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WindyMiller


Posts: 654
Joined: Sep 2010
Last Visited: 17:31
1st Sep 2019
CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2019
Date Posted: 17.56hrs on Mon 26 Nov 18
Time to start the skiing thread I think. I missed the snow fall a few weeks ago and was determined to catch the next.

We woke to sprinkling of snow in the village this morning and with a good forecast we headed up the hill. Arriving at 10:30 in the car park with light snow falling and about a cm accumulation. We could see the deeper snow staring about halfway up the lower slopes so we decide to put our ski boots on straight away and walk the short distance.

It was about the pump house on the first zigzag we put on our skis and skinned up the zigzags, the cas the 105 cross over, 105 and up the traverse. A good covering of snow once you got to the 105 and drifts at the side of the traverse. The staff have been using vehicles to get up to the top station which have packed down the snow quite nicely giving a thin but good base.

At the top station the snow was much thicker and softer so we headed higher to the top of the ptarmigan and into the Marquis Well area. This was not so good, strurgi and slabby snow, so we did not go too far.

Coming back down we used the Ptarmigan run into where the park usually is and sharp left over to the restaurant. Lovely soft fresh snow.

Headed towards the upper traverse and over to the coronation wall, this was superb. The coronation wall has caught a lot of snow was was a wide playing field of hero snow. Great to get the legs working for the new season.

Down the last bit of the traverse and onto the 105. It started to get much thinner here and you had to chose your route carefully. At the bottom of the 105 it was a choice of either the way we came up on the zigzags or the cas tow path through the gun barrel, we took the gun barrel. An ok choice but very thin and narrow. Stopping at the load area for the funicular was fraught with danger, a grinding of bases and gnashing of teeth! P-tex s your friend!

We decided to see just how far down we could get, using the sunkids piste and the heather at the side of burn side we managed to get to just above the bridge ate the day lodge. Not for the faint hearted, remember we are both graduates of the Les McLaren school of heather skiing.

A good day out was had, about 4 other tourers on the mountain too.

The weather is to remain cold for a few days but then become milder. If you are wanting a ski grab it now while you can.

A few pictures going up on face book later.
[www.facebook.com]


Graeme

Put out skis on at mid station to head up the zigzags.


Good covering of snow on the upper part before the traverse,


The Coronation wall has caught a lot of snow and was a great ski down.


Putting in figure of eights to the side of the 105, lovely powdery snow.


The 105 was thin but good to ski if you were careful







Edited 2 times. Last edit at 18.06hrs Mon 26 Nov 18 by WindyMiller.

Attachments: upper traverse.JPG (157kB)   mid station.JPG (225kB)   main 105.jpg (176kB)   105.jpg (174kB)   coronation wall.jpg (172kB)  
Mountainaddict


Posts: 271
Joined: Nov 2006
Last Visited: 19:38
6th Jan 2021
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2019
Date Posted: 20.44hrs on Mon 26 Nov 18
Great stuff! Hats off to you WM!

Snowweasel


Posts: 395
Joined: Oct 2006
Last Visited: 11:14
16th Apr 2021
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2019
Date Posted: 09.23hrs on Thu 29 Nov 18
Great to see. Thanks Windy


WindyMiller


Posts: 654
Joined: Sep 2010
Last Visited: 17:31
1st Sep 2019
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2019
Date Posted: 16.45hrs on Sun 2 Dec 18
Thanks Mountainaddict and Snowweasel, nice to see people are looking at the posts.

Quite a few people on the hill today, not nearly as much snow as there was on Monday but more than enough to keep us happy.

I chose the gun barrel to skin up where Shona walked up the zigzags. She got skiable snow on the second leg where I manage to start at the cas load area.

It is strange with the over all snow loss there has been quite a gain in the gun barrel. On Monday we use the tow path the come down, today the gun barrel its self was very skiable. Once on to the 105 the snow has accumulated. It is not soft and fluffy, more packed down. The traverse has built up too but the coronation wall has been stripped off except the first section off the Ptarmigan down to the traverse.

In the good visibility we got a good look at the head wall avalanche, very impressive with a huge amount of snow rubble quite far down into the cas. Amazing for this early in the season.

The huge drifts in the Marquis well have gone and there is not the continuous cover to the torr, nearly but not quite. Some were going as high as the torr and grass hopping on the way back down, we just stopped shy of the well. We skied part of the coronation wall, good expanse but a bit teeth rattling on the crusty layer.

Down the 105 onto the gun barrel was the route of choice though it was skis of at mid station. Not the heather hopping of Monday.

The snow on the ground is forming a good firm base in places mid station up.
Forecast for more snow at the end of the week hopefully it should stick.

Nice to see a number of regulars out and about.

A few picture on facebook later
[www.facebook.com]

Graeme

Overview of the mountain, not so much snow lower down but ok mid station up


Skis on at mid station to skin up the gun barrel


Snow accumulating on the traverse, note the lower part of the coronation wall has lost cover.


Sort of on the coronation wall, more like the upper part of the traverse, a bit freeze thaw giving a crusty surface,


This is the gun barrel, much better than Monday.






Edited 1 times. Last edit at 16.52hrs Sun 2 Dec 18 by WindyMiller.

Attachments: Gun Barrel.JPG (209kB)   Coronation Wall.JPG (153kB)   Traverse.JPG (164kB)   skis on.JPG (247kB)   Overview.JPG (272kB)  
bogbiker


Posts: 110
Joined: Feb 2009
Last Visited: 17:33
9th Apr 2019
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2019
Date Posted: 19.35hrs on Sun 2 Dec 18
Good to see you on the hill today Windy (thatís my wife and I in your second pic). It was a bit firm up there but good to get the skis on again. Looking forward to seeing that this snow factory can do for the lower slops!

WindyMiller


Posts: 654
Joined: Sep 2010
Last Visited: 17:31
1st Sep 2019
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2019
Date Posted: 16.49hrs on Mon 10 Dec 18
The weather window looked good for today so it was time to have the first meeting of the OAP ski club tongue sticking out smiley

The three of us got to the car park about 10:00 but by the time we footered about, chatted, used the facilities, footered and chatted a bit more it was closer to 10:45 when we actually set off.

A beautiful crisp morning with fresh snow on the ground. A bit more lower down now than last Sunday so we managed to put our skis on at the Sunkids load area. We headed up the zigzags in lovely sunshine, up the cas, 105 and to the traverse. The snow was a bit crisper higher up but still nice to ski on. The ptarmigan traverse has been worked on taking the snow off the fences and packing it down, a nice wide run. The ptarmigan bowl is filling in nicely with quite an extensive cover and starting to build. Looking over to the east ptarmigan we started to drool, not just because we are the OAP ski club, but a lovely expanse of fresh snow glinting in the sunshine.

We continued to head up into the Marquis Well area then took off the skins, decision time. Head down the Ptarmigan Travers onto the Coronation wall (partly filled in again), Cas, 105 or East Ptarmigan, Ciste and Ciste gully.

Ciste it was and it did not disappoint at all , lovely fresh snow all the way to the WWP traverse over. We heather/snow skied over the Aonach Bowl and the top of the Day Lodge Poma where we managed to ski 1/3 of the way down then it was too dangerous even for Les.

At the car park the snow factory was being tested with snow firing out the pipe. Four canons have been positioned at the bottom to the hill and T40 was belting out snow, an encouraging site.

A few pictures going up on facebook later.
[www.facebook.com]

Graeme

Cold and crisp on the way up. To the right you can see the coronation wall has caught some more snow.


The Ptarmigan has been flattened out to compact the snow, a good wide run with a deep base.


A good accumulation building in the Ptarmigan Bowl. Picture taken from the East Ptarmigan run.


Heading down to the Ciste, very nice cold snow.


The Ciste gully, such a nice ski down, but watch out for the burn in places.






Edited 2 times. Last edit at 16.58hrs Mon 10 Dec 18 by WindyMiller.

Attachments: Ptarmigan Bowl.JPG (192kB)   Ptarmigan Traverse.JPG (177kB)   Ciste Gully.JPG (210kB)   Ciste.JPG (178kB)   Traverse.JPG (227kB)  
Wipit


Posts: 14
Joined: Jan 2010
Last Visited: 20:01
30th Apr 2019
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2019
Date Posted: 17.48hrs on Mon 10 Dec 18
Nice one Graeme!
Good to see a nice Leveled look at how the white stuff is doing up there regardless of all the doom and gloom spear throwing that seems to be the main subject of the day.


jabuzzard


Posts: 885
Joined: Jan 2010
Last Visited: 11:02
16th Apr 2021
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2019
Date Posted: 11.51hrs on Tue 11 Dec 18
So what I am taking away is if there was some working chairlifts in the Ciste then we could be going skiing at Cairngorm without artificial snow. Remind me how much has been spent on snow making compared to the additional cost of fixing the Ciste chairs over ripping them out?

awrightski


Posts: 158
Joined: Jan 2016
Last Visited: 10:02
2nd Dec 2020
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2019
Date Posted: 12.08hrs on Tue 11 Dec 18
Yeah its hardly doom and gloom spear throwing at all is it.

Simple fact is, if there was none surface access up the mountain they would be open for skiing. No debate.

01cookjk


Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2014
Last Visited: 09:09
6th Apr 2021
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2019
Date Posted: 12.23hrs on Tue 11 Dec 18
As previously communicated with Graeme yesterday, I think it best that as Winterhighlanders, we all, for this season at least, turn our eyes away from the disasters that have blighted CGM this autumn and in previous years.

With Natural Retreats out of the way, HIE showing through significant last-minute investment into snowmaking and at least some plans for uplift renewal, demonstrating that HIE are themselves supportive of skiing on the mountain.

Thus, it feels like a new chapter is about to start, and therefore, for at least this season, perhaps we should all make at least one day trip to CGM, support the shops and cafe's in Aviemore, Glenmore and Coylumbridge and show HIE that there is demand for skiing.

I'm saying this because part of me worries that if they get a quiet season, then they might give up altogether and an area of amazing terain will be lost forever.

Its crucial that they get just enough visitors so that the operation is busy, but not overstretched (perhaps 500-800 on the hill at any-one time) so that all is good.

Jcsb36


Posts: 45
Joined: Jan 2012
Last Visited: 21:25
25th May 2020
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2019
Date Posted: 18.59hrs on Tue 11 Dec 18
I agree that people do need to show some support for CairnGorm this year or there may not be another. I went to the 4 other areas last year and donít go to CairnGorm over NTís management of the mountain. With the amount of snow making they have at least there should be top to bottom riding all season. I realise there isnít a single lift to getyou up to do that top to bottom riding yet but hopefully next yer.

Ps thank you Graeme for the reports i keep an eye out for them to decide where to go when traveling up.

chrisski


Posts: 359
Joined: Feb 2005
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2019
Date Posted: 12.16hrs on Fri 14 Dec 18
01cookjk Wrote:
As previously communicated with Graeme yesterday, I think it best that as Winterhighlanders, we all, for this season at least, turn our eyes away from the disasters that have blighted CGM this autumn and in previous years.

With Natural Retreats out of the way, HIE showing through significant last-minute investment into snowmaking and at least some plans for uplift renewal, demonstrating that HIE are themselves supportive of skiing on the mountain.

Thus, it feels like a new chapter is about to start, and therefore, for at least this season, perhaps we should all make at least one day trip to CGM, support the shops and cafe's in Aviemore, Glenmore and Coylumbridge and show HIE that there is demand for skiing.

I'm saying this because part of me worries that if they get a quiet season, then they might give up altogether and an area of amazing terain will be lost forever.

Its crucial that they get just enough visitors so that the operation is busy, but not overstretched (perhaps 500-800 on the hill at any-one time) so that all is good.




yup its very clear the ciste chairs shouldnt have been ripped down and we all know how much more skiing there would be if they had been refurbished. time to move forward.



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 12.16hrs Fri 14 Dec 18 by chrisski.

WindyMiller


Posts: 654
Joined: Sep 2010
Last Visited: 17:31
1st Sep 2019
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2019
Date Posted: 15.09hrs on Mon 17 Dec 18
The snow has been redistributed around the mountain after the storm, 134mph recorded at the top!
The forecast for today was to be good in the morning then close in again in the afternoon so up we went reasonably early. A surprising large number of people had the same idea and the slopes were in good use, more people than at the end of season!

It was skis on at the daylodge for the skin up, a bit thin just past the new snow factory beginners area (which is coming along nicely) before good cover just below the burn side corner.

The lady and gun barrel have filled in to wide runs, the bottom zigzags have been scoured back to gravel though with drifts along the fences. As you moved up the mountain there were scoured areas and massive drifts. Two pistie beastys were out pushing a lot of snow around from mid station up flattening out the massive drifts and compacting the snow on the 105 traverse, ptarmigan bowl and ptarmigan traverse. The upper cas has been stripped out with the storm though the M1 tow path has quite a bit of snow between the fences.

All the way up we were looking over to the Lady, is it skiable, can we ski in? You bet! It was spectacular, wide soft snow all the way down to the garage. The usual entrance via the side of the m1 was a bit tricky with massive drifts but plenty of snow. The lady was in better shape than often mid season.

We could have easily skied the whole way to the bottom of the Lady but we decided to cross over to the M1 load area and onto the gun barrel then skiing down to mid station. From mid station it was a bit of a hop onto the lower slopes skiing the fence line of the Sheiling run, Cottamís Way was a bit bare but then it opened up on to the wide area created by the snow factory. We could have used the slot and the car park run but I wanted to try out the snow factory snow, a nice surface to ski on.

No time to go back up to the Ciste gully as the weather was changing but reports are it is getting better and better.

Today seemed to be the first proper down hill ski with out having to dodge rocks and the burns. It was a good wide ski down on deep snow from the top of the ptarmigan to mid station and a choice of routes. The lady was by far the best run, fast carving turns top to bottom.

A number of pictures going on facebook later.
[www.facebook.com]

The weather is going to get a bit milder then colder again, watch the forecast before heading out.

Graeme

The snow factory is filling in a good area. The snow is actually very nice to ski on, not as icy as I though it might be.


The machines are packing down the snow to build a good base. A good depth now on the upper mountain but you can see the scoured areas on the upper cas in the background.


The ptarmigan bowl has filled in but also scoured in some places. The machine was in here moving snow about.


The entrance to the lady has a lot of snow though was a bit amusing with the uber large drifts to negotiate.


Well the picture says it, wide good quality snow top to bottom. Smiles all round on the way down.







Edited 2 times. Last edit at 15.22hrs Mon 17 Dec 18 by WindyMiller.

Attachments: Beginners area.JPG (230kB)   WL.JPG (205kB)   WL Entrance.JPG (204kB)   Ptarmigan Bowl.JPG (204kB)   Traverse.JPG (240kB)  
Mountainaddict


Posts: 271
Joined: Nov 2006
Last Visited: 19:38
6th Jan 2021
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2019
Date Posted: 16.48hrs on Mon 17 Dec 18
More great pics - ta for posting.

Despite 5 days powder skiing in Tignes last week, we're champing at the bit to get up to Scotland.

Looking wet tomorrow - but hoping some cover comes through at Cairngorm to justify a 300 mile each way jaunt at the weekend for some ski touring...

UPDATE:Just seen today's cams...Shocking.Cover decimated in the rain and mild temperatures sad smiley

Anybody local that can comment on whether gulleys and runs are still looking skinnable/skiable?



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 15.56hrs Tue 18 Dec 18 by Mountainaddict.

WindyMiller


Posts: 654
Joined: Sep 2010
Last Visited: 17:31
1st Sep 2019
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2019
Date Posted: 15.12hrs on Sat 22 Dec 18
Thanks Mountainaddict here is todayís report and pictures.

You cant win them all with weather and today was a bit of a challenge at the top. The mild weather has had an effect on the snow pack but it actually looks worse than it could have been. Much of the snow at the beginning of the week was very thin and it was that thin snow that has gone. The thicker snow between the fences is still there though now thin in places.

We could not skin up from the car park so walked up to the sunkids and skis on from there. The snow is only along the fence lines till mid station and the zigzags have gone so it was up the gun barrel. Much less snow than Monday especially in the lower 105, we hugged the fence to get up to the Cas cross over. Once past the Cas cross over the depth was good and improved the higher we went up.

Although forecast for later in the afternoon the weather started to close in when on the traverse with light snow. By the time we got to the Ptarmigan is was full scale snow and a tad breezy. I do like travelling in helicopters but I really don't want the embarrassment of having to call the rescue teams so decision made not to go any further. I like to err on the side of caution when it comes to the Scottish mountains.

Using the Ptarmigan building as shelter we wrestled our skins off and pack away then putting storm gear on we headed to the lady.

The huge drifts on the lady's entrance are more rounded now and easier to ski. The lady its self is still a pleasure, easy all the way down to the mid station. It was raining here making the snow a bit damp, the cover at mid station is more patchy than Monday.

We skied the sunkids fence and heather hopped part of burnside, skis off/on a few times then walked to the bridge.

Over all a good morning skiing though we did not get as high as we might.The forecast for tomorrow is to be better than today. If going up be prepared to be creative till past the 105-cas cross over.

A few pictures on face book later.
[www.facebook.com]

Graeme

There has been snow loss till the level of the M1 race hut. The gun barrel is the best way up.


The 105 is thin up to the cas cross over then ok.


No snow loss in the Ptarmigan area, heavy snow showers passing through, not a day for wandering across the plateau.


Good cover into the lady, the drifts on Monday have levelled out a bit.


The Lady is a pleasure to ski though it was raining at the bottom. If you look at the lower slopes you can see the snow loss and how we had to hug the fences to get down.








Edited 1 times. Last edit at 15.23hrs Sat 22 Dec 18 by WindyMiller.

Attachments: WL.JPG (229kB)   Upper WL.JPG (172kB)   Ptarmigan Area.JPG (143kB)   105.JPG (220kB)   Gun Barrel.JPG (225kB)  
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