mugs alley glencoe
Mugs Alley – a river runs through it

Day 4 of Scottish Season 15/16. The annual trip to Aviemore was the plan for this weekend and I decided since the conditions looked borderline I’d take the long route via Glencoe rather than the A9.

Snow had been lost since last weekend and conditions were warmer. I took my time and arrived at Glencoe around 10. Play was postponed due to high wind and the rivers were pouring down the mountain. I knew this may be my only chance to get any snowboarding done in the days i’d taken off work, so I was torn when they announced they were open. Do I face the extremely wet and windy conditions or get some much needed snowboard time in on my season pass?

Time passed and I watched folk cautiously make their way up. The rain was hammering down and it reminded me of my early days when I really would go up in any conditions. It had to be done though.

The chairlift up was interesting with gusts reaching 40-50mph. The waterfalls were thundering below as rain fell and snow melted. There was talk of the rain turning back to snow by lunchtime.

The plateau up track was just about holding together and I made my way down Old Mugs Alley to the Wall T-bar. At the bottom of the Cliffhanger chair I looked up Mugs Alley at what was now a cataract if meltwater. I’d never seen a river running on top of the snow like this. Not here.

After plunging through up to my knees, I made it across to the Wall. Then up to the Summit T-bar.

The snow was now starting to fall thankfully but visibility was still pretty decent and despite the loss of depth and it being very wet, the snow pack in Main Basin was very enjoyable to ride. So much so, I found myself shooting straight back up the lift each time I reached the bottom. As I was one of the four or five people at the top, there were no queues, just an empty T-bar each time I reach the bottom.

The snow was buttery smooth and made for great sport. I really had a fun time here despite the earlier rain.

Very wet but with a smile on my face I return to the car to make my way up to Aviemore for the weekend.

The A86 Laggan road is a longer drive but far more relaxing and with the heavy rain there were some spectacular waterfalls. I think I’ll head back this way and take in Glencoe on my return.

glencoe car park
The deluge


waterfall glancoe
Meeting of the three waters


Laggan waterfall
Waterfall just beyond Laggan