Power = Powder

During the week a lightning bolt touched down during a thunder snow event at Glencoe.

This knocked out the electricity supply to the upper mountain. As the snow loaded up, the downside was that Glencoe faced a fair weather day on Friday with the possibility of no uplift on a sold out day.

Main Access Lift to Glencoe Mountain

The Coe Crew weren’t about to let that happen and a stoic performance through the night and following day saw them hook up the important lifts to temporary generators. Come Friday morning, the sun came out with the Access Chair, Plateau Poma, the Wall t-bar all running.

Aware of the situation, I brought my Splitboard. I could at least skin up if the power supply was lost.

The hill looked glorious with full cover in the morning’s sparkling light. I was keen to get up the top and make turns in all that fresh snow. 

Splitboarding means I can reach the summit while the power is off

I was torn however. Do I jump on the Wall T-bar and grab early lines on the Wall, or do I skin up to the top for a longer decent? I chose the latter. Skinning up Happy Valley I was making decent time until the track steepened to the point where my skins were losing traction. I decided to try my ski-crampons. Probably the wrong time to try them as they are tricky to fit when you’re gripping with your edges to prevent sliding downhill. Always fit crampons before you need them!

Main Basin full of the soft stuff

Reaching the top and looking down into Happy Valley I once again had to decide on dropping into an untouched slope, or delay gratification and carry on across the summit to Spring Run. I thought while I have skins and crampons on, I’d continue east on the very icy track.

Walking along the summit path

The top of Spring Run and Flypaper was extremely iced up as were many westerly aspects.

I transitioned to board mode and dropped into Spring Run. A few patches of ice and sastrugi then I was into wind packed snow. I cut back onto Mugs Alley before a short hike back up to the rescue hut. I stopped for a bit to eat, considering doing the Wall, but decided to put the skins on again for anther trip to the top. As I was doing this, there was a clink and a hum coming from a lift. I turned to see some excitement at the bottom of the Rannoch Button. There was a buzz amongst the few people hanging around and it became apparent the Crew had worked their magic here too and we soon had uplift to the summit. I packed my skins away and dumped my bag at the rescue hut. Despite being off-camber and iced up, I was happy to see the lift running, providing top to bottom lift service against all odds. It was lift served laps for the rest of the day.

The lifts started running again

The snow stayed in great shape through the day, clouds slowly moved in and the blue skies changed to falling snow in the afternoon. The lifts understandably had to run with a reduced capacity, but this in turn meant the slopes were not busy. 

splitboardng in Scotland
skinning to the summit
Get the power back on!