pix from the slopes // cairngorm mountain
CairnGorm Mountain // Tuesday 11th February 2014
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Bright and Sunny one minute, then another snow shower. All routes to Daylodge excellent.

Boarders drop off the pisted track to the windblown powder down into Jean's Bowl.

Looking out over the Zig Zags and Cas Gunbarrel to the M1 and White Lady - piste basher digging out the Cas T-bar.

Looking up Chicken Gully - not exactly any evidence of a gully though today.

Redundant for now, the all new TF10 snow gun stands over the bottom leg of the Zig Zags.

Looking down the Sheiling area of the lower slopes. Sheiling Gully had some lovely snow under the Funicular.

Looking up the Coire Cas Gunbarrel from which snow is being removed to give better clearance under the T-bar towers!

View up the White Lady from just below the mid-station, that pile of snow came from the M1 and lower SideTrack.

Home Road blocked! Need to go round top of the mid-station and Sheiling Cafe (needed for half term).

So the White Lady was worth the hike then! Sheiling Gully is loaded, so when the M1 next opens, carry on over the Home Road.

Laogh Mor Return fences are complete. Don't attempt if East Wall closed - potential avalanche risk.

Fiacaill Ridge had some nice snow, but constant ground drifting made it trick to spot the best stuff on the ridge.

What are these poles for? You can drop of the FRP into Sneachda, follow the Allt Sneachda for a bit and traverse out to FRP - but very wind affected in places.

Skiable to the Ciste Carpark via the Aonach Ridge, likely very variable surface conditions though (and beyond patrolled area).

It's been over 3 weeks since anyone skied this off the lifts! The Gully is loaded and there is a huge depth on the West Wall.

Big drift in the Ciste Gully. Complete to diagonal fences at top of the lower narrows, skiers could probably combat ski to Carpark this way.

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After more snow and stormy winds overnight into the morning, the wind dropped markedly as the main frontal snow cleared from the mountain. Thus the Glenmore Gates opened at lunchtime and people descended on the 'Gorm to play on the fresh snow on the lower mountain.

Fairly sheltered on the Carpark Runs, but the wind blowing over the Fiacaill Ridge meant constant ground drifting - moving windblown fresh onto the Sideslope and down towards Jean's Bowl between the FRP and the Sheiling Tow.

Uplift was limited to just the Fiacaill Ridge Poma, Carpark T-bar and Sheiling Trainer Tow. The West wind ripping across the Windy Ridge kept the Daylodge Poma off and the Piste Bashers were working through the afternoon to dig out the Cas uptrack to give enough clearance under the towers.

It's possible to do a circuit into Coire an t-Sneachda from and return to the Fiacaill Ridge Poma, but the traverse out is very flat and only works with the wind behind you due to where the snow is lying. Some nice windpacked powder in the Allt Sneachda but the more exposed Western aspects were very wind affected on Tuesday. Remember this is beyond the Snowsports Area and Patrol Boundary.

Looking ahead with half term looming, more places with a long weekend off Friday and Saturday is the start of the busiest half term week this year. At present it's skiable to the Ciste Carpark via the Aonach Ridge, an option for a longer off-piste run if Shuttle Buses running.

Still fairly wild Wednesday and Thursday, but on Tuesday evening the forecast for Friday is light winds and sunny spells under part cloudy skies. Could be an epic one!
Pix from the Slopes for the 2014 Season
CairnGorm Mountain


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