After many stormy days, the first day for holidaymakers on half term brought light winds and Sunshine to CairnGorm Mountain and that in turn brought out the crowds and them some!
Carparks were full before mid-morning and ticket sales were suspended on Sunday. Queues were huge, timed 26minutes on the Fiacaill Ridge Poma - never went near the M1 so can't comment on that! The Funicular was ready to go at dusk and should run Monday, with the Ciste Tow also running.
The Funicular running non stop to the top will shift 1200 an hour, uplift capacity to the Top Station on Monday will thus be almost 3 times what it was on Sunday. With many beginners in the snowsports school not using the lifts yet, the Funicular and Ciste Tow should make a big difference in spreading people out.
Patience may be a virtue and while it was rewarded with some epic runs mid-mountain on the White Lady and Coire Cas, a bit of invent-fulness gets a lot more riding! The Daylodge Poma had the smallest queue by some margin, it can shift a lot of people and the blue fenced run was a sweet cruise on machine packed powdery snow. To skiers left the Daylodge Glades were a blast with skier packed snow, while the more adventurous could pick ever varying lines between the top of the Daylodge Poma and the Shuttle Bus pick up in Coire na Ciste.
It's possible to go round either side of the An t-Aonach from the top of the Daylodge, the cover is better along the Aonach Ridge fenceline, but starting off from the Cas side at the corner of the Daylodge Poma opens up more lines.
CairnGorm plans to be open till 9pm either Tuesday or Wednesday - day will depend on forecast and could change, so keep an eye on reports.