Day 3: 2017/18

Glencoe Mountain Resort

I’d car camped after spending an evening in Fort William and I awoke to frosted windows (on the inside) and a deflated sleeping mat. The rose-tinted mountain views made up for any discomfort. I parked in the top carpark at Glencoe, grabbed some food and made for the access chairlift.

Buachaille Etive Mor

A fine day ahead

Light winds and sunny conditions had always been of the cards for Sunday. At this time of year however, the sun never really makes it above the summit, so the north facing corrie stays in the shade. This also means the snow from the day before remained in great shape. There were still the odd patches of powder, and since the atmosphere was very dry it was as if it had just fallen, 2 days later.

Happy valley was pisted and provided the most direct route from the summit. It did start to get busy as most people who made it up the summit t-bar, stayed there as the Cliffy queues became fairly lengthy.

I revisited Etive Glades several times again today. Although the expanses of untouched  snow had gone, it remained quiet with a pisted route that the groomer had used to reach the top of the mountain.

Creag DubhGlencoe Mountain

Summit Lifts

The top t-bar queue ran back to the top of the Wall t-bar, which unfortunately was still not running, but it moved pretty quickly. Even more so once the summit poma was running alongside.

The track for the poma is messed up at the best of times and with little in the way of drifting, the terrain seemed even more chaotic along the route. Once of the reasons they don’t encourage snowboarders to take this lift.

Summit Views

I took a bit of time out and hiked the short distance to the very summit of the mountain. I captured some photos and surveyed the glorious views that surrounded me. The hazy views to the south with the sun reflecting off Loch Tulla, more majestic mountains to the West including Stob Gabhar and Ben Nevis to the North.

I strapped on my board at the top and slid down a short untouched slope that met up with the Happy Valley. I made my way onto Etive Glades then on to the Wall where I kept going to the Cafe for something to eat.

Loch Tulla

Return to the top

After lunch I joined the long line for the Cliffhanger Chairlift and returned to do several laps of Main Basin. Despite a lack  of depth, the cover is wide. The Main Basin undulates and is steep in places, but soft snow prevails. Since the Haggis Trap is empty, alternative exits from Main Basin are needed. If you don’t make it over to Happy Vally you can drop down above the Wall t-bar towards the rescue hut.

I decided to stay up top and not face the lower slopes and avoid the crowds.

I gave Rannoch Glades a bash and found some fresh lies, but at the risk of some shark bites. Always worth it.

I didn’t attempt the Spring Run. Instead I finished off on Rannoch Glades which again delivered lots of fresh turns before I dropped onto Mugs Alley and then on to Rankin’s Return and onto the Chairlift.

Due to the very cold temperatures, the snow lasted easily over the weekend. There was not a breath of wind on Sunday, which is a pleasure, but we just need a big storm now to bring in some more snow and drift it into all the gullies and holes.

Snow covered Sron na Creise rime ice