Day 21: 2017/18

Glencoe Mountain Resort

I woke up on Sunday morning at Glencoe where the condensation on the car windows prevented me from gauging the conditions outside. It looked misty yet again, but the prediction was that there would be a cloud inversion. As I grabbed something to eat, I watched the web cameras, and they did indeed show blue skies at the top of the mountain. So I finished up as quick as I could and took the lift up through the cloud. It was misty on the plateau, but after taking the Wall T-bar, there was nothing but sunshine and blue skies.

blue skies at glencoe
Blue skies above the rescue hut

Conditions on the hill

I’d taken the Box Knife board to deal with a slightly more choppy snow pack. Some areas were still a bit hard off piste, but higher up temperatures rose due to the inversion. This softened the snow a bit.

East Ridge Glencoe
Run out from the East Ridge
A skier drops Baillie's Gully at Glencoe
A skier drops Baillie’s Gully at Glencoe

I took the Box Knife all around the mountain, and for the first time this season across the top of the Flypaper and onto Baillie’s Gully. Although shorter the long rise of the tips on my Box Knife helped the board float on the softer snow, the flex allowing me top pop little ollies far easier than my regular board.

There were a few rocks poking through at the top of the East Ridge where you take a few turns before entering the Flypaper bowl itself.

As you run out into Mugs Alley you descend back into the mist. A flashback to the last few days. So it was straight back up the Wall to the top where I also tried the rock garden area that takes you across Rannoch Glades and onto Thrombosis.

On a day where the sun shines like it did this day, you must take a time-out and look over the back. Take in the views and enjoy the surrounding mountains.

I took the opportunity to spam social media with bluebird skies, just to prove it was really happening.

Michael posing on a cornice
Selfie on a cornice
Clach Leathad
Cloud inversion

The Best day so far…?

It really was a beautiful mellow day, after having lunch in the hazy sunshine  around the Plateau Cafe, I spent the rest of the afternoon on the top half of the mountain. As the day went on, the mist slowly started to rise. The cloud occasionally reaching the bottom of Main Basin.

I continued laps of the top of the mountain, and it was actually in the days earlier after talking with others on the lift about far-flung resorts and holiday locations that I contemplated the positives of Glencoe and what in world terms is a very small mountain. It’s not even large by Scottish standards. But the whole mountain does have character. I was comparing it in my head to surfing. Especially when Main Basin is full of powder. It’s not particularly challenging, nor is it long. But how long do you spend surfing the longest wave? That’s how I see riding at Glencoe. Short runs, but more of them and lots of fun in between.

Bob on Happy Vally
Happy Valley at Glencoe
Main Basin

Saying that, you can easily have a run that drops from 3000 feet to the car park at just over 1,000 feet.

So five days in a row, that was my wee holiday. Mist and low visibility for most of it, but epic snow throughout. Ending in the best of days, just a pity none of my friends got up to see the sun. At least I’ve got the photos to prove it was real.

The summit of Meall a' Bhùiridh
The summit above Main Basin
Buachaille Etive More above the clouds
The Buachaille in the background
Ben Lui in the distance
Clach Leathad
mugs alley glencoe mountain resort
Mugs Alley





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