pix from the slopes // cairngorm mountain
CairnGorm Mountain // Friday 14th January 2011
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Coire Cas Gunbarrel, spring like snow, firm above upper Gunbarrel.

Heading down onto the Carpark Run and the lower slopes. Started to crisp up late on.

Skier on the Fiacaill Ridge by the poma fencing.

Top leg of the Zig Zags, East Lady beyond still has lots of lines.

Full width White Lady, groomed firm grippy snow, should loosen to granular spring snow Sat.

Winter skills group practicing ice axe arrests in the lee of the Tunnel. Thankfully ice axes not required for the White Lady!

Total cover across the Top Basin, wind changed direction and put the Ptarmigan Tow off too.

CairnGorm Mountain from the Cas Carpark. Still very extensive cover across the mountain from 2500ft upwards.

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A windy Friday but largely good overhead conditions, visibility and light except for the odd wintry shower which blew through. Wind was nudging upwards through the day, mean about 60mph at the Tunnel in the afternoon, but gusts suddenly shot up to 90mph+ closing the Funicular 30minutes early.

Snow was firm to hardpacked, but grippy from a short distance above the mid-station up. Lower slopes were soft, but were starting to crunch up late in the afternoon. Snow is likely to firm up at levels overnight, but with snow showers coming through before the freezing level rises around or soon after dawn on Saturday.

White Lady was firm grippy groomed snow and taking an edge nicely, the folk practicing ice axe arrests fortunately were not an indication that ice axe and crampons were required, though good edges made for much better skiing.

As the freezing level rises on Saturday morning the firm packed snow will loosen to granular spring snow, perhaps with some wetter softer fresh on top. So if wind permits even the Funicular to run, there could be some good sliding to be had on spring snow on the Lady, M1, East Lady, Coronation Wall etc.

However the forecast gust speed is the wrong side of the Funicular limit and the tunnel entrance is fully exposed to SW winds, so check in the morning.

Top to Daylodge riding remains available by all routes with a generally reasonable cover on the lower slopes despite the thaw conditions this week.
Pix from the Slopes for the 2011 Season
CairnGorm Mountain

Nevis Range

Glencoe

Glenshee

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