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pix from the slopes // cairngorm mountain
CairnGorm Mountain // Thursday 17th March 2005
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The Traverse still has near a fence depth of snow, but these were burried.

TOp of the Traverse and M1 Poma.

The top of the Cas still retains a pretty wide cover, though it is continuing to narrow.

Upper leg of the Zig Zags.

View to Madcui across the Plateau.

Summit AWS hut.

Rails in the Ptarmigan Bowl.

View over the rim of the Northern Corries and Plateau.

Fenced traverse from top of Ptarmigan Tow.

Mid M2, lost 3-4feet of snow in 2days....

View up Marquis Well Gully area.

Top Section of the M2, almost a fence depth wiped out.

M1 Race Track, still good cover higher up, running into problems where the track doubles lower down.

Traverse and Upper Coire Cas.

Carpark runs on their way out, still do-able Thurs, but becoming more broken in continuing thaw.

Lower M2, routes through Aonach Bowl and OverYonder hanging on , but narrow and getting narrower.

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It is almost difficult to beleive that these photos were taken the same month, let alone same week as those last Sunday, yet what was still a complete cover on Tuesday morning was obliterated in little over 36hours in one of the most savage thaws in years.

Over 3 to 4 feet depth of level snow has been lost, a fence depth gone from the M2 (which is complete) and Daylodge (which has been wiped out lower down).

We are paying a high price for the sustained excellent period, because there was not a great deal of drifting from the open slopes into the main fenced runs and even more importantly the natural snow fields and gullies. Simiarly there has not been much in the way of freeze/thaw cycling during the period, and a wide overall cover of fairly unconsolidated snow pack stood no change against torrential rain, 100mph+ SW winds and temperatures of +8°c.

The Top Basin Runs, the Traverse, and Upper Cas retain a good width and depth at this stage, but a rapid thaw is ongoing and set to continue through the forecast period. The M1 is broken at the merger with the 105, and the Gunbarrel is disintegrating, though upper Zig Zags remain good. However Cas Tow is not going to hold out unless the Zig Zags snow is sacraficed, so loading from the top of the Gunbarrel looks likely sooner or later.

The Lady and East Lady have been obliterated, however for good skiers and boarders, the M2, Aonach Bowl and OverYonder were complete but are getting increasingly narrow, hopefully they will hang on for the weekend.

Thanks to Helen Rennie for most of today's pictures, and some additional ones from 'SkiBeard'.
Pix from the Slopes for the 2005 Season
CairnGorm Mountain

Kirkwood

The Lecht

Yad Moss

Glencoe

Nevis Range

Glenshee

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