pix from the slopes // glencoe
Glencoe // Thursday 16th February 2023
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Still good sledging at the Plateau Cafe.

The Haggis Trap has a bit more kick to the exit than it looks from above!

Ski Tow Gully, getting quite narrow at Tower 2 and the very top of the track is getting thin. Fingers crossed it survives tonight.

Lower Happy Valley below from the Haggis Trap escape route level. This could well break up overnight.

The Upper Main Basin has decent width and several metres of snow in places!

The Haggis Trap is likely to be obligatory by the weekend with only the Main Basin still complete.

Top of Happy Valley in decent enough condition. Best to start on Happy Valley then cut back to Main Basin.

Standing guard of the new bird table, while three other robins squabble below. Meanwhile chaffinch flies in and takes a beakful of mealworms!

Sledge Park is full length and was pretty fast on Thursday.

Still fun sledging thanks to the Snow Factory.

The Canyon shows up the reality of the mid mountain. There is no complete route back down. From the Spring Run or Mugs Alley via Old Mugs Alley is the best option but requires some walking.

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There was a spell where most of the mountain was between the inversion layer below and cloud above, giving a reasonable spell of overhead on the hill. Unfortunately by afternoon as the inversion layer cleared, the cloud came down along with the sleety cold rain and it was a decidedly dreich end to the day.

It will unfortunately be a lot more than merely dreich overnight! A strong and deepening Atlantic storm will move through giving Storm Force winds, expected to peak at Hurricane Force on the higher mountains. Unfortunately this will be accompanied by a Munro Level temperature peaking overnight at 5 or 6°c and for the West between 8 and 12 hours of heavy and persistent rain.

There is no chance of uplift at opening time on Friday though speeds will moderate quite abruptly in the West during the morning, the gusty Westerly wind forecast could well cause issues for the Cliffhanger further into the afternoon.

Wind speeds are forecast to be more favourable for the weekend, but the remaining snow will get a battering tonight and Happy Valley would need a miracle to still be able to provide a viable alternative route to the Haggis Trap. Only the Main Basin is likely to still be complete by the weekend, with an obligatory trip through the Haggis Trap looking quite possible. For the weekend heading out to Happy Valley then cutting back into the Main Basin at the first opportunity will likely give the best route from the top of the upper T-bar.

However, there is no guarantee the uptrack will survive to the weekend, will have to see what state the mountain is in once the worst of Storm Otto departs during Friday morning.
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