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pix from the slopes // cairngorm mountain
CairnGorm Mountain // Friday 20th January 2012
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Wind packed fresh on the Fiacaill.

Second leg of Zig Zags passable again.

Putting in some turns in the lower Gunbarrel, much improved by the snow cannon.

Classic Scottish combat riding on the Carpark Run.

Wide box in the Cas mini-park.

Hitting the first box in Coire Cas.

Machine packed powder /hero snow on the groomers.

Coire Cas greatly freshened up with the windblown new snow.

Levitating snow boarder? Plus wide rail on the Cas.

Boarders on the Ciste Fairway.

Fresh corduroy turns on the Fairway behind the winchcat.

Selection of wide new rails outside the Ptarmigan.

Skiers on the 105, machine packed fresh with some windblown loose on top.

Rails in the Ptarmigan Terrain Park.

Looking wintry again from the top of the Ptarmigan Tow.

Improved cover in the Ptarmigan Bowl, great for learners on Friday afternoon.

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The accumulated radar returns indicate between 4 and 6 inches of level fresh snow has fallen on CairnGorm Mountain, the car park providing support for this.

However it was not particularly level further up the mountain where significant drifting has put down a deeper and transformational layer of windblown fresh on the open terrain which though still fairly limited in extent was offering fantastic surface conditions and sweet riding on Friday.

Winds eased back at lunchtime Friday and the weather approaching from the West held off till dusk, giving fairly overcast but quite bright overhead with good visibility in which to enjoy the fresh snow.

Machine packed powder in the Top Basin where groomed, nice layer of loose fresh blown into the 105 and some windpacked new snow further left into the Cas Boulderfield. No real change in the terrain on offer yet, but the 2nd leg of the Zig Zags is passable again with care, and from it down the lower Gunbarrel is pleasant enough skiing now thanks to the efforts of the snow cannon earlier in the week.

Unfortunately the wind direction has done nothing for the top section of the Traverse, so a walk is still required for the first bit from the Top Station, but well worth it on Friday.

There are 2 boxes, 1 wide rail, 1 narrow rail and a kicker on Coire Cas, while up in the Ptarmigan Park there are 2 narrow rails.

Adventure skiing to the Daylodge was possible on Friday afternoon on largely baseless and unconsolidated snow on the Carpark Runs via Burnside. How it shapes up after the snap thaw/freeze overnight remains to be seen.

Very high winds forecast for the weekend, be sure to check out the latest in the morning to avoid a wasted trip. If CairnGorm can't open the Lecht plans to offer a good selection of main lifts including the Harrier and Falcon for more advanced skiers and riders.

Pix from the Slopes for the 2012 Season
CairnGorm Mountain


Nevis Range

The Lecht


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