Sorry Glencoe

It’s not cheating if we’re on a break.

But with now snow in the west I had to up-sticks and head east to make the most of some recent snowfall.
I left Glasgow super early and arrived in the car park at Cairngorm Mountain by 8am.
I had come here with the intention of touring up Meall a’ Buachaille behind Glenmore, but on arrival I saw that the snowline was not as low as I’d hoped.

Looking back at Meall a Buachaille from the top of Cairngorm Mountain
Looking back at Meall a Buachaille

I decided to continue on up to the ski resort.
I bought tickets as demand was high and limited. The weather was looking sublime. It was just cold enough with blue skies above.

Loch Avon in the Cairngorms
Looking down at Loch Avon

I skinned to the summit and had a peak down to Lock Avon down the back. I’m out of my element over here. Used to the west coast. But, things were looking good. I continued up to the weather station and transitioned my board to take on the downhill.

Ski tours and splitboarders gathering at the weather station.
Ski tours and splitboarders gathering at the weather station.
The summit of Cairngorm Mountain
Looking across Stob Coire an t-Sneachda

I looked over at the small ants, the other tourist making their way to Cairn Lochan. I was a bit wary. I didn’t know what the drop was like into Coire Robeirt, so I watch a few others decent.

The weather was fine and the surface snow was getting a bit sun affected. So down I went. The snow was creamy, just shy of sticky. The turns were good. As I near the burn at the bottom of the Valley, the scale becomes apparent. It’s huge. Now what. Do I continue on to Cairn Lochan or turn back and head down to the car for lunch. I’m unsure how long it would take me to do the full loop, so I decide to cut my losses and head back up the way I’d come down.

Libtech SplitBRD in Scotland
Looking back to the summit from the burn.

I zig-zagged my way back up to the weather station atop Cairngorm. It didn’t take too long. Under half an hour. It was good to get my bearings and I came away with a bit more confidence. I got some nice turns before the upper piste started and continued down the M2 in a long fun run to the car park.

Splitboard split into skis for touring
Getting ready to head back up on the SplitBRD


I took in the sun while I had lunch before taking the Gnu Gremlin, a solid board for an afternoon mucking about in the Ciste. Chopping up further, the old powder snow from the days before.

Gnu Gremlin at a snowy Cairngorm Mountain in Scotland
Lunch stop and swap boards for the Gnu Gremlin
Fun in the Ciste

It was such a fun afternoon hacking round in the sunshine, on the other side the M1 was great but getting bare near the poma uplift where the traffic was heaviest. The Ciste remained the place to be though and it was finished off with another run down M1 to the car park, but a few rocks had to be hopped here under the poma that wasn’t running.

Lapping the Fairway

The evening was spent after a quick shopping trip in Aviemore near Loch Morlich. A pleasant evening reading a book before finding a camp spot. I’d be back tomorrow for more of the same.

Loch Morlich with snow covered Cairngorm ski resort in the background.
A lovely evening at Loch Morlich