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pix from the slopes // cairngorm mountain
CairnGorm Mountain // Saturday 6th December 2008
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Looking up from the Base Station by the old chairlift swing.

Looking out over the snow covered lower hills from outside the Cas Bar.

Moonlight skiing? Looking up the top of the M1 Poma Uptrack to the Ptarmigan Restaurant.

Loch Morlich from near the top of the White Lady. Good unpisted snow, but no base away from the fences.

Heading out from the Top Station as dusk approaches.

Looking down the 105 from the upper link on to Coire Cas. 105 pisted machine packed fresh snow, Upper Cas skier packed snow.

Sheiling portion of the Carpark Run. Thin and baseless, but now fairly packed snow so easier to spot rocks.

The upper half of the Gunbarrel has filled quite well in Thursday's Southerly, but the bottom half has not. Exit right onto the 105 to drop into the M1 or use Cas Up-track to reach middle.

Looking up Coire Cas. The Cas is complete but narrow, stay on the uptrack or in the bed of the main snowfield as off this base you will find rocks.

Looking down Coire Cas from the same point, very nice skier packed new snow on a wind packed base in the bed of Coire Cas.

Looking out over the Cas from the edge of the 105 mid-afternoon.

Long exposure captures a hazy moonlight 'Gorm on the last run of the day after a spectacular sunset at the Ptarmigan.

Boarders heading out from the Top Station to gear up for the home run as the twilight fades quickly from the spectacular dusk views.

The dusk light reflects of the Top Station as the funicular unloads another horde of sliders at the top.

Looking out from by the Top Station over the Ciste Fairway to Meall a' Bhuachaille.

By early afternoon the shadows are stretching across the 'Gorm as we head towards the winter solstice and the shortest day.

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CairnGorm re-opened on Saturday 6th December much as it closed a month ago (though much has happened weather wise since!) with a simply beautiful day to be in the mountains.

A day with no wind, a general snow cover after good accumulations in next to no wind on Thursday night and Friday and a spectacular dusk snow covered vista from the Ptarmigan for the final few runs of the day.

Sunday should start fine, but weather is coming in from the West so to get the best of Sunday be on the mountain from the off as the wind is forecast to pick up.

The main pisted run was the Traverse, 105, Zig Zags and the Home Road, though as the snow got packed down with use the Carpark Run/Burnside became the better option back to Daylodge level. The Cas had sweet skier packed snow in the main bed of the run, this on top of a wind packed base from Thursday. The Gunbarrel is open and deceptively good for the first half given there wasn't much snow around to drift in, which is why the easy turns suddenly end in a rock slalom with a burn waiting for those who don't make the turn!

Above that point find a line out of the Gunbarrel onto the lower 105 to get to the M1 Poma or follow down the Tow Track of the Cas, below the Zig/Zag M1 link the track is pisted.

For advanced riders the M1, M1 SideTrack, White Lady and East Lady were all seeing action with unpisted fresh snow. The Lady has something of a base in the burn gully on the upper half, then by the fences further down.

All approaches to the mid-station area are thin and require caution due to the baseless early season conditions. That said the surface conditions were good, the weather perfect and as the nights continue to draw in for another couple of weeks spectacular twilight vistas to end the day. Uplift was provided by the Funicular (direct bottom to top) and the M1 Poma (when it felt like it!) and there was no problem skiing over the bridge to the door of the Base Station.
Pix from the Slopes for the 2009 Season
CairnGorm Mountain

Yad Moss

Glenshee

Southern Cairngorms

Nevis Range

The Lecht

Glencoe

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