pix from the slopes // cairngorm mountain
CairnGorm Mountain // Thursday 17th February 2011
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Machine packed powder in the Ciste Bowl.

Larger kicker in the Ptarmigan Terrain Park, from Ciste Fairway.

Lower Daylodge Poma. Queue free groomer cruise zone, softening snow, might skin over for first thing.

Get the full length of the Lady by continuing down Sheiling Gully to the Fiacaill Ridge Poma.

Machine packed powder on a firm base giving excellent riding on the White Lady.

Large tube in the Fiacaill Terrain Park, ride through or on top?

Wide and flat lower Gunbarrel, looking to the Carpark Runs below.

Gunbarrel is now flat across after substantial drifting on the SE winds.

Ciste T-bar and Ptarmigan Bowl from the upper Fairway. Superb conditions in the Top Basin.

Daylodge Poma provides queue free riding, great if you want a groomer with some variations in gradient and terrain.

The Zig Zags are absolutely loaded, great machine packed snow. White Lady and M1 beyond in great shape too.

Fiacaill Ridge Poma doing it's thing on Thursday afternoon. Ridge run complete, but hard packed.

Overview of the top 2 legs of the Zig Zags from the FRP show the scale of the drifting.

No 1 Gully on the East Wall and Ciste Gully opened after avalanche control, great sport for experts.

Machine packed powder on a firm grippy base on the East Wall. Access via Laogh Mor Return or from top of Ptarmigan Tow.

Funicular Tunnel and the White Lady. Small packed powder bumps starting to form this afternoon, please don't piste tonight!

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After a few frustrating days on the weather front, Thursday was time to get out and play on the recent fresh snow and the big windblown gains in the snowsports area.

The White Lady has added even more depth to an already good base and the Coire Cas Gunbarrel is now flat across from the Tow Track, no drop down from the Zig Zag link to the M1 Poma.

There is fantastic top to Daylodge riding on offer with all lower runs now in decent nick. The Daylodge Poma Run is in good shape, if your wanting to lay out some nice carves on a groomer take a look at this run because you could lap it queue free on Thursday afternoon.

No getting away from the fact the mid mountain lifts esp are busy, late in the day the queue for the WWP was around 10 to 15minutes, but reportedly longer mid afternoon.

Get up early in the day and stay late, go for a late cooked breakfast or early lunch and be sure to ride when the crowds are in the Cafes. The last uplift is around 4.30pm at the moment.

Some queue beating tips, as well as starting early and get some runs in on the mid area of Coire Cas before too many people get up there. Then head to the Daylodge Poma and either get some more laps in on the Cas side using the DLP and West Wall Poma or if the Ciste sector is open get some laps in there. Generally the WWP is the lift it takes folk the longest to get over to, but by late morning to early afternoon depending on weather it then gets very busy before easing later in the day.

M1 Poma and Cas Tow were ski straight onto at the end of the day, so staying till the close is well worth it. Bring cash for tickets and you'll be on the slopes while others are queuing...

A fine start to Friday, though the wind might pick up late in the day, but with an uncertain weather outlook, get up and make the most of fantastic conditions while you can.

Good skiers can get back to the Ciste Carpark via the Laogh Mor Return (but narrow along the fence out), the Aonach Ridge is probably the better option and Patrol were planning to have a look at marking / pisting one route.
Pix from the Slopes for the 2011 Season
CairnGorm Mountain

Nevis Range

Glencoe

Glenshee

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