Day 6: 2017/18

Glencoe Mountain Resort

Saturday was the day we had all been waiting for. John and myself had stayed overnight Friday as we knew it was going to be busy at Glencoe. In fact, when I awoke and wiped the ice and condensation from the window I could see the line of traffic away down on the A82.

Buachaill Etive Mor at sunrise

The staff had worked on the access road and car park in the darkness and were doing their best to make sure everyone could make it into the car park. Unfortunately the council didn’t seem to share the feeling that these roads should be kept clear for the multitude of visitors that make their way in to the region.

I got breakfast while John stood in the ticket line. We could see people walking up the road and cars were being left by the road side.

Another solution would be buses and car sharing, but infrastructure seems to be a big problem all over Scotland, especially in rural locations.

Snow covered views across Rannoch Moor from Glencoe

On the Mountain

It was a beautiful day with wispy clouds in a blue sky. Hardly a breath of wind in the air.

We took the Wall T-bar, then the top T-bar to the summit where we did part of Happy Valley then into Etive Glades. It was only later we realised Etive Glades was in fact closed. Along with Spring Run and Flypaper, due to unstable snow. We were though just accessing the stash of soft powder that lead on the snowfield above the Wall which gave great sport and steep, deep turns before reaching the T-bar queue once more.

Powder slashes on the Dark Side

These runs were invigorating, and coupled with the unbeatable views left me in no doubt that there is no place I’d rather snowboard. On a sunny day with fresh snow Glencoe Mountain Resort is head and shoulders the premier place to snowboard in Scotland.

The snow was light and cold and held well even when cut up. At this early time in the season, the sun goes behind the mountain for a good part of the day keeping it cold. Hence the snow holding capabilities the early ski pioneers recognised of this mountain.

Skiers at the summit of Glencoe Mountain Resort

Kinder Egg Challenge

Mugs Alley the Plateau were all in great shape too and we stopped for lunch to grab a pie from the mountain cafe. Both John and myself were carrying upon our persons a Kinder Surprise Egg each. This is an old game we had devised. The winner being the one with the most complete egg after a day of riding. We both checked the state of our eggs at lunch only to realise both were in a sorry state.

The best day so far

With the sun still shining, we rode on into the afternoon with runs down Main Basin and onto the Wall, round the back of the wall, just leaving out Flypaper and Spring Run, since we had now read the sign on the rescue hut.

The temperatures started to drop dramatically late afternoon as the lifts were due to close which meant that the snow would be in good shape for tomorrow (Sunday).

It had been a great day and no doubt due to the issues on the road, not much in the way of queueing. Lines moved quickly and a lot of ground could be covered.

This was by far the best day of the season so far. Glad I spent it at Glencoe.

Glencoe Rescue Hut View from Rankins Return

Another night in the car

Gareth and Family came to meet John and myself at the bottom of the hill. He had unsuccessfully tried to get the family up for a day skiing. But leaving Glasgow after 10am was a fundamental mistake. We enjoyed catching up and his daughters deemed me ‘Kinder Egg Challenge Champion’.

After a drink I said goodbye to Jonathan and Gareth and family as I had decided to spend one more night at Glencoe, making it three in a row. The fourth day was forecast to be windy and snowy, but it was World Snow Day so I thought I’d stay and make the most of my time off work.

Unfortunately it was so busy in the cafe I decided to wait and returned to the car to do a bit of work on my computer before returning for something to eat at 7:30. Sadly I was informed that the kitchen was now closed, so I had a coffee and returned to the car with nothing more than snacks for my evening meal. After the previous night, I didn’t fancy risking a late drive to find food.

I moved the car to a quiet corner and put my head down for the night.