Top Trumps

Expectations Well and Truly Exceeded

The forecast looked hit or miss with winds expected and heavy rain the week prior. Warm temperatures didn’t bode well either. But, this would be my last weekend before I head off to the Alps on holiday.

Heading to the upper mountain to get the goods.

My next challenge would be transport. Had to get a train first thing and strikes meant that wouldn’t be till around 8am in Glasgow. This meant I didn’t get to Glencoe until 10:30am. The winds were set to strengthen and I was concerned this wouldn’t give me much time to ride.

The lower mountain had taken the brunt of the thaw, but things looked much better on the top half of the mountain. The Plateau Poma provided access to the Cliffy Chair, then up to Main Basin.

Aron an Creise and the Buachaille.

The low cloud that hugged the hills all morning started to clear from the tops and visibility was good for runs down Happy Valley and Main Basin. The snow is consolidating, making for a good base when more snow arrives. There are a couple of rocks to avoid, but in general, we have great cover up there.

The Top was the place to be on the mountain today.

It was good to bump into a few familiar faces on the hill too, Dave, Bruce and Mick who I joined for a dash under the Cliffy, then onto Rannoch Glades a couple of time. The first we cut back to ski tow gully and to the Rescue hut for the summit lift. The down the Rannoch Wall which gave us some steeper turns on good snow. It has a slight rain crust, but easy to break through.

Great cover up top.
Rannoch Glades running down the centre of the summit.

With the breeze and cooling temperatures, the snowpack is drying out in time for new snow, which started falling towards the end of the day.

I was on the lookout for my niece who was on the hill, so I would take the odd run down to the Access lift and back, taking in the sledging areas which were pretty busy thanks to the Snow Factory.

A partial Rainbow. A good omen for the season?

I was so glad I persevered and made it up to Coe despite the late start. I made the most of the day and head for the lift down as it gets dark and the stronger winds arrive, brining with them, even more snow.

It looks set to gain a bit in the coming week, so hopefully when I return from the Alps there is a good depth of snow with a cracking base. It is still only January so its early days and love managed four so far!

Sunny patches lighting up the backdrop.