pix from the slopes // cairngorm mountain
CairnGorm Mountain // Sunday 20th January 2013
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Cross slope temporary fences have been catching drifting snow with a hope of pushing it onto the tow track.

Temporary fencing hoping to take advantage of the snow blowing from the SE quadrant in Monday's storm.

T40s back in action on the Shieling. Snow has stuck at the top, and at the bottom in the burn course and diagonal fences.

Going up the M1 Poma late in the afternoon, air thick with blowing snow as the wind picked up.

White Lady the standout of the day, catching windblown fresh all day.

So far 2013 has been the season of the White Lady, you can go either side of the elephant fence.

Cas Gunbarrel is in good shape, nice loose windblown snow and much wider than the Upper Cas!

Coire Carnage in the middle of the Cas, it's actually ice not bare ground and was covered when pisted, but scoured clear later.

Looking down the Carpark Run from the Cas gantry, thin with icy patches further down the Sheiling, but then improves again.

Top of Coire Cas is quite narrow but much better than the middle third.

Looking over the Gunbarrel from M1 Poma, link from Zig Zags decent again.

Into the sanity of the Gunbarrel having survived the Upper Cas...

Fine light snow getting everywhere, inside the Top Station entrance hall.

Top Basin closed, wind seemed to be down the line of the Ptarmigan Tow - might have eased the mayhem on Coire Cas!

Quite simply baltic on CairnGorm today!

Traverse was pisted flat and wide, but by late afternoon it was banked out from the drifting snow.

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It was a much windier day than expected and quite simply baltic day on CairnGorm with the wind Force 10 most of the day at the Summit restricting uplift to the Cas side for the bulk of the day.

With widespread snow and blanket media coverage, it was inevitably going to be busy and it was, the Ciste Carpark looking about 2/3rds full, if there was a saving grace it was the Funicular running bottom to top as it is possible to ski to the Daylodge.

It was a mountain of two halves, Coire Cas and Coire na Ciste, where those with touring gear or willing to hike either up Overyonder or out to the Shuttle Bus enjoyed fresh tracks in windblown and windpacked powder in a Ciste Gully that is absolutely loaded with a wide and deep base - it is undoubtedly the run in Scotland at the moment, alas without the Ciste Chairlifts, no uplift to currently serve it. (Check with patrol if no uplift, avalanche risk could be substantial with 2 snowy and windy days coming up).

Off the lifts in Coire Cas the White Lady is in good form, there is an excellent base and it was catching a constant top up from the windblown snow. The M1 RaceTrack is open again and was pretty decent riding, but don't blast down it the first time as there are a few thinner areas still and it's best to exit via Horizon Road (downslope of fences was best on Sunday afternoon).

Coire Cas is complete (just), but the wide and inviting looking Gunbarrel from the bottom hides a more sinister side on the middle third of the run, which is very narrow, wind scoured with a mix of windblown loose snow and near glacial ice in places. Given the Funicular, M1 Poma and Cas Tow were all spitting large numbers of people into this space, it was a bit of a mayhem zone, made worse because the wind has scoured the 105 which was roped off.

With more snow to come and quieter mid-week days the Cas will be fine, but there were a few frayed nerves today on it no doubt!

Hopefully by Wednesday when the weather looks very promising, today's report will be historical info for the better. Snow sticking to the 105 and Upper Cas and above all the West Wall Poma uptrack are top of the wish list.
Pix from the Slopes for the 2013 Season
CairnGorm Mountain


Yad Moss


Nevis Range

The Lecht

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