pix from the slopes // cairngorm mountain
CairnGorm Mountain // Monday 28th February 2011
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Catching some rays on the Ptarmigan Viewing Terrace.

Nessie Rollers on the Fiacaill Traverse stand out in the Sun, seen from Lady Luck.

Aonach Bowl had a sprinkling of fresh, but got scrapped later on.

Firm grippy snow that gave good turns out above the Ptarmigan Tow.

Looking over the Ptarmigan Bowl to the Top Station from high on the Ptarmigan Ridge.

M1 Poma doing it's thing on Monday Afternoon under a perfect blue sky.

Lower Gunbarrel is flat and wide as it realistically can be.

Looking up the Cas Gunbarrel from level with the mid Zig Zag merge, still flat across.

Looking up Burnside to the White Lady beyond. Carpark Run in decent nick for riding to the Daylodge.

Bottom of Burnside and the Fiacaill Ridge Poma and Carpark Tow.

Sun blazes down on the Carpark Runs as a boarder heads for the Burnside corners.

Looking up Coire Cas from the Carpark Run. Decent cover, odd icy patch around the Sheiling late on.

White Lady from level with the SSC Hut fence, got a bit scrapped for a time then loosened up.

Best snow on the Lady mid afternoon was towards skiers right, worth going down lower and cutting back to the mid-station level.

Upper Zig Zags from the top of the Fiacaill Ridge Poma.

Coire Cas from the shores of Loch Morlich.

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Spring sprung a day early on CairnGorm Mountain with a cloudless blue sky and unbroken sunshine with next to no wind. Top to Daylodge riding with the full Cas side vertical on offer and loads for all ability levels.

Early on the pisted areas where fantastic with a sprinkling of fresh on top of the corduroy, but some of the groomers become harder and scrapped in the colder and very dry air through the morning, only to loosen up again later in the day thanks to solar warming in the endless sunshine.

The Top Basin had the consistently best surface conditions and the Ptarmigan Bowl is in superb shape for learners, from first timers up to early intermediates happy to move onto the longer greens off the Ciste Tow.

All mid mountain trails are complete with a generally very good base. Surface conditions are mainly firm, but grippy, but there are some harder areas about. Unfortunately the Ciste Gully sector didn't open due to very hard surfaces which were out of the Sun for most of the day. Less cold and less dry air over the next few days might be enough to loosen it up once again.

If the Ciste Gully is open over the next few days, the best of the surface conditions has tended to be below the marked traverse of the West Wall. Stay in the Gully and cut sharp left and follow the narrow fenced traverse just above the boardwalk. Short hoof over to the Poma is needed, but much easier than holding a traverse on the West Wall if it's firm!

The Nessie Rollers on the Fiacaill Traverse are worth a visit, a few were getting more air than they bargained for today as they were running pretty fast, the line steepens and the rollers have more kick towards the end - beware!

M2 turned into spring snow bumps lower down late on, but is due to get pisted again tonight. Watch out for the occasional rock appearing later on the steeper pitches.

The Fiacaill Park area has been groomed out after the thaw and is well pisted. Ptarmigan Park contains a couple of rails/boxes, a pipe jib and the huge kicker in the middle of the bowl.

The Carpark Run is complete via Burnside and in decent nick to below the top Daylodge bridge. A couple of thin bits lower down, but avoidable and no problem skiing onto the Fiacaill Ridge Poma and Carpark Tow.
Pix from the Slopes for the 2011 Season
CairnGorm Mountain

Nevis Range

Glencoe

Glenshee

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