Glencoe Mountain Resort
My stomach dictated the pace this fine morning. Despite fresh snow and clear skies, a roll and sausage beckoned. I wolfed it down as fast as I could, but not before Andy, the proprietor of Glencoe Mountain Resort reprimanded me for missing the freshies.
The chairlift up was pleasant and the wind that threatened to hang around was nowhere to be seen.
Morning light hugged the East Ridge lighting the mountain from the left, looking up. Everything was white, with several centimetres sitting across the area, all obstacles covered with cold fresh snow.
Happy Valley & Etive Glades
I immediately aimed for Happy Valley, breaking off to the left and into Etive Glades. It’s not often snow lies deep enough here. Snow sharks lurk just under the surface waiting to take bait out of unsuspecting skis or boards. If you keep your eyes ahead however, its possible to see the shadows underneath and plan your turns to avoid those sharp rocks below.
Etive Glades had hardly a soul whenever I entered, the odd hiker or tourer, then me.
I was surprised I got as many untracked runs as I did. I wasn’t exactly first out of the blocks.
The snow had a slight crust on top, cold and fluffy underneath. The temperature meant the snow stayed in great shape throughout the morning.
It wasn’t till after lunch that I first tried Main Basin, even here, the snow was soft and powdery.
Main Basin is not at its full depth yet. In fact the whole mountain has not had machine the way of drifting, so many gullies and holes still need filled. The Haggis Trap remains almost empty and the Wall T-bar track needs more cover before this lift can open.
At the end of the day I hiked across the summit to Spring Run, where despite the odd rocky outcrop, the majority of this steeper slope also enjoyed good cover of soft fluffy snow. There were odd patches of ice as you’d expect on a steeper aspect but nothing to worry about. The soft snow continued on the run out at the bottom until it firmed up on Rankin’s Return as I made my way to the access lift.
The weather couldn’t have been better. Cold, dry and bright, most of the time.
The following day promises more of the same, but colder.