pix from the slopes // cairngorm mountain
CairnGorm Mountain // Sunday 9th March 2008
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Drifts at the Traverse/M1 Split.

Fiacaill Buttress and Lochan cliffs from the Traverse.

Ski school class in the Ciste Bowl which is loaded - fantastic skiing.

Hearding cats! An attempt to organise the Ptarmigan Queue, take note! :)

Buried snow fences at the top of the Ptarmigan. All Top Basin Runs are in fantastic condition, esp taking the direct line of the Ptarmigan down into the Ciste Bowl.

Unfortunately the Ciste Gully base falls apart 2/3rds of the way down. West Wall has a good base, and check the drifts by the poma.

Coire Cas was providing good riding for early intermediates and above with machine packed fresh.

Looking down the Ciste Bowl which had a wide cover of beatifully pisted machine packed powder.

Boarder heads down the Traverse into Coire Cas.

New tracks on the Fiacaill Run (Access by Fiacaill Traverse). Provides a longer run off the Cas, cross Fiacaill tow track just below the top to get to skiers left of the tow for the best cover.

The top two legs of the Zig Zags are in good shape. Link to Cas OK, but a bit narrow, stick to lower fence line.

Ciste Fairway from the top of the t-bar as a snow shower closes in.

Ciste Fairway is well loaded with fresh snow.

Piste Basher heading down the 105.

Weather starting to close in late in the afternoon on Coire Cas.

Panorama of Coire Cas from the lower Cas car park. M1 and White Lady filling.

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Brighter earlier in the day, with more snow showers coming in later in the afternoon on Sunday. Weather really looked to be closing in late afternoon, then cleared again about lift closing time!

Despite a airly limited area in terms of open terrain the open runs are offering good sport, with the Top Basin in fantastic condition. The Ciste Bowl is in superb condition, in the last couple of seasons it's been the Fairway side that has caught most snow, but with a good base put down in the storms from a Southerly Quarter in January, the upper Ciste Gully has continued to load up since. Unfortunately there hasn't been wind (with snow) from the right direction to fix the bottom of the Ciste Gully.

The upper 2/3rds of the Ciste Gully and the West Wall have a good base, it wouldn't thus take a huge amount of snow to blow down from the top on winds with a Southerly component to transport snow down to where it's needed. There are photos of the West Wall in the Public Reports.

Away from the Top, the Traverse is complete down onto the Cas and both the Cas and 105 were offering decent riding on pisted fresh snow, giving way to granular snow in the bottom 1/3rd of the Gunbarrel where people filtering in from the Zig Zags was giving much more concentrated traffic.

The M1 and Lady were filling in, and there were some good drifts along the fences on the Lady which were seeing some action. The M1 caught enough during the day to be skiable with care later on, but the cover is thin and rocks were showing, exit via the link to the 105 (was thin, so go slow!)

Good skiers and boarders can return to the Daylodge via the Fiacaill Ridge, but this requires use of the poma uptrack so should only be attempted by those comfortable linking turns in confined spaces and/or side slipping. Take the Fiacaill Traverse from the head of the Cas Tow, cross over the Fiacaill T-bar track near the top to get to skiers left of the old t-bar, then follow the obvious cat track across the Fiacaill Cross-over out onto the ridge then stick by the Poma.

Photos by Winterhighland with additional pics from H11lly. Please send your photos to pix2008@winterhighland.info and help keep pix from the slopes current.
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