12th May 2012 will be remembered as CairnGorm Mountain's aMAYzing Saturday after over a foot of fresh over the preceding 48hours gave way to blue skies on Saturday morning.
If your liking the look of the pix and thinking Sunday here we come - sadly the forecast is for triple digit gust speeds on the 13th. Please check the latest info in the morning.
Above 2800 to 3000ft depending on aspect the mountain has blanket cover. Top Basin has ride anywhere cover, possible to ski the groomer on the Ptarmigan Ridge, cross the Bowl, Fairway and onto the White Lady by Lady Luck or the East Lady. Top queues were generally heavier than mid-mountain, the M1 queue was pretty short and moving very swiftly once the Cas opened.
Mid Mountain the Cas side runs are in great nick for most of their length, but cover does thin out approaching the mid-station level and the approaches to the M1 Poma were pretty worn by the end of the day with no base around the foot of the Poma. But it was still ski onto the Poma unlike just 48hours before.
Inevitably with the strength of the Sun the snowpack progressively softened up pm, but continued to ski nicely were pisted or heavily skier packed, but lightly tracked snow became hardwork and untouched fresh snow became very sticky and slow. White Lady, M1 and Fiacaill having been pisted and well used were riding nicely through the afternoon mid mountain. Snow stayed fresher up top.
Those willing to hike were rewarded with fresh tracks later into the day on the Ciste side. Check with patrol before going beyond the officially opened terrain. SAIS report considerable avalanche risk on all aspects at higher elevations.
A combat ski to near the Daylodge bridge rounded of a remarkable day of mid May freshies.