Day 18 of Scottish season 14/15. The day started with uncertainty. I’d watched with interest yesterday. On Saturday, the high winds were playing havoc. The Cliffy chair was closed and they had to call it quits in the afternoon at Glencoe. Sunday (today) had been forecast to improve. However it wasn’t looking great according to the Winterhighland website. There were no tweets or news coming from the centre. Usually a bad sign. I sat around in my kitchen in my thermals, refreshing Winterhighland and Glencoe’s Facebook page. The webcams didn’t seem to be working so as 8:30, then 9:00 rolled by I thought things were looking bleak. They definitety were not looking great in Glasgow, persistent drizzle falling from a grey sky. I started to think my 18th day wouldn’t be today. Eventually, with the first report, the Cliffy chairlift was indeed not running. They even suggested it wasn’t suitable for small children on the hill.
There was a glimmer of hope though, the Cliffy opened and when I saw the cafe webcam showing Buachaille Etive Mhor. It had a good layer of fresh snow on it and more importantly, sunshine!
I looked outside my flat in Glasgow at the drizzle again. It was now 10:00, but if I left now I’d have a full afternoon.
As I arrived at Rannoch moor 2 hours later the sun was indeed shining. I had driven through rain, sleet and snow showers and on the hill it was definitely changeable. However as the afternoon went on, the wind abated.
The snow was being redistributed, meaning fresh tracks on most runs. Main Basin was packed with pow and going down right side of the top T-bar meant some nice soft turns.
The creme de la creme though was the Spring Run. Sticking to the left side there were fields of untouched wind packed powder. I wish I could have filmed or photographed it as I made some of my best turns of the season. I was actually shouting with glee at one point ( I’m not noted for doing this normally). Near the bottom some steeper sections allowed me to enter the ‘White Room’ – when you turn back into your spray and get a face shot of snow – absolutely epic. Needless to say, this was done a few times.
No queues, pretty good visibility when not in snow showers this was the best day of my season I think. Just wish I could have spent all day on Spring Run.
So lesson of today is just take a punt. It’s better than sitting indoors on a dreary day in the city.
Let’s hope the visitors keep coming and buying tickets so they stay open for business as long as possible.