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pix from the slopes // cairngorm mountain
CairnGorm Mountain // Saturday 1st March 2008
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Skier on the fenced link from the Zig Zags to the lower Gunbarrel.

Heading for the Traverse from the Top Station, snow drifting in to the runs.

Winter Skills party pauses by the end of the Fiacaill Traverse fence.

A gentle breeze up top!! Snow blowing across, Fairway and Ciste Bowl catching fresh though.

Looking down Coire Cas to Loch Morlich. Good sport on fresh snow on a firmish base top 2/3rds, more granular snow lower.

Top Zig Zag from the Fiacaill Crossover. Top 2 legs of Zig Zags good, Chicken Gully nice grippy snow but narrow.

Upper 105 and the Cas from the corner of the Traverse/105 split, Fiacaill Ridge beyond.

Heading for home via the Fiacaill Ridge. Requires use of the narrow uptrack so only for more experienced skiers and boarders.

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The forecast was for a very stormy morning easing later, but winds weren't as stormy as feared first thing, but didn't ease quite as much as expected later. The result was that the Funicular and Cas Tow were open from the off on Sat morning, but unfortunately the Top Basin remained closed.

Some beginner groups were able to make their first turns in the relatively sheltered Ptarmigan Bowl which was out of the wind, but the top of the Tow was getting the full whack, thus didn't open. Ciste Fairway and Bowl catching more fresh though through the day, all Top Runs complete.

Coire Cas was offering decent sport with fresh loose snow overlying a firm but nice and grippy base, giving way to granular spring snow at the foot of the Gunbarrel. Gunbarrel riding like a shallow half pipe - take care there were a couple of potentially nasty near misses in the middle !!

For those wishing to avoid the trials of the Gunbarrel, the top two legs of the Zig Zags are fully complete allowing 2/3rds of the Gunbarrel to be avoided. For good riders the Chicken Gully is complete but narrow as an alternative down through the top Zig Zags.

The Fiaciall Traverse is mostly skiable, but with a couple of very thin sections where the fence is blown over, so don't go down here flat out. A bit of side stepping is required to get up and round to the top of the Fiacaill T-bar, from where the Fiacaill run on skiers left of the uptrack is complete via the Fiacaill Crossover back down to the Zig Zags which provide return to the Gunbarrel & Cas Tow. Some nice pockets of windblown powder here on a firm base.

Experts (preferably not on new kit!) can from the Fiacaill Crossover hack their way to the Daylodge via the Fiacaill Ridge, keeping close to and lower down using the poma uptrack. On Saturday there was just one place it was necessary to remove planks for about 10yards to scramble over some rocks, and this may have filled enough to get through by now.
Pix from the Slopes for the 2008 Season
CairnGorm Mountain

Nevis Range

Scotland

Glencoe

Glenshee

The Lecht

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