Day 4: 2019

Glencoe Mountain resort

Sun and freshies were predicted. Having spent another night at Coe, it was an early start. I’d woken up to grey skies and the wind buffeting the car. Uh oh! I thought to myself would today turn out as well as forecast. Thankfully by 8:30am the skies were turning blue and the wind, although still brisk, had died down a touch.

Glencoe Views in the mirror

The car park was filling quickly, as I think Glencoe Mountain Resort was the best option in the country when it came to snow, and accessibility. I grabbed a coffee and was up the access chair well before 9:00am.

Chairlift at Glencoe
Hiking the hill for early turns.

Conditions on the Hill

As I travelled up the Plateau Poma, I could see a crown wall of an avalanche on the Wall. The brisk wind I presume was delaying the opening of the Cliffhanger chair, but I aimed for the Wall T-bar anyway. As I ascended I could see ski patrol cutting further along the wall so I jumped off halfway to go down and have a look. A large slow moving tumble of snow blocks slid down the slope towards me and the bottom of the T-bar. I was in no danger, but did have to stop and recognise there were several tons of snow sliding my way. 

Avalanche at Glencoe
Avalanche debris
cutting the avalanche free
ski patrol keeping things safe
Ski patrol keeping things safe

Back up on main basin I found taking the left side down, staying high, paid off as the wind kept refreshing this line. Over into happy valley was just as good before skipping into the top part of the Wall. There were the odd patches of ice, but mostly wind blown snow lay ahead. On one occasion I cut high on the Wall and dropped a good few feet off the crown wall of the avalanche, but the layer below was grippier than I thought it would be and provided some good turns down to the T-bar.

Skiers at Glencoe Mountain

I took an early opportunity to try the Spring Run too which was packed with fresh. Staying away from the Fly once again due to avalanche risk. Later I did see a slide had happened Both on this run and lower on the Spring Paper. Taking a run across the bottom of Thrombosis, I came across some large blocks from yet another slide. They’ve definitely had a lot of snow here, and about time too. Good to see the patrol dealing with it all too.

Main Basin at Glencoe Mountain Resort
Looking in to Main Basin.
Spring Run Glencoe
Top of the Spring Run.

Things started to get busy before lunch, and what would you expect, skiers and snowboarders thirsty for turns, the best conditions in the country and sunny spells, it’s bound to be busy.

I took a time out to watch the Red Bull event on Coire Pollach. Some rails and a special Red Bull Jeep feature with some tunes playing provided entertainment for those queuing for the cafe or the Cliffy chair.

Red Bull Rail Jam
Skiers hiking freestyle park
Tunes and good vibes.

After this break I returned to the top where the snow was changing so slightly. The powder was packing down, but still providing good sport.

As the day came to a close I sat at the top of Spring Run where a familiar face turned up. Frank suggested we aim for the Weasel after the Spring Run, so we continued out west where the snow was crisping up, some ice which had been baking in the sun. It was a strange surface that your board doesn’t really want to turn in. But eventually we made it over this plateau on down on to the track.

What a Day

With fantastic snow (especially early on) and sunshine, there were real good vibes around the hill. Yes, the odd person was muttering about the lift lines, but this is a glorious weekend in Scottish skiing! You need to take a zen approach when its this good. If you don’t want lift lines, come up during the week. Thats what I plan to do tomorrow! Roll on Monday.

East Ridge and Flypaper.