Day 5 of my season at Glencoe

My first opportunity for snowboarding since my holiday to the French Alps started in a frosty Glasgow. Just about getting ahead of the commuter rush hour I made it past a very misty Loch Lomond and arrived at the mountain just as the sun was breaking through the clouds.

Having seen the snowy images from a week ago it was a bit sad to see how much snow had gone during the thaw. The new Rannoch lift saved me from a walk across the plateau to the Cliffhanger Chairlift. It allowed me access via Old Mugs Alley, down towards the Cafe, then up the Cliffy to the Summit Lifts.

Ski Lifts
Looking up an empty Main Basin first thing.
Ski Tow Gulley.

Main Basin had a groomed line down it and provided great turning. I would alternate between Happy Valley and Main Basin as the reports were that Rannoch Glades and Spring Run were rutted and frozen solid.

This suited me as I was making turns on a new snowboard.

A sneak peak of my new board.

I did hot laps of the summit runs all day, stopping only around lunchtime for a drink and a bite to eat from my backpack at the rescue hut.

Yes, rather than take a new board on holiday to experience fresh powder, I debuted my Gnu Gremlin on a low tide day at Glencoe. It proved to carve up the crud with no problems. I decided to belatedly join the short and wide trend. Its camber and early rise blunt snout is so much fun to turn on.

The extra width really did make a difference. I have quite small feet (size 7) and it did feel weird from edge to edge at first, but when I got used to it I found I could really get the board on its edge with not to or heel drag at all. I took my time, slowed down and enjoyed some wide turns on my new board. A smile developed on my face several times, despite the day becoming wetter and wetter.

I’ll be heading up again on Saturday for more turns.

Gnu Gremlin, short, wide and great fun.
Glencoe Ski Club Hut.


There was no rain to speak of, but the moisture hung as a mist around the summit. Caking ice on to my helmet and wetting out my Gore-tex jacket. Thankfully I remained dry inside and it didn’t effect my day at all.

Summit light
Climbers summiting Meall a’ Bhúiridh.

The wind only picked up slightly in the afternoon and didn’t affect riding. It must have been around zero, but no sign of snow. The clouds even started to part as I finished up around 3 o’clock. It looks like the is some snow coming in the long term forecast and we’re still only in January. Here’s hoping February brings us more of the white stuff.

Blue sky making a late appearance.
Soggy jacket but happy snowboarder.
From the top.