Day 19: 2017/18

Glencoe Mountain Resort

I had driven the night before from Fort William back to Glencoe Mountain Resort about 9:30pm, through the Star Wars hyper drive of snow flurries. The roads were good, but the snow started to settle once I arrived and parked up for the night.

In the wee hours of Friday morning, I started to feel the wind gusting. Shaking the car from side to side.

As the sun rose, it lit up the mountains. The dark clouds were never far away though.

The access lift from the car park at glencoe mountain resort
Looking up the access lift from the car park

Conditions on the hill

The decision to run the chairlift was put on hold until 10am. The wind was still gusting and air clarity was coming and going.

By the time I’d had something to eat in Cafe Ossian, the lifts started turning and folk made their way up the hill.

There were bright shafts of sunlight punching through the fast-moving cloud. This steadily increased as the day went on.

plateau poma surface lift at glencoe
The Plateau Poma partially illuminated
snowboarder illuminated by sun
Snowboarder on the Plateau Run

Theres was plenty of drifting snow revitalising Main Basin. But the strong winds had shaped some of the leeward areas into hard ridges of sastrugi. Occasionally in periods of low visibility, these could throw you off-balance.

In general though, visibility was good.

The temperature was just below zero and the winds were fresh. The brief periods of sunshine made it feel that bit warmer.

Main Basin & Happy Valley

The summit basin was still full of cold fluffy chopped powder. Convex areas were slightly wind packed but provided great turns. Popping in to Ski Tow Gulley was the best way to get back to the lift as beyond the Haggis Trap was polished and the scene of a couple of accidents.

the wall t-bar
The Wall T-bar
A fully loaded Main Basin
A fully loaded Main Basin

Spring Run

Spring Run was fantastic. Bulging with snow, particularly down the left side. Towards the bottom its a bit more chopped. But was cold enough to stay soft. I snagged this run a couple of times before taking the lift down around 3:00pm.

At the top of Spring Run
At the top of Spring Run
rannoch moor
Rannoch Moor from the Spring Run

Return to Glasgow

I decided to make for Glasgow and not stay another night. It was an opportunity to get freshened up and sleep in a proper bed. I also wanted to drop by the office to pick up a delivery that I planned to use on future visits to the slopes. Something with a different shape, size and flex.

I’d only get to pick it up though after I’d dealt with the M8 tailbacks of rush hour in the heart of Glasgow.

East Ridge and Flypaper at Glencoe
East Ridge and Flypaper
Scottish Ski Club Hut
Scottish Ski Club Hut
Climbers practicing snow anchors
Climbers practicing snow anchors