DAY 4 OF THE SCOTTISH SEASON 16/17
I’d missed a cracking day on the Friday, like most people I had been stuck in the office. Glencoe Mountain Resort announced on their Facebook page that the mountain was open from top to bottom. Friday’s scene had the sun splitting the sky and corduroy groomers, a real tease. Saturday would be a very different story.
I left from a rainy Cardross in good time and the traffic was not too bad up Loch Lomondside. On arrival at the ski area there was snow falling to carpark level, but the mountain disappeared into the cloud all too soon.
I had a tea and some breakfast in the cafe then onto the access chair for 9:00am.
Visibility was around 50m, but when all around you is white, it may as well be zero. I summoned all my Jedi powers and made for the summit. At least there was snow and it went all the way to the top! About time Mother Nature! Where have you been?
It wasn’t busy, indeed I found myself on my own a few times in Main Basin. The first few turns in there were fantastic. The snow was great, but in the middle of the basin you lost all reference points and some confidence along with it. Once you neared a fence or the narrows where rocks re-appeared, you could then gauge your speed a bit easier.
With less snow on the mountain there are some unfamiliar contours that need to be negotiated. I found myself at the bottom of Thrombosis after some powdery turns, with a hole in the snow at the bottom of the gully. I slammed on the brakes and shuffled by the little abyss. Mugs Alley has a river to avoid at the bottom and a few snow sharks were waiting to sink their rocky teeth into the base of my board. After one particularly aggressive attack, I found my board had developed a tendency to turn heel side (pulling to the left) at slow speed. More p-tex needed to fix this, but in the meantime I’ll just have to point the board straight where I can.
Despite what are effectively ‘early season’ conditions at the start of Spring, it’s so good to see the snow conditions improving. It’s also good to see the familiar faces around the place, all keen to be getting their season underway.
I found Thrombisis was good fun, with occasional powder stashes, and Main Basin has great quality snow in it, despite the levels being unusually low.
I didn’t get on to the new Rankin’s Run, which I heard later was fantastic. I’ll have to give it a go tomorrow. Assuming I can manhandle my board around the mountain after its shark attack. Looks like there may even be a chance of some sun.