Day 16: 2019

Glencoe Mountain Resort

The forecast for Sunday was mixed, some said wind was due, others mentioned cloud. The reality was, brighter than I thought it would be, but early reports from Glencoe suggested this would indeed be the last day of the season as the uptrack was near its end.

I’d spent the night down in Tyndrum with friends so I left in good time so I was ready for 9am. There was no need to rush though. The guys up top were busy preparing the summit tow track, so I grabbed breakfast before heading up. Once again, it was very warm and sunny at car park level with no wind either.

Snow groomer with no snow
Is there something missing from this scene?

Conditions on the Hill

It was pretty shocking just how much snow had disappeared overnight. We really were at the end of the season. There was now snow in front of the rescue hut at all and repairs had been made to the uplift with some dendex, artificial ski slope pieces buried under the snow just in case.

Some dendex patching up the snow just to keep things going.

Further up the lift it was tight and thin in places, but served it’s purpose, getting us to the top of Main Basin.

Here the snow level had dropped too with some more rocks poking through. The slight rainfall we’d had the previous evening also had changed the surface. It was slightly icier than the day before, even with the sun on it. 

None of this mattered though, the run was complete and I proceeded lapping it for the morning.

Main Basin just hanging in there.
Easter egg hunters searching Coire Pollach
Packing things up on the last day.

There were very few people up, but as always, it was nice to say hello to folk who read this blog. 

It’s always a nice vibe at Glencoe, but on end-of-season days this becomes even more apparent. People are just happy to get another day skiing or snowboarding under their belt, and Glencoe stuff as usual had pulled out all the stops to stretch the snow as far as they could.

Dropping in to the Canyon.

The wind did start to make itself known at the summit nearer lunch time, but I still didn’t resort to a jacket. Some of the clouds that whipped over the summit were also becoming darker in tone. The sun still found its way through in between the clouds.

Waterfalls everywhere.
Gushing over Glencoe.

I decided early afternoon to head to the cafe and get some food. I walked to the top of the Canyon to take the direct route down, but as I was strapping in, I heard the radio buzz into life. They were discussing the Main Basin T-bar. It was going to be down for at least half an hour, maybe more.

The route down the Canyon.

I thought it best to walk back up and grab my bag before sliding down the very slush Canyon, with waterfalls gushing underneath the snow.

Looking back up the Canyon, including another waterfall.

I grabbed some soup at the cafe and had a drink. It was so hot you worked up quite a thirst.

It wasn’t too long before the news arrived. The Main Basin T-bar is down and won’t be back up.

And that was it. The 2018/19 season was over!

Prime suspect – the squeaky wheel on the T-bar.

While it was disappointing to have the last day cut short, I had no complaints. We have made the most of the season, and I am lucky enough to have had 16 days on my season ticket, making it worth while even in one of the worst snowless seasons I have experienced.

The snow we had been riding on had lasted and only come from a few falls earlier in the season.

I feel it was kind of fated too, as I still have that annoying thing called work waiting on me and it means the decision is made for me.

Final Fling

Glencoe is of course still open for business, they have bike events going on and Easter sledging is still planned for Monday. But, for skiers and snowboarders, we now just have to start wishing for a mega snow season next winter.

Big thanks to all the friends and fellow Glencoe regulars who make the place what it is, and of course to all the staff who make it all possible. You pulled it off despite the conditions you were dealt this season. Thank you.

See you all next year. 

I now need to find something else to do this summer.

See you next season Glencoe Mountain Resort.