pix from the slopes // cairngorm mountain
CairnGorm Mountain // Tuesday 31st December 2013
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Skier at the Funicular Underpass on upper White Lady. Lots of snow accumulating by tunnel.

Top Station getting a blasting on Hogmanay.

Morning exercise to get at the webcams in the SSC Hut.

Though narrower, skiers right of central fence best option through the Sheiling area - better depth.

False dawn - glimpse of brightness just before the weather really let rip!

Outside the Top Station looking over the top of the M1 Poma and the Traverse.

Bottom of the Carpark Runs. New fenced line is the best option.

Brightening up again later in the day, snow still blowing.

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Hogmanay started fairly promisingly, windy but not extreme and the lower and mid-mountain Cas lifts open. Snow was setting in and looked like freshening things up.

Indeed just after 9.30 it looked like it was brightening up, but that was just to lull everyone into a false sense of security. In the SSC Hut trying to get the Webcams back online, the building shook! The anemometer in the lee of the Hut in the SE wind registered 48mph and the temperature was rising!

The weather situation quickly turned plain ugly with the wind ripping through Coire Cas off the tops in some fairly ferocious downslope gusts, with heavy driving rain on the lower slopes. It was at least falling as snow higher up. One by one the bigger gusts took off the operating tows leaving just the Funicular for uplift for the remainder of the day.

The Summit temperature peaked just below freezing at 10am, before coming down again with the snow level gradually lowering. By the end of the day the snow was drier above mid-station and the area around the middle had been freshened up slightly.

Snow showers are expected overnight and the latest forecasts at time of writing paint a fairly promising picture for New Year's Day with bright or sunny spells developing and much lighter winds than Hogmanay.

Photos by Alan and Graeme (WindyMiller).
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