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.