Second Splitboard Session

Glencoe Mountain Resort

Sunday looked like it would have better weather than the preceding Saturday, which had been opening day for Coe. The first ski uplift offered since lockdown in spring 2020. I gave that day a miss though since the weather was forecast to be very wet and windy, Sunday looked just slightly better, with the risk of having lost some snow as it had warmed up a bit.

Looking down towards the Plateau.
ski tows
Static summit tows

I took the chair to the plateau and set by skins onto my split skis. I strapped them to my pack as a hike was needed to get up to mugs alley.

Once I reached the Rescue Hut, I strapped in to my split skis. Since the snowbank had consolidated a bit and had a rain effected surface, I decided to attach the crampons that had come with my Union Explorer FC Bindings. I thought it best to get used to as much new gear as possible. They certainly proved worthwhile as I zig-zagged my way up Ski-tow Gulley.

Ski Tow Gulley at Glencoe
Looking up Ski-Tow Gulley.

Temperatures were above zero and the cloud whipped through, occasionally hiding the top from view. I cut through the fencing into Main Basin. The surface had sunk and compacted substantially since my last trip, but there was still generally a broad cover.

I hadn’t forgot my Jelly Babies this time, so I munched a few of these as I made my way to the top.

Issues Up Top

Once on the summit, I transitioned into downhill mode. Packing poles away, helmet and goggles on, along with waterproof gloves. After clipping my board together, I did have a bit of trouble getting one of my bindings over the pucks. For some reason it no longer fitted. The night before I had changed the angles, but everything had seemed to fit after that. The Unions play a large part in squeezing the two parts of the board together, but only if you can get them over the to semi-circular pucks and rotate them before locking with the pin.

Splitboarding in Scotland
In Main Basin

The wind was blowing and this was a good test for when things don’t go smoothly. I checked for ice between the two halves of the board and amongst the binding pucks. I decided to unclip the board again and hold the two parts at an angle to each other, this brought the two parts of the puck closer together so I managed to get the binding on and lock it closed. It seems I may have knocked one of them when I’d strapped the two skis to my rucksack. Everything held firmly for my descent.

Splitboarding in Scotland
Arbor Iguchi Pro Splitboard

I’m down with this

Not as fresh as Saturday, the snow wasn’t too bad and I got some nice turns down Main Basin before cutting onto the Ski-Tow track above the fence line. As I made my way down to the rescue hut I got some very pleasant turns in and slashed my way across the high embankment skiers left.

I stopped briefly to say hello and chat to Mick about gear, the past situation and how we looked forward to getting back to a fully open Coe.
After chatting, I decided to head back down, so angled across the top of the Cliffhanger Chair and down Mugs Alley.

I explored the cliffs that make up Thrombosis and the lower part of Spring Run. There was some interesting ice structures forming.

I completed the Plateau on the Poma uplift track which was the only piece of unbroken snow that led to the access lift.

Ice Cliffs at Glencoe
Thrombosis Cliffs

Wish for Winter

It doesn’t look at the time as if there is any more snow on the horizon, so lets start dancing for a wintery Christmas break to get things really going.