AVIEMORE: All 3 Aviemore cams online.
GLENCOE: All webcams online. New Mid Mountain AWS with fully screened temperature sensor now online.
NEVIS: Our mid Goose webcam is online.
For Sunday for the Summer Solstice a day of light winds, some bright or Sunny Spells and some showers, these wintry on the tops and the showers most frequent and heavier towards the East.
For Glencoe and Nevis it will be a bit hit or miss with the showers, as winds will be light and variable the showers will be fairly slow moving, but some places will stay more or less dry. We're expecting an early shower, giving way to a dry period with increased risk of showers later in the afternoon on the current forecast data. On the whole shouldn't be too bad a day given the light winds, midges don't appear to have really got going at height yet.
Cool conditions will make it pleasant for hiking up, but layer up as it will be a bit chilly when hanging around, Expecting around 3°c at Munro Level with the FL just above the highest summits. Don't forget the suncream just in case that yellow blob appears, even with cloud cover there will be potential for getting red with the still extensive snow fields greatly amplifying the effect!
Check the MWIS and Met Office Mountain forecasts for the latest detailed area mountain weather outlooks.
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