Head in the clouds: Day 9


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A tricky day for taking photos

Making the most of the weekend, I stayed over at Coe despite warnings that the wind would pick up. Luckily in the morning it looked like it wouldn’t be so bad. The Cliffy wouldn’t be running due to higher gust speeds, and there was some persistent rain in the carpark. Hopefully this would mean snow up top.

Conditions on the mountain

The rain persisted as the access chair climbed upward, however, by the time I was at the top of the Plateau, it was mostly falling as snow. There certainly seemed to have been more snow accumulation over night. By the time I got up to the rescue hut the warning notice said that Flypaper and Spring Run were closed, so my first runs were spent feeling my way through the thick mist in Main Basin. Luckily the snow was still in great shape, still thick and heavy with a bit more moisture in it.

Rescue hut notice board

My run of the morning would be down Main Basin and along the top of the Wall, dropping down the north facing end into untouched thick powder. It wasn’t getting too much traffic so I managed to do this several times getting fresh turns each time.

Wall T-Bar

As usual Ski Tow gully came up with the goods, again, not too many people choose this line, and today it was great because without the crowds that were witnessed on Friday, you could easily skip back to the rescue hut and back up the Main Basin T-bar. The large wall of snow that was there yesterday had been flattened.

Above the rescue hut

In addition to Ski Tow Gully, you could enter from the Rock Garden higher up. Plenty of untouched snow was hidden in there.

Top of the Wall T-Bar

After lunch I could feel the gusts of wind were making themselves known a bit more. This also seemed to help break up the cloud and in the afternoon the run of choice was now Rannoch Glades. I could’t believe how much of it was untouched. The snow was becoming a touch more sticky as it absorbed some of the light rain, so the steeper sections at the bottom of Rannoch Glades allowed for smoother turns with a bit more speed. I’d return to the T-bars via Mugs Alley and I kept doing laps of this run all afternoon.

Looking back across to Main Basin from Rannoch Glades

I hadn’t been too optimistic about the day, but I found I’d done a lot more snowboarding today than the day before. Lift lines were short and I managed to get lap after lap without stopping.

Buachaille

What turned out to be the last run of the day was suggested by Paul, he was telling me the cut across to Spring Run (which was now open) led over to the bottom of the Flypaper. I followed them across the hill and down in to the bottom of the Flypaper which provided more great snow. However as I made it back to the Wall T-bar we were informed that the hill was closing. The wind had finally crept up in speed. I did manage to wangle my way onto the last lift up to grab my bag at the rescue hut, where I made my way down via Rankin’s which was getting really sticky in the softer section. I made it down to the Access lift where they were downloading in the increasing wind. It was 3:45pm, so pretty much a full day was had.

A successful day in my books.

Well done to everyone at Coe for making a dreich day so much fun. And shout out to the Chicken pies in the Cafe, delicious!