Day 13: 2017/18

Glencoe Mountain Resort

Second day in a row at Glencoe, the back of the car was OK overnight and temperatures remained above zero in the car park. I woke early and was still watching a movie, when Jon announced his arrival via text at about 8:00am.

It was still half term, but no queues. The holidays spread out the visitors across the period apparently.

Conditions on the hill

After some heavy rainfall during the night, the slushy snow on the hill froze solid in the clear spells that followed.

I’d put my board in for an edge sharpen especially for these conditions. On picking up my board they had indeed sharpened my edges and even better they had managed to wax it for me. I offered up some extra beers for this above and beyond service.

Mugs Alley
Jonathan on Mugs Alley

Areas off the marked routed were boiler plate ice. The rain dappled surface became like a cheese grater when frozen. Thankfully my edges held. The same couldn’t be said for Jon who ended up on his arse as we made for the Cliffy chair.

The sun is still relatively low at this time of year, so it doesn’t get much of a chance to soften the slopes. But mid mountain offered the most comfortable riding.

Visibility was excellent with only a few high clouds. Plenty of sun broke through making it feel warm in its light. However temperatures in the shade were below zero.

Upper mountain

We took the Wall T-bar to the Summit tow, then on to the top where we tried the groomed line on Happy Valley. It was better than the boiler plate, but you needed to pressure through your turns. The Wall itself, although having been in the sun longer was still a rough ride.

Back at the top Main Basin was OK. The best line was straight through the Haggis Trap to the rescue hut as Ski Tow Gully was rock solid as I found out to my chagrin.

ski instructors
Ski Instructors with The Wall in the background

Mid mountain

We would entertain a few more visits to the top, but since conditions were the polar opposite of yesterday’s sloppy snow we stuck mostly to Mugs Alley, where the sun and the action of skiers broke up the surface, making it easily the most comfortable run. A bit easy, but relaxed for day 13 of my season.

A skier on Thrombosis
A skier on an icy Thrombosis

Looking ahead

I’m staying fir at least another night and tomorrow looks like it will be sunny. In a way its good that the snowpack has frozen. It should soften up during the day and remain impervious to rain if it freezes at night. Conditions have not been great for this short stay. But we must remember, these are more regular conditions for Scotland. We have been spoiled of late with epic snowfall and powder. Hopefully tomorrow will be along the lines of a late Spring day with sugary snow and plenty of sun. And I forgot my sunscreen!

Sunset at Glencoe
Buachaille at the end of the day

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