An unusual day on the mountain both weathers and operations.
It was the ski club Scottish Championship racing. I dislike racing and I dislike children, put them together and you get the perfect storm
I can not complain though as 40+ years ago it was me with a bib on pushing in and getting in peoples way, and things have not changed, I still push in and get in peoples way!
We arrived early as we knew it would be chaos, and it was. Well it was until the racers and officials got to where they were going, the white lady and the old Fiacaill area, then the queues settled down to a normal, even a slightly quiet Sunday.
The weather was quite peculiar. Sunny with little wind and warm, very warm making the snow quite wet in places. The mist and clag came and went meaning you were skiing in brilliant sunshine one moment then into thick pea soup. Made life interesting.
There was a huge amount of snow to shift to get the lifts open after yesterdays storm. The three big piste bashers were working non stop and eventually every thing was opened except the ptarmigan t-bar. With the train not coming on till late afternoon there were no beginners or intermediates at the top as the only way there was the M1 or the day lodge/west wall poma so I can see why they made the ptarmigan a lower priority to get going.
The runs got quite soggy in the warm temperatures making the off piste a bit of a challenge and with the visibility coming and going we spent most time on the pistes. By late afternoon the snow in the ptarmigan area was drying out and becoming more crunchy. Even with the massive drifts in the gullies it was quite obvious how thin the snow is in some places, especially in the ciste bowl, patches were appearing on some of the runs.
I noticed I have been talking about the steep off piste in the last few days and this may not be what people want to hear so I made a point of taking some pictures of the on piste conditions.
Bandit and Linzski, thanks for your comments. The next time I see you in the ptarmigan I will talk you through how to resize pictures to the right dimensions for posting and how to embed them in the post, it is quite easy though takes a little time. I do like to read other peoples reports on the day and see their pictures. Some times I get into one area and stay there not seeing the other parts of the mountain.
I will put a few people pictures up on face book later.
08:30 Rent-a-Crowd, the queues waiting were huge. Quickly they dissipated as the racers got to their destinations.
the traverse is deep and you can see the Coronation wall is full of snow.
East Ptramigan, Cas run, Cas skiers left and the traverse out to gully No1. Good wide cover of snow. The cas was excellent for intermediates.
The ciste bowl is good though there are still some thin areas, easy to avoid.
The mist/clag came and went. The ciste gully was in the mist as was the bottom of gully No1. The Aonach bowl was very nice. The cloud sat in the valley most of the day.
Edited 2 times. Last edit at 19.00hrs Sun 11 Mar 18 by WindyMiller.
Set 001.JPG (207kB)
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Ciste Bowl.JPG (184kB)