Glencoe Mountain Resort
Wow! A busy day was on the cards at Glencoe Mountain Resort. Ski Scotland’s Snowfest was taking place this weekend, as part of this Glencoe would host a kilted descent and at the same time the Scottish Freedom Series Coe Cup was taking place.
I wanted to photograph both, but they would overlap. So I dragged my hefty camera bag up the hill and left it for a few laps around the mountain. I scoped out my platform for the Coe Cup event. A rocky buttress I’d sat on in previous years. However I overshot and found myself below. I’d be sure to get it next time.
I continued around the mountain and collected my bag for the event. Once again I descended Spring Run and crossed over, this time with my heavy bag. As I avoided some ice I found myself lower again! I tried taking off my board and kicking steps across to the buttress but I found without crampons I was asking to be spat out down the face. Also the prospect of competitors flying down the face I was on didn’t bare thinking about. I picked my way back and put my board on. There seemed to be little in the way of action happening yet so I decided to go round once again. Returning to the main mountain and taking the lift to the top, I found the correct gap in the rocks and found myself on the steep face above the buttress. After discussing with one ski patrol, I dropped down on to the buttress and got my camera gear organised. I missed at least 2 high placing skiers and 2 more big crashes. But I didn’t have long anyway. I had to get to the top of Main Basin for 1:00 to capture the Kilted Decent.
We gathered with several Kilted participant, of which I’m afraid I can’t include myself, (health and safety you know). We made our way down as a group, stopping here and there to get photos, finishing up at the Cafe. You can see all of the photo on the Glencoe Facebook Page.
Conditions on the hill
Rumours in the morning were that the hill was going to be rock hard. It was hoped to soften later, but I felt for the competitors of the Coe Cup who would be tackling the Flypaper, Scotland’s steepest marked piste.
When I actually got on the hill, the Plateau was already turning to granular Spring snow.
The groomed line in Main Basin and Happy Valley were once again the way to go this weekend if you were just cruising the mountain. There were no lift lines to speak of either, so potential for lots of mileage.
Temperatures were just below zero and visibility was good when not in the occasional snow flurry. There was a lot more sunshine than initially anticipated.
By the time of the competition on the Flypaper, the sun had done its work. I was pleasantly surprised when I made turns on the face, it was grippy and quite pleasant to turn in. This would bode well for the competition.
Low down on Mugs Alley, thing were definitely becoming more spring like and if it wasn’t for the large camera bag I was carrying I would have had lot of fun in that.
In the Afternoon
The fun did come for me later when I met up with Robbie at the summit and he suggested a trip down the East Ridge. As we dropped in, the sun was shining and the empty slopes opened up with perfect rolling gradients in what is an even more quiet area of the hill. The run out took us back to the Plateau access, where we returned to the summit.
I said goodbye to Robbie and took in a few laps of the summit for myself. The snow showers returned and for a short while, a small covering of fresh snow was enjoyed in Main Basin. After the snow, the end of the day was greeted with bursts of sunshine. I find this seem to be as regular weather pattern here at Coe. It’s as if the sun just wants to tease you as the lifts are about to close.
One More thing…
As part of a flying visit to Scotland and it’s ski areas, Billy Morgan, bronze medal winning, big air Olympian popped in to the Cafe in the evening where he was good enough to mingle, answer questions and take many selfies.
He should be up on the slopes tomorrow, where I’ll be getting some more photos I’m sure.