pix from the slopes // cairngorm mountain
CairnGorm Mountain // Wednesday 15th February 2017
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If there was a Chairlift... Ciste Gully filled to well below the chairlift mid-station thanks to the SE winds blasting snow down the Gully.

Middle of Cas has been scoured to really leave just the tow track. M1 RaceTrack cut left into Gunbarrel best route to mid-station.

White Lady has reasonable cover but the approach under the Funicular is gritty, better once on Lady proper.

The use of rail fencing on the M2 has been transformational and this is the best run on the mountain.

Cover fairly narrow by Ptarmigan Bowl standards. Lower Fairway patched up to allow Ciste Tow to run, but very narrow.

Top two Zig Zags are holding up for those wanting to avoid the steeper part of the Cas Gunbarrel.

The M2 / Daylodge route is well pisted providing the only officially open route to the Daylodge.

Mid Coire Cas is narrow, not much more than the T-bar uptrack.

White Lady thin and gritty coming in from the Funicular side, improves after this.

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Being on the North side of the Cairngorms with a light Southerly wind, the early mist burnt off to give a glorious afternoon weatherise on CairnGorm. The snow which was firm to icy first thing, loosened up and once it did the 2.5km run from the Top Station to the Daylodge via the M2/Daylodge route was the definite pick of the day.

Elsewhere there is some reasonable if limited sport to be had, but nearly all the open runs have very thin and/or narrow areas that require care. The normally green route from the Top Station to the middle via the Traverse, Cas and Zig Zags is really on suitable for more confident intermediates due to the narrow cover. Coire Cas is really only the T-bar uptrack through the middle section of the run.

Up in the Top Basin the Ptarmigan Traverse has good cover that is wider than the patched up route through the Bowl and there has been a lot of ski school classes competing over the limited extent of cover in the Ptarmigan Bowl! The machines pushed a lot of snow around to get a skiable route to the bottom of the Ciste T-bar, but the Fairway is barely a piste basher wide in places.

There isn't that much snow on CairnGorm, but a good portion of what there is, is in the Ciste Gully which is fully complete to well below the old boardwalk but currently beyond the reach of the available uplift. With the West Wall Chair this would be the best red run available in Scotland, it not by Friday the only one.

Thanks to Graeme (WindyMiller) and George Paton for Wednesday's photos from CairnGorm.
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