pix from the slopes // cairngorm mountain
CairnGorm Mountain // Thursday 1st December 2005
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About to exit the White Lady towards M1 Poma.

Looking over the Sheiling area of the Carpark Runs. Best snow down here, more packed, and you could see it!

After bailing from a soggy East Lady, find the machines have been at work rebuilding the M2.

Carpark Runs, still full width between the fences, but a few rocks to beware of as the snow compacts.

Looking up beyond Mid Station from the Carpark Run.

The Traverse fences are burried. This sums up the visibility above mid the Gunbarrel on Thursday!

View through a fence gap from the Carpark Run.

Looking down the pisted Daylodge Poma Run.

The Corner of the Daylodge Poma.

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You know those day's, where you just know you should have been there yesterday, even before the first person you speak to says, 'should have been here yesterday'....

The low cloud hugging the 'Gorm gave the mountain that feel this morning, and the promising bright sunny spells over Strathspey really didn't manage to break through the lower than expected cloud base, meaning visibility remained poor throughout the day above about the top of the Gunbarrel, so not a great range of photos today.

With more packed snow the best conditions were found on the lower mountain, with best run of the day being the Carpark Run. Firmer snow here was giving nice turns, and though some thin bits are appearing low down on the Burnside option they were easily avoidable, and further up between the Carpark and Sheiling Tows the run remains full width.

Today was a day for doing the Traverse, 105 and Zig Zags which so far are holding up well, and Traverse is loaded, you can still pick a point and drop off! The M1 is getting narrow and starting to go, the Lady on the other hand is still white, but the snow was heavy and sticky. On the open off-piste areas, the options are becoming more limited, and with wet heavy snow and poor visibility, it was best avoided on Thursday.

A huge amount of effort with the Piste Bashers has been ongoing to move snow from heavily drifted sections to nearly bare scoured steeper parts of the M2 on Thursday, and once complete will give a pisted run from the top to the bottom via the Daylodge Poma, providing the weather doesn't do its worst overnight.

That is the key if your a planning a trip Friday or at the weekend, tonight is crunch time, if 70-80% of what's there holds till a freeze up, it really would give a promising early season base. However on the other hand we could be crying into our breakfast when we see the cams in the morning, and there is uncertainty as to how much precipitation will fall and what temps will be for the next 24hours, however ignore the +16°c at the Summit AWS we are fairly sure it's bust, it was +3°c at the Daylodge at 4pm.

Fingers crossed, what happens in the next 48hours or so will determine whether we have a hope of continuous sport through December, but remember more often than not much early snow is lost in December, anything that comes through as a base is a bonus.
Pix from the Slopes for the 2006 Season
CairnGorm Mountain



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