pix from the slopes // cairngorm mountain
CairnGorm Mountain // Saturday 9th November 2013
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Combat ski on the Carpark Run...

...possible (just) to get to the Burnside Corner if you go carefully on kit you don't care about too much!

Bottom Zig Zag is thin and gritty - passable with care, but Funicular not middle stopping as not quite enough snow to open it.

Upper Cas was the secret stash, with some lovely snow particularly in the boulderfield area - watch for sharks!

Photographing the drifts on the Traverse.

Heading down the Traverse into Coire Cas, but walking is required to get back to Funicular and it's not patrolled.

Telemarking on the Ptarmigan Traverse. Lovely machine packed powder surfaces on top groomers, but no base.

Obligatory top of the Ptarmigan Tow photos, good width of cover but not much depth yet.

H11lly enjoying some of the best snow in the Cas Boulderfield.

The M2 snow fencing is working then, if tempted to go down this and walk the path back to the Carpark - it's reportedly pretty icy.

Ciste Fairway nice easy early season turns to get back into the swing of things.

Top of the Ciste Fairway looking to the Top Station.

Unpisted fresh in the Ciste Bowl, nice riding but watch for rocks. Got tracked up then a bit skier packed later.

This should really have been at the top of the pile - excitement builds heading up for the first fix of the season!

Ptarmigan Restaurant has it's winter coat on.

Looking up the Ptarmigan Traverse from top of the Ciste Fairway.

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A fine bright morning with plenty of late autumn Sunshine and light winds to kick off the 2014 Season on CairnGorm Mountain on Saturday. Cloud drifted in later bringing light snow flurries, these will continue overnight but as the light wind swings away from the North during the morning, brighter overhead is expected to return.

With a very unsettled stormy week ahead with wildly fluctuating temperatures, if you want to be sure of an early season slide soon - get up on Sunday if you can. Winds will be light and the surface conditions are nice and easy going for the first turns of the season.

Obviously it's early season conditions with no real base, so not one for charging around on brand new toys - though I risked a couple of runs on new planks to try them out with no damage.

The Ciste Tow was open from the off, it did start to get pretty busy late morning, but queues were pretty small to even non existent later when the Ptarmigan Tow came on.

Fairway, Ptarmigan Traverse and Bowl are pisted, while the Ciste Bowl is unpisted (and unmarked). While the top is the only officially open terrain, mid mountain was seeing a fair bit of action, but as there isn't quite enough snow on the Zig Zags to sustain the numbers that would ride the Cas side if the Funicular was mid-stopping, some walking back to the Base Station is required.

The Traverse, 105 and Zig Zags are pisted, but the unpisted Upper Cas, esp the Boulderfield side of the uptrack had beautiful snow on Saturday, esp on top of the large drifts by the new fences.

All in all a cracking start to the season for early November, come up and play Sunday if you can. First train up 10am.
Pix from the Slopes for the 2014 Season
CairnGorm Mountain


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