Day 15: 2019

Glencoe Mountain Resort

The Easter weekend had been looking good. I had a ton of work to deal with and really wasn’t sure if I should even be thinking about heading up to Glencoe on Saturday. But life is short, and so is this Scottish Ski Season! So I shot up the A82, or at least tried to until I hit the holiday traffic. It didn’t help that I hadn’t left Glasgow until just before 9am.

Late start, but sunny.

I managed to get up the mountain before 11am. The walk across the plateau was dry and dusty. I was wearing a thick hoody, but this was far too warm. It was going to be a hot one today.

Conditions on the hill

The first thing I noticed as I approached the summit tow was the track in front of the rescue hut was broken. Although skiers can step over the rocky parts, snowboarders have to stop and remove both feet from their boards, or otherwise risk an untimely base grind. Some of us did do a bit of shovelling to try and patch this up, but it was inevitable the snow would melt almost as quickly. 

The return track in front of the rescue hut has gone.

The uptrack was holding together, but the sun was really getting to work on it. Some holes are starting to appear and it’s getting narrow in places. But, Main Basin is doing well. By the time I got there it was a bit lumpy but good fun. Soft spring snow across the area. The narrows  to the Haggis Trap are becoming a kind of randomised banked slalom, which I actually found quite fun, but it does work the legs pretty hard.

Dropping in to Main Basin.

Occasionally myself and others would miss this area out and cross over to Ski tow Gully as this gave a smooth ride down the side and straight back on the tow.

Temperatures were really warm, must have been double figures and I found myself finishing my bottle of water I brought pretty quickly.

The summit path to Spring Run.
Summit path from Main Basin.
Looking over the back is always impressive whatever time of year.

I’d worked up a thirst hiking to and from the Spring Run a couple of times. I also took the time for a wander down to look at the East Ridge. Fun when covered in snow, but it was just bare hillside today. I wanted to scope it out anyway to familiarise myself with the terrain. I could hear the rivers running below near Baillie’s Gully.

Looking down the East Ridge.

The Spring Run was great though. A little walk in, but the top and mid sections were super smooth and turns felt good with the slush flying downhill from each turn.

Spring Run Glencoe
From the top of Spring Run you can see the foundations for the new Rankin’s Chair. Just right of middle.
Rannoch Moor From Spring Run.

At the bottom is a high traverse you need to take towards the top of the Cliffhanger Chair, then a short walk back to the Main Basin T-bar.

The narrow exit of the Springy.
Looking back up the Springy.
There’s a bit of a traverse from the Springy back to the lift, then a wee walk.

Looking Ahead

For most of this season, I’ve been listening to folk saying each day has and ‘End of Season feel about it’. But throughout, Glencoe has kept on going, providing the best conditions for the whole season. Today did certainly have an end of season feel about it, but we’re hoping Sunday and Monday come good.

We’ll see what the wind situation is like tomorrow, and hopefully the sun won’t have had too much of an impact and we manage to get up for the official closing day on Monday. I should be working, but if it looks like opening, I’ll be there. (I have brought some work with be to do though, just in case.)

It wouldn’t be the end of the season without some duct tape.
Looking into the void below the Main Basin uptrack.
Looking back up the upper mountain it doesn’t look like much. But it did provide a full day of fun.
Kingshouse Hotel
New Kingshouse Hotel from the chairlift.