Snow Fever: Day 10

Strange days at Glencoe Mountain Resort

I’m finishing up my annual leave with a few days of great weather forecast. However as everyone is all too aware a fever has gripped the nation in the form of Corona Virus. It’s looking like we are days away from a lockdown, so I’m going to grab a chance to get out on the snow while I still can. Things are looking strained in the business world too, and it looks like there will be big changes as far as my work goes. I just needed to get away. The roads are quiet but skiers and snowboarders have descended on all of the ski centres that are offering sport and the car park is looking pretty busy.

Lift line at Plateau Poma
Lift line at Plateau Poma

Conditions on the hill

The sky was one again cloudless, with the sun shining bright on a hill sporting full coverage. I hadn’t expected it, but there had been a fall of snow the night before and the bottom Poma had to be dug out in the early hours. By the time I was up the hill, some smaller flurries passed through, but didn’t last long before it was back to blue skies. Temperatures were just cold enough to keep the soft snow in the Main Basin fluffy without becoming chundery.

Main Basin T-bar
Queue for Main Basin T-bar
Skier at Glencoe
Thrombosis
GoPro photo of snowboarder
Turns on Spring Paper

My go-to run was the top of Spring Run and cutting in to the Flypaper. This steeper slope was holding some beautiful heavy wind packed power, giving silent turns. 

I did give Rannoch Glades a go as it had some of the best snow on my last visit. However, the upper exposed parts were now iced up a fair bit, leaving only the very bottom steep section with softer snow. 

Snowboarder at Glencoe
Baillies Gully
Beautiful Views
Looking over the back

Ice caught me out in one of my favourite little runs. Cutting into Ski Tow Gulley slightly lower than usual as I was aware of ice further up. I managed to snatch a few lovely turns in the fresh. However popping off  a little lump, I expected to have a cushioned landing in the continuation of soft snow. I did’t expect to hear the rather loud clap of the tail of my board strike the hardened concrete consistency of the ice that was masquerading as fresh snow. I slid out on my heal, thankfully none the worse. Just a bit surprised.

Mugs Alley and the mid mountain is fully covered and the going was very fast as I made my way back to the T-bar.

top of Main Basin at Glencoe
Top of Main Basin
Summit Views
The Summit at Glencoe Mountain

Thoughts on the day

I stopped for lunch at the summit, where the sun was still shining. I contemplated the atmosphere on the hill, it was a weird one. It was very busy for a Thursday. Many people I spoken to had intended to be abroad on ski holidays. 

Despite it being busy though, there was a subdued feeling to the day. You could also tell many were not used to the lifts at Scottish Ski centres. Some waited to have t-bars handed to them and others were mystified by our peculiar lift line organisation.

Snowy Ridge
Clach Leathad

I spent the rest of the day alternating between the Main Basin and the Spring Run/Fly Paper until almost last lift.

I was heading home that night, to contemplate the following day. The weather looked great, but what would the state of the nation be?

skiers
Top of the Plateau