Day 4: 2017/18

Glencoe Mountain Resort

It’s a Thursday. I’d seen the weather coming and I made sure I used some of the days I’d banked off work. I’d also seen video of the groomers shifting a ton of fresh snow. I was going to make the most of this long weekend. The drive up was slightly sketchy between Crianlariach and Tyndrum and then a bit of snow on the access road and carpark at Glencoe Mountain Resort.

lots of snow

Thursday was a snow day

For a Thursday, the carpark was pretty full. Why should I think I’d be the only one with this idea?

The visibility was not great, but I could nearly see the summit from the Plateau as I made my way up the poma. The wind was also much lower than had been predicted, and I was actually feeling quite warm.

It was great to see that the winds had done the job of drifting the snow and filling many of the gullies and holes around the mountain.

I should also add that I was now riding my ‘new’ Phoenix, Libtech board, which I actually bought at the end of the 2016 season and it never saw any action last season, so it was a new ride for me. It felt pretty good to as I aimed for the Cliffy Chairlift.

Head in the clouds

The Main Basin was pretty full with snow, but visibility had deteriorated by the time I reached the summit. The snow was great, deep and soft, but there were a few wind-ups with drops to catch you out.

Queues were minimal as you would expect midweek, so I made a few laps of the top finishing including a run down Happy Valley. I didn’t try Etive Glades as I had this new board, and snow sharks do lurk there and I didn’t want to risk the base of my board on its first day.

Cliffy Chairlift

A Spanner in the works

Unfortunately, after a great run down the Wall I heard over the lifts radio that the top lift had packed in. They were working on it for a while, simultaneously starting up the Wall T-bar to the strain off the Cliffy. It was a pity as the sun poked through and visibility lifted just as the top lift stopped running.

I took this chairlift and hiked the short distance to do a few more runs down the Wall. The powder was untracked in plenty of spots. Taking a high line then dropping down through the steeper snow provided nice rooster tails and turns through your own snow spray.

Run to the Carpark

I stopped to meet Gareth who was up with his daughter, messing about on the Plateau before taking a run sown to the carpark, where we had lunch.

Carpark run

Back up the hill, I was glad to see that the top T-bar was running once again, but the Wall T-bar had stopped.

After a couple more plateau runs I had a few laps of Mugs Alley on flat light. It was good to see the drifting had evened this run out though as its once of the busiest through the season.

I took one last lift to the summit and made my way down Happy Valley then on to the Wall once more taking advantage of the powder still available.

As I arrived at the Cliffhanger, the lifty, told me it was closed. It was the end of the day and I had to make my way down to the access chair.

Despite poor visibility, the lack of wind and quality of the snow more than made up for it. And despite a few mechanical hiccups with the lifts, there were enough alternative options to keep everyone satisfied.

I will be staying the night hoping to make an early start Friday, which doesn’t look as promising as today had been, but worth making the most of the recent snowfall.

the view from the Cliffhanger chairlift at Glencoe Mountain Resort