Day 9: 2019

Glencoe Mountain resort

My break even day! This makes the season pass with it, despite the terrible lack of snow this winter. We had been hoping for additional snow on Friday night, but it hadn’t really materialised. Saturday dawned with a beautiful morning in Glasgow. By the time I’d reached Glencoe Mountain Resort, I’d passed through a variety of weather types. After the heavy cloud at the head of Loch Lomond, it brightened once more.

Buachaille Etive Mor

Conditions on the hill

Snowsport was limited this morning. Only The main Basin and Spring Run would see action, with the Wall providing access to the Cafe.

As I arrived on the Plateau, Deer were grazing where there had been snow previously. 

View from the Acmess Lift

The upper mountain looked good though as I made the short hike towards the Cliffhanger chairlift. 

There were only two of us in the Main Basin for my first run. Beautiful smooth Spring Snow covered the full width. Happy Valley was closed, but the snowboarding in Main Basin was a joy. It was even worth taking the board off to cross a short grassy area to ride Ski Tow Gully. No one was on this and it provided perfect turns straight to the bottom of the Summit T-bar. During the whole day, there was never a queue. For a Saturday it was very quiet indeed.

Main Basin catching the sun.

Run of the day however had to be the Spring Run. It is after all this time of year when it earns its title. Once you make the hike across the summit of Meall a’ Bhuiridh, the top section of the Springy was smooth and wide. Arcing turns all the way down to the steeper middle section where you could see cracks forming in the snow pack. Cutting left near the bottom section you could stay high and this would take you almost, but not quite to the top of the Cliffy Chair, where its a short walk back to the summit T-bar.

Not many folk were making the walk as it was my own footprints I recognised in the snow each time it was repeated.

Top of the Spring Run.
Top of the Spring Run.
Main Basin lift

We did make the mistake of trying to get down Mugs Alley at one point, but you are better off taking the Wall or the Canyon if looking to get down from the top part of the mountain.

After a lunch break we alternated between Main Basin and the Springy. Main basin did start to get a bit choppy towards the latter part of the afternoon. It also became noticeably colder once the sun weakened and the snow started to firm up pretty quickly. By 3:30pm, with the light flattening and the knees taking a pounding I did a couple more summit runs before making for the Wall. This was still quite soft even at 4:00pm as its a bit lower down the hill. 

Strapping in to the snowboard

Hiking the Plateau path back to the access chair definitely had an air of summer about it. All being well, we should be in for a sunny springtime session tomorrow (Sunday). Maybe a hoody day, who knows. Roll on day 10. I never thought I’d see day 9 this season. Good job Coe, hanging on to this snow.

Some light snow flurries hiding Ben Nevis.
Returning on the Access Lift

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