Day 29: 2017/18 Easter Sunday

Glencoe Mountain Resort

The forecast for Easter Sunday had predicted solid sunshine all day, and it proved to be accurate. I awoke to a crisp clear sky. It looked like things would be firm, so I was going to stick with my Phoenix board. It’s better for big turns on fast snow.

Wide snow cover at Glencoe
Great cover across the mountain

Conditions on the hill

After my first run from the summit it was clear I would not be needing the down liner I wear under my shell jacket. So I dumped it at the rescue hut. The temperature felt warm due to the sun, but ambient temperatures were still around zero. This meant that the snow stayed in good shape throughout the day.

There was no wind to speak of and only high altitude puffy clouds occasionally passing in front of the sun.

The Wall Tbar
The Wall T-bar
The Cliffhanger Chairlift
The Cliffhanger Chairlift

Spring Run

The ‘Springy’ had been pisted and was prime pickings first thing. Big heel side turns sprayed snow in my face, partly obscuring my path ahead before shooting through. The surface was consistent and little in the way of bumps and lumps. 

I took some time to ride mid mountain on Mugs Alley for a while. I was looking for friends who were coming up for the day. It wouldn’t be till I was waiting at the Wall T-bar that they found me.

A skier on Spring Run Glencoe
Spring Run Action

Main Basin, Happy Valley & the Wall

Main Basin has been repeatedly groomed and is so well manicured. The same can be said for its neighbour, Happy Valley and the groomers continue on to the Wall.

With the action of the sun on these slopes it softened ever so slightly, but not yet in to granular Spring snow. 

Despite it being the Easter weekend, there were still no lift queue to contend with. Only a couple of people at most on the higher lifts both the button and the T-bar were running. Lower down there may have been slightly longer lines, but no significant waiting anywhere.

Summit tows
Main Basin and the summit tows
Cliffhanger Chairlift
Cliffhanger Chairlift

The East Ridge

After another ride down the Spring Run we had a bite to eat, then made our way to the summit and across to the East Ridge. After negotiating a few tight turns through the boulders at the top, the snow opened up onto the shoulder of the mountain. Some areas of untracked snow had a thin soft layer that made for nice turns. With so few visitors out this way it’s a sublime ride down and on to the vast expanse of the plateau. Looking back towards the mountain from here provides some of the best views in the resort.

East Ridge Glencoe
Top of the East Ridge
Michael descending East Ridge Glencoe
Me descending from the East Ridge
East Ridge Glencoe
Looking back towards the Flypaper and East Ridge

The rest of the afternoon

We continued to ride the upper mountain through the afternoon. Now that the sun stays high in the sky the last lift to the summit is a 4:00 so we wound down doing a few lines in Main Basin before finishing with a last Spring Run then out on Rankin’s Return.

The only real queue I came across was the one for the return access chair. A few keen folk skied and snowboarded under the access chair, making the final walk across the heather and mud at the bottom. I took the chair though.

The Canyon at Glencoe
The Canyon from the Cliffy chair

There was a really relaxed vibe on the hill today. No doubt due to the lack of big queues. We had the perfect combination of sun, no wind, wide cover and well maintained pistes.

The car park was pretty full, so I do wonder where everyone was on the hill today. 

It could have been down to the other resorts being open and spreading the load.

West is still best however (as far as I’m concerned).

View of mountain from the East Ridge Glencoe
Views from the East Ridge