Day 5 of Scottish Season 15/16. Arriving after a wet day at Glencoe, on Friday night I was hoping for a full weekend at Cairngorm Mountain. However, the weather gods felt differently. We were staying in a chalet by the river Spey which was close to bursting its banks with the amount of rain we had had. Saturday was dreich with high winds blowing. We did take a trip up to go sledging and even walking across the carpark was an effort. The snow line though was very high and there wasn’t a lot of it. Sunday too was a wash out and I sat for a good part of the day in a cafe updating the blog and editing photos. As I sat typing and sipping a beer, the snow started to fall on the streets of Aviemore.
Monday dawned bright and the hill looked white. We took the train to the top of the hill along with many tourists. It was half term and bus loads of folk were heading for the hills.
Corrie na Ciste had great snow, perfect for beginners and warming up. I did a few laps here and started the day by taking a young girl up the lift. Her parents were not sure they could get her up, so I offered my services and got the youngster up to the top. She’d only been snowboarding for four months.
Visibility at the top started deteriorating as the morning went on until it was in perpetual cloud.
After lunch (macaroni cheese – probably the best thing about Cairngorm), I stayed on the traverse and the gun barrel. Snow was good, but as usual quite congested. The visibility was much better though and you could see all the way down to Loch Morlich. The snow down the gun barrel was great. Firm with soft on top allowing for fast cruising.
As the day drew too close the wind picked up and the snow got heavier at the top. The lower part of the hill was pretty devoid of snow despite this a few brave souls picked their way down to the car park at the end of the day.
That evening, browsing all sorts of social media, it was obvious that the blue skies and fresh powder were to be found back west at Glencoe. So it was decided, I’d head back down the Laggan road or get some back at Coe on Tuesday.