pix from the slopes // cairngorm mountain
CairnGorm Mountain // Saturday 13th December 2014
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View down the lower half of the White Lady, drifted snow - good on wider skis, naff on narrow piste carvers.

Deep drifts by the Elephant Fence on the White Lady. Fenceline higher up then by the burn best. Access tricky though.

Wide cover in the Ptarmigan Bowl. Top Basin should open when weather eases.

Heavy drifting across the Ciste Fairway which is fence to fence. Machines were working in the Top Basin all day trying to pack snow down.

Cas Gunbarrel was pretty good for first day of the season, though banked out to the T-bar side.

Upper Cas had really lovely snow for easing into the new season, machine packed new snow on the run.

Wind picking up steadily late in the afternoon, getting down the Traverse was difficult late in the day.

Cas Boulderfield has accumulated very deep windpacked powdery snow, great early season turns.

Carpark Towtrack was the best option down the Sheiling Tow portion of the Carpark Run.

Wide cover on the Cas Boulderfield.

Looking down Coire Cas, the T-bar is now ready to go.

Can ski to the door of the Base Station either via the Home Road or Burnside and cross the top Daylodge bridge.

Extensive snow fields on the Aonach Ridge above the Ciste Carpark, didn't explore the M2 so don't know if there's a complete route.

Ciste Gully starting to fill in but could do with some S-SE storms to really fill the burn line in.

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Though it was just the Funicular for uplift on the opening Saturday of the 2015 season on CairnGorm, no real queues and it was straight onto the next train up.

It makes a huge difference to uplift capacity when the Funicular is running non-stop, so being able to ride top to Daylodge was a great bonus on day 1 of the season. Rather unusually the Home Road was still the best of the lower slopes at the end of the day, while the Carpark uptrack then across onto Burnside was the best way down the Carpark Runs.

Mostly reasonable cover for day 1 except a few thin bits at the top of the Traverse, but these should continue to improve with further snow and drifting.

The Traverse, Mid-Cas and Zig Zags and the Cas Gunbarrel were the pisted route from the top to mid-station, but Chicken Gully was a fun option and the White Lady was seeing some traffic. Once onto the run proper the Lady was decent fun if you had reasonably wide skis and the visibility was OK, but getting onto it was tricky - which meant most people stuck to the Cas area.

All in all a pretty decent opening day, surface conditions were very conducive to easing into the new season. The Cas Tow is ready to go, the Top Basin should be open once the weather eases again and looking around the M1 Poma, Carpark T-bar and Fiacaill Ridge Poma are all just about there, so hopefully more terrain and uplift soon.

We hope to get the Cas and Ptarmigan Tow Webcams back online during the week if the weather permits. The Ptarmigan webcam is dead and hardware needs replaced unfortunately.
Pix from the Slopes for the 2015 Season

CairnGorm Mountain

Nevis Range

Lowther Hill

The Lecht


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