pix from the slopes // cairngorm mountain
CairnGorm Mountain // Wednesday 18th February 2009
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Spring snow bumps forming on the White Lady.

Looking down the still wide Lady. Fantastic Spring Snow on Wed.

Fiacaill Buttress from the White Lady, just by the Funicular Tunnel.

Heading down the Ciste Gully, pick of the day and very few using it, great spring snow.

Ciste Bowl is wide and largely empty, everyone was using the Fairway side, but the Bowl was the best early intermediate run Wed.

Looking back onto the Lower Slopes from the M1 Poma. Carpark Runs complete, but narrow.

Rays of sun hit the Gunbarrel, wide and fairly flat. Chicken Gully also complete.

Skiers heading the the Gunbarrel on the Coire Cas T-bar.

Looking back to the Zig Zags from the edge of the Gunbarrel, all four legs still in good shape.

Coire Na Ciste from the Ciste Carpark. Ciste Gully offering great spring snow for experts.

Busy Ciste Carpark, but shorter queues than earlier in the week, except Top Basin very busy.

Skier on the Skirt of the White Lady. Better snow down this line due it seeing more use.

Wide and fairly flat, a relatively tame Gunbarrel.

Still buried fences at the top of the M1/Traverse.

Looking down the M1 RaceTrack which is complete but a few bare patches to dodge, best to exit via Horizon Road to the Cas.

Disability Snowsports UK with a sit-ski. Support DSUK by joining the White Lady Challenge on Mon 23rd Feb.

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Report
A dry bright day with some sunny spells and virtually no wind on CairnGorm Mountain made for a great day riding the much improved surface conditions.

When thaws persist, but the weather is dry and mild, rather counter-intuitive as it might be, the point often comes when the snow quality starts to improve, which is just what happened for Wed with excellent granular spring snow on most of the open Runs. The White Lady, Ciste Gully (inc Ciste Bowl) and Fiacaill Traverse were the picks of the day, fun spring snow bumps building on the White Lady.

All Cas side mid mountain runs are complete with a mostly good cover, though the M1 has a few narrow bits lower down, best route is cut skiers left through the fences back to the Gunbarrel. Lower 105 parallel to the Gunbarrel had fantastic spring snow corduroy with no-one using it, unlike the busy Gunbarrel. The Zig Zags are in good shape the whole way down all four legs for an easier and longer Gunbarrel avoidence route.

The lower slopes are thin and narrow, but the Carpark Runs and Fiacaill Ridge are still complete for returning to the Daylodge level. The M2 is narrow in places, but provides a reasonable run to the WWP via Overyonder. It is just possible for experts to negotiate the Daylodge Run, but it is broken and requires use of the up-track and very tight turns.

Over into Coire Na Ciste itself, the Ciste Gully was in great form today with excellent loose and fast granular spring snow. You do need to find a good line back across the West Wall and a lot of people were not going back because of the traverse out, but there are decent and fun lines to be found back to the Poma.

Top Basin runs all still in good shape, snow was firming up and getting crunchy later in the day as temps started to drop. No further snow loss during Wed and a few flurries were beginning to fall as night fell. Snow will firm up at all levels for Thurs, firm but grippy where well used spring snow on Wed, boilerplate in areas where the snow was wet.

Photos by Winterhighland. Please send yours to pix2009@winterhighland.info .
Pix from the Slopes for the 2009 Season
CairnGorm Mountain

Yad Moss

Glenshee

Southern Cairngorms

Nevis Range

The Lecht

Glencoe

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