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pix from the slopes // cairngorm mountain
CairnGorm Mountain // Thursday 1st September 2011
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Reindeer foraging in the reseeded vegetation around recent drainage works outside the Ptarmigan.

Helen stands above the last remaining snow patch in the Ciste Mhearaidh.

Helen completes a turn and manages to squeeze another one in after.

Just one more turn?

The have you brought me lunch look? Alas having carried my lunch up from the Daylodge I wasn't for sharing it.

Blades had an advantage through this section!

Time to say goodbye to the remnants of winter 2011, as a new autumn begins on the 'Gorm.

Six turns were possible with blades from the top of the patch.

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At just 16m this is probably the smallest piste either of us have ridden. Never the less, it was snow, in the Ciste Mhearaidh and the date was 1st September. That meant we would achieve the 23rd consecutive month of sliding on CairnGorm Mountain where linked turns were possible.

The upper section was split down the middle by protruding rocks, which could be slalomed on blades allowing a maximum of six turns. Two linked turns were possible on skis on the lower portion, 3 if you count part on grass maneuvers round the higher rocks.

After the August trek to the snow it was expected that September turns would have to be earned on fresh snow if at all, but thanks to an unusually cold last week of August just enough old snow clung on into September. Snow fell on and lay in blizzards on the very highest parts of the Plateau late 28th into the 29th of August, remaining drifts still visible on Ben Macdui on 1st September. Loch Glascarnoch recorded the mainland UK's coolest recorded low level August daytime maximum at a chilly 8°c on Monday 29th August 2011.

A weather eye will be kept through the month and if meaningful September snow does fall, then a trip to boost the September turn count and bag our first turns of winter 2012 will be in order.

Meteorological autumn is here, now the count down to winter can really begin.

Pix from the Slopes for the 2012 Season
CairnGorm Mountain


Nevis Range

The Lecht


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