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WindyMiller


Posts: 654
Joined: Sep 2010
Last Visited: 17:31
1st Sep 2019
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2016
Date Posted: 19.48hrs on Mon 15 Feb 16
Had things to do around the house this morning so headed up just after lunch and from what I was told this was a good choice weather wise as as I got the the sun was splitting a deep blue sky. Apparently a little over cast in the morning.

I managed to get parked in the lower cas car park so I could ski back to the car. The wait for the train was about 35 minutes / three train loads. I thought that was not bad and I have stood for much longer in Val d'Isere / Tignes etc during high season. There were 6 members of staff out at the queue although only 2 actually talking to the customers and one of them was not even customer services but and office member roped in to help, a warm welcome to everyone, not just locals, was been given out by the 2.

There is a good cover top to bottom and off piste now although the off piste is quite wind blown and firm, a bit of a challenge to ski. The pisted areas are excellent, dry squeaky snow. The top bowls are is superb condition and the half pipe construction has started.

The queues in the top bowls were there but not as long as a busy Sat/Sunday. The ciste rarely went back to the WWP and when it did it was widely spaced out and moved quickly. The ptarmigan had two lines most of the time and the blue fencing was well placed to stop it snaking over the run.

The M1 came on right at the end of the day and folks moved on to it very quickly. The white lady was fantastic. It is wide most of the way down now and unpisted on the right. Moguls were forming on the right and were great fun, fast and bumpy grinning smiley

The place stayed opened till 16:45, the sun was sinking behind the ridges giving an amazing soft yellow sun set. I will put some pictures on the windy miller facebook page later tonight. [www.facebook.com]

I skied back down to the car park via jeans Bowl and the Fiacaill, this area is now full of snow and fun. I went to have a look at the FR poma load station, I will reserve comment on this in this thread and will post the pictures in the non conditions thread.

Any one skiing CG for the first time today would have come away with a positive feel. I was on my own today so spent a lot of time talking to visitors while sharing a t-bar. The consensus is, great place,great snow, friendly people, very poor catering facilities and "why are the lower lifts not on"!!!! If I was the general manager I would be out on the hill talking and listening to my guests.

CG has announced it will not open tomorrow due to the severe weather warnings and I do not blame them looking at the forecasts.

Graeme

East Ptarmigan, load of snow but now a bit wind blown and tricky to ski.


Half Pipe construction has started


White lady is now wide all the way down with great bumps to skiers right.


The cas area looking from the Fiacaill ridge.


Jeans Bowl full of snow and good fun but no way of getting back up with out using the train.









Edited 1 times. Last edit at 19.55hrs Mon 15 Feb 16 by WindyMiller.

Attachments: Cas Area.JPG (213kB)   Jeans Bowl.JPG (227kB)   WL.JPG (260kB)   East Ptramigan.JPG (297kB)   Half pipe construction.JPG (264kB)  
Gorminator


Posts: 667
Joined: Jan 2011
Last Visited: 15:45
11th Aug 2019
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2016
Date Posted: 20.09hrs on Mon 15 Feb 16
Had the big lump of concrete in the bottom right of your photo been complete you would have got back up to ski Jean's Bowl again no bother Graeme !

aviemoron


Posts: 21
Joined: Jan 2010
Last Visited: 09:23
16th Feb 2016
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2016
Date Posted: 20.39hrs on Mon 15 Feb 16
2.30pm queues still large at the bottom for the cattle truck, so walked up, to then queue some more, meanwhile, look, no skiers at all on the Lady!

Attachments: mid train queue-1-2.jpg (430kB)  
WindyMiller


Posts: 654
Joined: Sep 2010
Last Visited: 17:31
1st Sep 2019
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2016
Date Posted: 19.22hrs on Wed 17 Feb 16
As you would expect after yesterdays storm the snow cover has changed significantly. The off piste areas have been scoured back to rock but to the gain of the piste between the fences.

The weather was a mixed bag,heavy snow showers, variable wind strengths from calm to hold on to your hat and glorious sunshine with blue sky, its Scotland just wait a minute!

The snow has tuned quite hard and scraped and I would even say icy in places, enough to make to clench when travelling at speed and hit it unawares. Other areas have wind blown soft snow. The gun barrel has filled in and is now flat.

Top bowls and lady are still excellent to ski in. The traverse is wide down to the 105 and cas which are both good but now the off piste options have gone.

The car park tow started today for the first time this season, quite ironic as I would say there is now less snow at it than there was two days ago! You can still get to the car park easily but the runs are scraped and hard.

I took a look over the west wall, there appears to be significant snow here and gully 1+2 are skiable. What I could not see is the old board walk back to the WWP and how much snow is there. The WWP tow path appears in good condition but I could not see the load station conditions. From the secondary load station at the WW chair the tow path is well pisted and could be used to relieve the pressure on the Ciste if the full length of the track could not be used.

Queues, well a mixed bag depending where you were skiing. The car park, no one was using it, why? It was great to avoid the train, no waiting at all.

The cas and M1 were busy but quite acceptable, I like the new cas load area, it forces the line away from the danger area of the car park unload when people stand correctly, lining up and down the run, When they do not, lining back towards the car park unload there is going to be a serious accident. One to keep an eye on.

The ptarmigan and Ciste were not good, The ciste backed to the WWP and up the run significantly, Some one tried to start a second line but this does not work here due to the terrain, you need to quad up but to do that you need queue managers. There was a ski patrol person trying to manage the ptarmigan. It was obvious he did not want to be there and was a half hearted approach which was not working. He did not explain to the folks how the system works and the bottom of the second line just merged in. The mini race training rent-a-crowd were having great time utilising this confusion adding to the wait time.


Graeme

The off piste loss has been the run gains


Gun barrel is now full and flat


Cas and M1 queues were quite acceptable


The ptarmigan traverse fence has been buried


The lower slopes have suffered a bit and you can see the scoured areas higher up but the pistes between the fences are filling nicely.












Edited 1 times. Last edit at 19.30hrs Wed 17 Feb 16 by WindyMiller.

Attachments: scowered areas.JPG (257kB)   flat gunbarrel.JPG (260kB)   cas q.JPG (282kB)   ptarmigan fence line.JPG (253kB)   lower slopes.JPG (266kB)  
WindyMiller


Posts: 654
Joined: Sep 2010
Last Visited: 17:31
1st Sep 2019
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2016
Date Posted: 18.50hrs on Sun 21 Feb 16
We had the Belgium one staying with us since Thursday and it looked like a right off for skiing all weekend so it was on to the single malt last night. I finally got up this morning and noted the issues CG were having and though let everyone sleep in then at 08:30 they posted they were a go for 09:30 so it was a mad panic to salvage at least one days skiing.

It was surprisingly good. The snow was falling steadily all day from Glenmore up making a significant difference to the runs. The wind has still stripped the snow from the ridges but it has landed between the fences and the runs have good soft cover right down to the car park.

It was strange the way the wind was blowing from the south west, the lower slopes, cas,Fiacaill and lady were very sheltered but as soon as you got to the last 20m of the M1 poma the full force of the storm hit you. There was no way the guys could open the top runs. I was surprised they were letting people out of the train at the top, it was brutal.

Once on to the lady if was great soft snow all the way down to the mid station. The cas + gun barrel were excellent too. A warm jacket and good goggles were a must, the snow falling was relentless giving flat light, great prospects for the rest of the week hopefully!

Headed over to the Fiacaill traverse but the visibility was quite poor with the blowing snow in you face.

The guys must be given quite a bit of credit getting open most of the runs in a short space of time when the weather window opened.Car park T-bar, Fiacaill poma, Sunkids Sheiling, cas and M1. With the short notice of actually opening and With all these runs open there were no queues at all.

A good bonus day skiing for those who could make it up in short space of time.

I will get some more pictures up on Facebook later [www.facebook.com]

Graeme

Base station as we arrived at 09:45


Looking at the lower slopes. You can see some areas are stripped where others have collected a good cover.


Very few people got to the mountain today, most forecasts were pointing to CG not opening today.


looking down the cas.
The quality of the skiing was excellent, the surfaces were good fresh dry snow.


The top station, you just have to laugh when it is like this and keep warm.




Edited 1 times. Last edit at 18.59hrs Sun 21 Feb 16 by WindyMiller.

Attachments: cas and lower slopes.JPG (164kB)   Mid looking down.JPG (205kB)   Cas Load.JPG (258kB)   base Station.JPG (276kB)   Top Station.JPG (170kB)  
h11lly


Posts: 2150
Joined: Dec 2002
Last Visited: 18:38
2nd Sep 2019
What's this?What's this?What's this?
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2016
Date Posted: 21.59hrs on Sun 21 Feb 16
Have to agree it was well worth heading down for the afternoon. It's at times like this I feel so sorry for all those folk who were part of the mid term crowds. Most of the time there was no one in sight on the M1 poma and no one else on the Lady today.

Jean's bowl has deep powder but the visibility made it a bit haphazard but it should be great tomorrow if the visibility improves.

The train outran the lifts today- last one up 4.30 - and yes as I headed out for my last run I saw the sun, briefly, for the first time smiling smiley


Helen

Snow-Bunny


Posts: 219
Joined: Jan 2008
Last Visited: 21:03
4th Aug 2019
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2016
Date Posted: 18.17hrs on Mon 22 Feb 16
Hilly was that for the first time this year you saw the sun:-)

What is wrong with the West Wall Poma everybody, it should be running by now. Probably going to head up for a week shortly, mainly to ski the Coe, back bowls @Nevis and CGM.
If CGM does not have west wall going I may as well tear up my season ticket and just skin up and over the backs.

WindyMiller


Posts: 654
Joined: Sep 2010
Last Visited: 17:31
1st Sep 2019
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2016
Date Posted: 19.38hrs on Mon 22 Feb 16
Well my little camera finally gave up the ghost today, The motor focus and zoom gears seized up so not sure what I am going to do now. I gave it a whack as the youtube vid suggested and it sort of came back to life but it does not look good for the wee thing sad smiley To-days pictures are from Shona's camera.

Most of the holiday folks have gone home and the local are starting to crawl out of their hiding holes. The staff stress levels are dropping and are happy campers! This hill is a much more pleasant place.

Looking at the mountain for the un-initiated it may look not to have good cover but the continuing snow falls are keeping the runs topped up and fresh. Many of the ridges are still scoured but Jeans bowl has filled in and is providing very nice off piste skiing. The lady was good and the cas/ gun barrel is excellent.

The weather was a bit of a mixed bag with poor vis in the ptarmigan bowl but excellent from the cas down. A few snow showers passed through but the sun did stay out for a good part of the afternoon.

Lower tows are running and are now being used especially with jeans bowl giving good off piste.

Graeme

Happy staff, now the crowds have gone you can have time to natter, much more pleasant!


cas and gun barrel are excellent. I find the gun barrel is easier than the zigzags at the moment, soft powdery snow where the zigzags are a bit scraped in places.


Lower slopes and jeans bowl are giving good off piste skiing.
Weather much better lower down.


dont let the scoured look of the mountain put you off. The run are actually very good.


Good cover at the lower load stations.










Edited 1 times. Last edit at 19.46hrs Mon 22 Feb 16 by WindyMiller.

Attachments: Happy Staff.JPG (273kB)   Lower.JPG (285kB)   General View.JPG (269kB)   car park load.JPG (287kB)   Cas.JPG (267kB)  
Paul-M


Posts: 11
Joined: May 2015
Last Visited: 18:27
6th Aug 2016
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2016
Date Posted: 19.48hrs on Mon 22 Feb 16
First time up to Cairngorm today having moved nearby in the Spring, and it was a really pleasant surprise.

Snow was good, staff friendly, no queues and even though visibility was a bit iffy, it was all good fun.

Only used the train a couple of times, but what stood out was the long delay in getting it moving again at the station, is there any particular reason why they don't just keep it going continuously on a rotation rather than waiting 10-15 minutes?

Aside from that though, no grumbles at all, which considering some of what I've read here and on Facebook was definitely a positive! Hoping they open up the west wall side soon, as that looks like a huge area going untouched for now.

h11lly


Posts: 2150
Joined: Dec 2002
Last Visited: 18:38
2nd Sep 2019
What's this?What's this?What's this?
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2016
Date Posted: 20.19hrs on Mon 22 Feb 16
Hilly was that for the first time this year you saw the sun:-)

At Cairngorm more or less yes Snowbunny! The sun seems to have appeared on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays when I can't go although I did have sun touring at Drumochter and Slochd during the midterm.

Paul-M I think you'll be able to enjoy Cairngorm living locally and having some time off during the week. That's when a season ticket really works, especially at the weekend because you can arrive middayish, usually find a place well up in the Cas carparks because some folk have left and the staff are no longer directing you to a particular car park. If you ski till the last lift you'll find it's quiet for the last hour as those that were there just after 8am have had enough and are heading home!

Helen

Paul-M


Posts: 11
Joined: May 2015
Last Visited: 18:27
6th Aug 2016
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2016
Date Posted: 20.52hrs on Mon 22 Feb 16
Thanks Helen, appreciate that smiling smiley

Gorminator


Posts: 667
Joined: Jan 2011
Last Visited: 15:45
11th Aug 2019
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2016
Date Posted: 21.42hrs on Mon 22 Feb 16
Paul ...the train docks onto a busbar in top and bottom stations to charge it's on-board batteries....the fitments can be seen on top of the train !

Why no-one has thought of a spur drive of the axles to power an Alternator etc. is amazing after all these years of operation.........but I am only an armchair Ski-Lift Manager !

Paul-M


Posts: 11
Joined: May 2015
Last Visited: 18:27
6th Aug 2016
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2016
Date Posted: 08.17hrs on Tue 23 Feb 16
Thanks Gorminator, I'd never have thought it would need that! Like you say, you have to imagine there's a better way, having it running continuously up and down would make a massive difference when it's busy, and just be a better experience all round.

May head up again today if work commitments allow, this is probably a daft question but I've seen a few mentions of Jeans Bowl, but I can't work out where it is based on the photos. Could someone point me in the right direction please?

Gorminator


Posts: 667
Joined: Jan 2011
Last Visited: 15:45
11th Aug 2019
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2016
Date Posted: 08.58hrs on Tue 23 Feb 16
Jean's Bowl.....between the upper section of the Fiaciall Ridge Poma and the Zig Zag before you come to the top of the Car Park T Bar ! There is a bit of a fence line down the Skiers right of it !

There used to be a T Bar that served the area but Crazy Cairngorm Management took it down contrary to good advice..........the Base concrete plinth is still there !

alan


Posts: 10733
Joined: Nov 1994
Last Visited: 09:00
21st Jan 2021
What's this?What's this?What's this?
Re: CairnGorm Mountain Snow 2016
Date Posted: 09.05hrs on Tue 23 Feb 16
The arrow is the approximate location of the former Jean's Hut, the base is still visible by the footpath which crosses the Carpark Tow and merges into the Zig Zags. The bowl is the shallow hollow thad is indicated by the stream.

[streetmap.co.uk]

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