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pix from the slopes // cairngorm mountain
CairnGorm Mountain // Sunday 11th March 2012
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Helen putting in some turns on Coire Cas.

The weather we wanted yesterday afternoon!

Looking down Coire Cas.

Checking out the Real Estate in the Ciste Mhearaidh.

Ptarmigan thinking about spring!

High above Loch A'an, contouring round to the Tor patch.

Ptarmigan here, ptarmigan there, ptarmigan everywhere!

Ben Macdui from the back of CairnGorm, still some touring potential - with a fair bit of walking.

A Glenmore Lodge backcountry skiing course!

Looking up the snowfield below the Tor, sweet fast granular spring snow.

Ptarmigan Bowl, only uptrack complete hardly any on the run.

Least said about the Ciste Tow and Fairway the better.

Looking down the Traverse from M1 split.

Skins stayed in bag, walking up by disintegrating Cas uptrack.

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With temps warmer than many a summer day and still unrelenting hairdrier winds overnight the faintest hope that the Cas might turn today literally evaporated overnight. Abandoned shovels and sorry piles of dendix mats stacked forlornly by the Cas T-bar's vanishing uptrack, a depressing reminder of a battle lost.

Sunday did however deliver the kind of overhead so desperately wanted on Saturday afternoon for the Red Bull 50/50 race and if your free and happy to hike for some fun in the forecast spell of settled weather, the full length of the upper Cas is a rider cross course, with kickers, lots of rollers, berms and the more Scottish type obstacles of grass, heather and granite!

Further up there are only patches in the Top Basin and the Traverse has very little snow. There are more sizeable snow fields over the back, the patch below the Tor offering a potential 400ft vertical, or about 370 via the longer diagonal line. Here Helen notched up her turns for the 29th consecutive month on CairnGorm Mountain, but March should not have been like this.

There is deep snow in the Ciste Mhearaidh and loads of snow holes, but the upper bowl snow is no longer connected to the burn gully further down - preventing a longer continuous run.

There are in relative terms fairly extensive snowfields on Ben Macdui, but it does not look like the first half of March. Snow was good spring snow on the back, but with the rider cross course on the Cas, a much shorter hoof will get you some fun on the remaining snow. Be sure to do a snow dance when you come up, maybe they work better on snow.
Pix from the Slopes for the 2012 Season
CairnGorm Mountain


Nevis Range

The Lecht


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