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1st Sep 2019
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 15.52hrs on Mon 5 Mar 18
Additional information to above report.
Someone just asked about the visibility and snow accumulation at the top and why cant the coronation wall be assessed.

Here are a couple of pictures to show what is going on.


Using Les as a measuring stick against the information board. Quite and accumulation.

Nancy standing at the top of the drift outside the top station. 1.5-2m of snow outside the building.

Cant even see the M1 unload from the top station.

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 15.58hrs Mon 5 Mar 18 by WindyMiller.

Attachments: Top Station.JPG (151kB)   les.JPG (156kB)   Nancy.JPG (184kB)  

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Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 17.12hrs on Mon 5 Mar 18
Might dive up next week for a peek


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11th Aug 2019
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 17.27hrs on Mon 5 Mar 18
Cant even see the M1 Offload from the Top Station.........Even more reason for not leaving Ski-doos for people to ski into ! Just saying from my Armchair !!


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1st Sep 2019
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 18.41hrs on Wed 7 Mar 18
A late start to the day as they had a lot of snow to push around. If I was being cynical I would say they had spent much of their time preparing the White lady for the army race and then got around to the rest of the pistes after that. There were a lot of drifts needing bashing, once open the runs were very nice, the boiler plate ice has been covered over.

North West facing slopes have a good snow covering such as the East of the White Lady and the day lodge area. North East slopes are scoured and icy in places such as the Fiacaill and Jeans Bowl.

The M2 has a good covering though just outside the fences are scoured. The traverse has been opened though looking up at the Coronation wall there is a large cornice running diagonally across it. It was said the snow is much more stable today than the last few but the avalanche risk is still high with the flags flying and warning signs at the entrance to the wall.

The Cas, 105, zigzags and lower slopes are full of snow.

The top runs remained closed as a lot of snow still needs to be pushed around.

It was a day for off piste skiing away from the avalanche prone areas. The east lady was excellent all the way over to the day lodge area. You could pick a route from the high east lady, behind the Scottish Ski Club hut and down on to the home road. Skiers left of the Day Lodge was also good, skiing through the small trees.

The best outing of the day was Coire an t-Sneachda. We took a high line from the Fiacaill traverse and dropped in over the saddle. It looked rocky but as you progressed in the snow opened up to a wide expanse down the the coire floor. A long ski down and a reasonable traverse out on the path to the Fiacaill poma. So good we had to do this a number of times.

By the end of the day the soft fresh snow was getting a bit heavy, bordering of soggy at the bottom. Possible if freezes tonight is could be a bit hard off piste tomorrow. Hopefully the upper runs will be open tomorrow, want to look over to the east ptarmigan area.

A few pictures going on facebook later


The east lady has caught the snow, not hugely deep but quite enjoyable.

Coming off the east lady, a very unusual route behind the ski club hut and down behind the garage.

looking up to th day lodge run. The snow on the right was fun to ski coming off the M2 high into the small trees and back down to the poma or the train.

Another very unusual rout down skiers left of the day lodge. The snow was getting a bit heavy here at the end of the day.

Coming out of Coire an t-Sneachda, more picture on face book

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 18.51hrs Wed 7 Mar 18 by WindyMiller.

Attachments: East lady 001.JPG (237kB)   Coire an t-Sneachda.JPG (188kB)   Day Lodge.JPG (204kB)   Above SkiClub Hut.JPG (216kB)   daylodge glades.JPG (224kB)  

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1st Sep 2019
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 19.13hrs on Thu 8 Mar 18
Another superb day on the mountain, the steeps opened up on the east side of the Ciste gully.

The wind was slightly stronger than yesterday, especially on the cas side so we spend most of our time off piste on the north west facing slopes ciste side.

The east ptarmigan all the way down to the ciste gully was a tremendous ski and I think the majority of people that were not beginners were skiing here. Later in the day the ciste gully opened as did gully No1. The ciste and No1 have been pisted very well with soft snow but this was not where people were skiing. To the left and right of No1 the snow was soft and fresh untracked giving the opportunity for proper steep black run level off piste.

I am sure most winterhighlanders know this but here is a little reminder in off piste etiquette. If you are skiing a large field of pristine snow and you see two lovely track in front of you, it is only polite to ski to the side of them and make your own track. Please donít ski down all over them trashing the symmetry. Les and I made some lovely parallel tracks and just as we got to the bottom and I started to get my camera out, blam, tracks no more sad smiley

Gully No2 is still officially closed. Patrol carried out a pit test and a significant depth of snow slipped. It is not roped off though there are enough warning signs about. It did not really matter as the area between No1 and No2 is much steeper to ski and was full of fresh snow to track. We spoke to Mark of the Scottish Avalanche Information Service. He suggested any NW slope that had the icy base will be at significant risk such as gully No2. In between the gulleys there had been no snow before the storm so the snow should be sticking better, so that is where we were skiing.

There has been a huge avalanche in Coire an t-Sneachda at the Southern end. It has been said the biggest in living memory, category 4, meaning lumps the size of buses. Have a look here at the report. [] Mark was going to take more pictures today.

For those who do not off piste ski the mountain is in good condition, a little snow loss lower down from yesterday but nothing to hinder skiing. The east lady did not look quite so good so we stayed on the east ptarmigan and ciste. I did notice some icy patches in the ptarmigan bowl but still plenty of room to go around. The Aonach bowl is very good down to the west wall poma, a good alternative to the M2.

If you are planning to come up at the weekend check the weather forecast, it is not looking good. Donít expect the blue sky and powder we have had for the last two days. If it is , then bonus!

Extra pics on face book later


East Ptarmigan is now a piste for most abilities.

The snow on the east ptarmigan continues all the way down to the ciste gully.

Gully No1 pisted but this was not the place to be, either side of the run gave much better skiing all the way over to gully No2.

The Aonach Bowl was pretty good smiling smiley

If you don't off piste ski then the runs are in good shape, well groomed and mainly soft.

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 19.24hrs Thu 8 Mar 18 by WindyMiller.

Attachments: lower east ptramigan.JPG (210kB)   Aonach Bowl.JPG (220kB)   M1.JPG (229kB)   East Ptarmigan.JPG (185kB)   Gully No1.JPG (195kB)  

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1st Sep 2019
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 18.41hrs on Fri 9 Mar 18
I arrived in the lower Cas car park around 10:00 with rain falling. As soon as the car door opened it changed to snow and as I headed towards the Fiacaill poma the snow was heavy reducing visibility and accumulating quickly. Once at the top of the Ridge the wind started to pick up and then really pick up. I headed up to the top bowls to see if they were open, they were but the weather was atrocious with drifting and very strong winds. Skiing down the M2 was like hitting your head of a brick wall then into the Aonach bowl, luckily this was sheltered and a very nice ski in the fresh snow. Getting back up the west wall poma was a challenge and as I arrived at the top the lifts were going off and no one was allowed down the ciste side so off for lunch.

During lunch a miraculous transformation occurred. The clouds parted, the wind dropped and the sun started splitting the sky. What an afternoon! The ciste side and Gully1+2 opened and the stampede started as every one and their dog headed over. It was every bit as good as yesterday. Gully 1 is pisted, gully 2 is not though I much more preferred the area between the two, steeper, more of a challenge and easy to find fresh tracks.

The queue for the west wall poma started to build so we skied the M2 into the Aonach bowl, right down the middle was excellent and onto the other side of the poma where there was no queue. At the end of the day we went home via the east lady. A little lumpy compared to a few days ago but still a nice ski. The lower slopes are still in excellent condition, deep and wide. Skied the cas once, good but not as good as the off piste. Fiacaill area is also good but no comparison to the long black on the ciste side.

It was one of those afternoons you did not want to leave the mountain with the yellowish sun setting over the western coires.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is not good, snow and high winds. It may be best to check the early report from the mountain or have a long lie in and plan for Sunday. But who knows what will actually happen.


How the day started

How the day ended
Gully No2, Aonach Bowl, East Ptarmigan, Upper slopes

Mid Mountain, Jeans Bowl is filling in

Daylodge is wide and soft with piles of snow along its edges

Last run of the day, stood here for some time soaking in the view

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 18.51hrs Fri 9 Mar 18 by WindyMiller.

Attachments: Set 001.JPG (82kB)   East Lady.JPG (234kB)   mid mountain.JPG (206kB)   driffting.JPG (145kB)   day lodge.JPG (220kB)  

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31st Mar 2020
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 19.16hrs on Fri 9 Mar 18
Was going to go up tomorrow (Saturday), but the forecast is rubbish now compared to what was suggested earlier in the week :-( Sunday is looking lovely, but it's Mother's day so can't go .. grrr! Typical! oh well, there's always next weekend. I'll watch the rugby instead now, c'mon Scotland!


Posts: 14
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9th Mar 2019
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 20.08hrs on Fri 9 Mar 18
First day of the season at Cairngorm today. Started horrendously. Took the train to the top, skied down the Ptarmigan side to the Ptarmigan T-bar and was just about blown off into the crud at the side. By the time I reached the top visibility was about 5 yards, and it was a struggle just to ski back to the Ptarmigan building itself.

Then skied down the traverse towards the top of the Cas / 105. Again, an absolute nightmare with wind blown snow blasted into your face and serious brain freeze by the time you reached the top of the Cas. This was significantly more sheltered from the wind however, and allowed a good run down the Cas fairway to the M1 poma. At this stage of the day the Gunbarrel was absolutely brilliant - lots of wind blown powder and pisted really well.

The M1 poma itself was like riding a rocket today. Very little time to ready yourself after triggering the mechanism, and enough power to lift my 90kg off the ground completely!

Took an early lunch at the Ptarmigan and watched the cloud blow away and the sun come out. By the time we finished, the sky was a brilliant blue, visibility was much better and we enjoyed a great afternoon riding through the powder which was collecting on the lee side of the fences adjacent to the Cas T-bar return wire.

The highlight for me today was the Cas / gun barrel. Lowlights were the M1 poma and the White Lady being closed for a slalom competition - this was unfair we thought with the Ciste side being closed for the majority of the day as well.

Loads of good photos to upload a la Windy Miller, but unfortunately they are all too big to upload...


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Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 21.38hrs on Fri 9 Mar 18
As usual, Windy is spot on with his very comprehensive review of today on Cairngorm. You put us all to shame with your regular posts Windy. I have to say I do enjoy them enormously - particularly enjoyed the one when you had the unfortunate incident with someone falling (cough) off the t-bar they were sharing with you!

Yesterday we had to leave before the East Wall of Ciste was open to skiers so today we were very keen to get up and give it a go.

We decided to skip this morning and arrived in perfect time to enjoy a spectacular afternoon of sunshine, not much wind and generally excellent snow conditions.

It has been many years since I skied in Corrie na Ciste and I had forgotten just how spacious and magestic it is. What a crying shame it is so dependent on just one poma.

Despite only being on the hill for a couple of hours we had several runs on the Ciste enjoying the east wall, gully and Ryvoan. Ryvoan was a tad scratchy in places.

Towards the end of the day we headed back over and ignored the signs telling us that the White Lady piste was closed for racing (because we knew it jolly well was not) and had a couple of nice runs down the Lady which is a delight and full width. I ought to point out that I do not ignore signs lightly but had been up the M1 poma several times and could clearly see racing was over and course had been removed.

It is absolutely ridiculous that the White Lady was not open to the paying public today. Shame on Cairngorm for not having that groomed to perfection (as it was for the Army Races all week) for the paying public. Particularly poor show for not having removed the signage saying it was closed. That is something that would have taken little time and effort to do.

Windys report explains why Ptarmigan and Ciste t-bars may have had to be put off in the morning, however, when the weather cleared up in the afternoon they ought to have been put on again, but they weren't.

Some pics attached from today but all taken in Ciste as it's not often we are able to get in there and ski.

Happy sliding one and all.

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 21.59hrs Fri 9 Mar 18 by Linzski.

Attachments: east_ciste_a.jpg (174kB)   east_ciste_b.jpg (135kB)   east_ciste_c.jpg (116kB)   east_ciste_d.jpg (135kB)   east_ciste_e.jpg (160kB)  

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What's this?What's this?What's this?
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 07.07hrs on Sun 11 Mar 18
Racing is scheduled for the White Lady again today. With priority on the M1 Poma and possibly a lengthy delay for the Funicular itís imperative that both the Daylodge and West Wall Pomas open swiftly to provide an alternative route to the top station.

Itís also worth pointing out that in the past when weekend racing was held on the White Lady as arguably the mountains signature run, some lifts would run into the evening once light allowed it to give a decent period of public access.


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1st Sep 2019
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 18.46hrs on Sun 11 Mar 18
An unusual day on the mountain both weathers and operations.

It was the ski club Scottish Championship racing. I dislike racing and I dislike children, put them together and you get the perfect storm winking smiley I can not complain though as 40+ years ago it was me with a bib on pushing in and getting in peoples way, and things have not changed, I still push in and get in peoples way!
We arrived early as we knew it would be chaos, and it was. Well it was until the racers and officials got to where they were going, the white lady and the old Fiacaill area, then the queues settled down to a normal, even a slightly quiet Sunday.

The weather was quite peculiar. Sunny with little wind and warm, very warm making the snow quite wet in places. The mist and clag came and went meaning you were skiing in brilliant sunshine one moment then into thick pea soup. Made life interesting.

There was a huge amount of snow to shift to get the lifts open after yesterdays storm. The three big piste bashers were working non stop and eventually every thing was opened except the ptarmigan t-bar. With the train not coming on till late afternoon there were no beginners or intermediates at the top as the only way there was the M1 or the day lodge/west wall poma so I can see why they made the ptarmigan a lower priority to get going.

The runs got quite soggy in the warm temperatures making the off piste a bit of a challenge and with the visibility coming and going we spent most time on the pistes. By late afternoon the snow in the ptarmigan area was drying out and becoming more crunchy. Even with the massive drifts in the gullies it was quite obvious how thin the snow is in some places, especially in the ciste bowl, patches were appearing on some of the runs.

I noticed I have been talking about the steep off piste in the last few days and this may not be what people want to hear so I made a point of taking some pictures of the on piste conditions.

Bandit and Linzski, thanks for your comments. The next time I see you in the ptarmigan I will talk you through how to resize pictures to the right dimensions for posting and how to embed them in the post, it is quite easy though takes a little time. I do like to read other peoples reports on the day and see their pictures. Some times I get into one area and stay there not seeing the other parts of the mountain.

I will put a few people pictures up on face book later.


08:30 Rent-a-Crowd, the queues waiting were huge. Quickly they dissipated as the racers got to their destinations.

the traverse is deep and you can see the Coronation wall is full of snow.

East Ptramigan, Cas run, Cas skiers left and the traverse out to gully No1. Good wide cover of snow. The cas was excellent for intermediates.

The ciste bowl is good though there are still some thin areas, easy to avoid.

The mist/clag came and went. The ciste gully was in the mist as was the bottom of gully No1. The Aonach bowl was very nice. The cloud sat in the valley most of the day.

Edited 2 times. Last edit at 19.00hrs Sun 11 Mar 18 by WindyMiller.

Attachments: Set 001.JPG (207kB)   set 002.JPG (180kB)   Ciste Bowl.JPG (184kB)   Traverse.JPG (161kB)   Rent-a-Crowd.JPG (257kB)  

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Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 17.10hrs on Mon 12 Mar 18
The weather was strange today. I arrived with slight drizzle falling at the car park and the mist down. The snow was hard then quickly went soft. Travelling up the Ridge poma was travelling through different layers of mist and clag. At the top it was brilliant sunshine. The mist / clag level moved up and down the hill and it looked like it was going to clear. Often we were in sunshine then zero vis then it would go above us giving flattish light. Then it got worse with fog descending on the tops though the cas was clear till nearly the last pylon.

The snow went from hard to soft to very soft then back to cruchy hard. The off piste is lumpy hard where skied and wind blown frozen ridges where it had not been skied.

The ciste gully had been good first thing turned into frozen death cookies. It was time to stop skiing there after that.

In the sunshine it was glorious, so warm hats and jackets were coming off. In the clag frost was forming on your hair and clothes.

The avalanche warning level has dropped and the flags have been taken down. In the sunshine we headed over to the coronation wall. The views were spectacular but the skiing was not, hard and rutted with ice patches. Skiable but not soft snow.

The cas was hard at the top but just below the top became soft. The lower slopes were very soft and there is snow loss, large brown patches on the car park run and home road.. Even in the top bowls there has been snow loss in the thin areas. Over all the cover is still deep and wide so donít worry too much it is just not quite so pretty in some places. Folks were enjoying the cas, zigzags and top bowls and easy skiing down to the day lodge.


Ptarmigan bowl, you can see brown areas lower down where scoured then melted. The bowl its self is fine.

The temperature dropped quickly in the mist and the ciste gully refroze into death cookies. Not pleasant.

We headed over to the coronation wall, the views were great but that snow was not soft at all. Teeth rattling over the ridges.

I wanted to go over to the head wall but after finding the coronation wall they way it was I decided just to look and not ski, good choice I thought.

The lower slopes are all complete though they are soft. Brown areas are appearing outside of the fences but the runs are fine.

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 17.20hrs Mon 12 Mar 18 by WindyMiller.

Attachments: Ptarmigan Bowl.JPG (183kB)   Lower Slopes.JPG (222kB)   Head Wall.JPG (191kB)   Coronation Wall.JPG (203kB)   Ciste Gully.JPG (166kB)  

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Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 17.41hrs on Mon 12 Mar 18
We had a late start today and so missed most of the sunshine although at times it was threatening to sneak a way through the clag. Often it was hard to tell which way up you were as the light was so flat and the mist merged in with the sky and the snow.

We just had a quick scoot about up Fiacle then M1 and Ptarmigan, down M2 and up WW Poma then return to carpark via M1.

As we were a bit later in the day most of the snow had softened up a bit. M2 was probably the nicest snow by mid afternoon. M1 was still a bit crusty with cookies at the top but softer lower down.


Posts: 9
Joined: Jan 2018
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 18.03hrs on Mon 12 Mar 18
Windy I'm about to drop you a PM

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 18.07hrs Mon 12 Mar 18 by Linzski.


Posts: 9
Joined: Jan 2018
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2018
Date Posted: 19.31hrs on Mon 12 Mar 18
Despite heading to top of Ptarmigan t-bar on arrival (lunchtime) the sun was sadly just out of reach

It was, however, lovely and wind still so folk were hanging about chatting at the top of the tow, even some in background with no hat/helmet on! I wonder who?

We had a wee scoot down the M2 which was still in excellent condition, as was Over Yonder. Didn't ski down the Day Lodge Poma but could see from carpark that it was still loaded with plenty of snow. It was a top to tow ski so no pics from M2.

Visibility was pretty poor overall for most of our few hours this afternoon, particularly on the upper mountain.

Decided to head lower down to see how things were there. Heading over to top of M1 poma and that chap with no hat/helmet on was hanging about chatting at the top there too! Seemed to be doing a lot of that today :-)

Good job we knew where to turn to hop into the M1 run from the top of traverse as it was pretty claggy up that way. A few cookies lurking on the top half but softer lower down. Visibility improved from half way down.

To end our short trip we had a couple of runs on Corrie Cas which was actually quite nice and soft by this point but not too stodgy.

As reported by Windy there are a few worn patches on the lower slopes starting to appear but nothing to pose any problems.

Great to have tows operating from carpark level (even if it was only Fiacle Ridge) so as to avoid having to set foot in the cattle shed and blue monster.

If all goes to plan with this post the images ought to appear embedded a la Windys if it works............many thanks to Windy for the wee tutorial.......if it doesn't it's back to the drawing board for me!

Happy Sliding

A million edits later and I think I've finally got it.

Edited 4 times. Last edit at 19.54hrs Mon 12 Mar 18 by Linzski.

Attachments: top of ptarmigan2.jpg (92kB)   top of ptarmigan.jpg (115kB)   top of m1 poma.jpg (84kB)   top of m1 run.jpg (87kB)  
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