Went up the hill full of apprehension with a strong wind blowing and the clag sitting low. We went into the base station to get out of the drizzle without putting our boots on to see the situation. There we found others doing the same so we got chatting then up came Les fully kitted and the Ciste was announced it just opened so decision made, boots on and just as well we did. After a claggy blowy start the wind subsided and the sun came out in the afternoon giving another lovely day.
The warm weather and high winds have punished the snow cover and the lower runs are now officially closed. The Fiacaill Poma is turned off with the lower runs closed though the track is still in good condition. This is the way we skied back to the car park at the end of the day, utilising the remaining patches of side slope, the fiacaill and the tow path.
The M2 has been patched up and is not so rocky now though it does go down to half width in a couple of short places. The majority it is wide and fast.
The Aonach Bowl is still very good though it is getting narrow at the bottom where it joins over yonder. This will break very soon.
The Ciste gully is still wide and deep, one issue is getting back to the West Wall Poma. It now involves heather skiing for a few meters on the road way. The West Wall Poma track is still ok but getting very wet at the load station. This is in danger of disappearing.
The Ptarmigan lift remained off all day due to the winds, not a real problem as the best skiing was in the Ciste, Cas and White Lady. The Ptarmigan bowl was very wet and loosing snow rapidly.
The rope remained across the entrance to Gully 1 and beyond to Black Cat Alley and Gully 2. A quick radio to ski patrol and we got permission to duck the rope and head over. The area had not been checked out and there are now a number of bare areas on the traverse in. The runs themselves are excellent condition though tricky to get in. I can see why they are closed to general public.
The best run of the day was the White Lady. It was not pisted and the bumps from yesterday were larger and much more fun, soft and regular all the way down. This had to be skied many times before our knees gave way. The cas was also good all day.
The snow cover is in danger now. The runs are generally fine, it is the links to the runs that are disappearing fast. The ciste and west wall tow paths are wet and thin. The forecast for the next few days is very poor, high winds and temperatures with rain. I do hope today is not our last day skiing with lifts this season. CML are hoping to continue till the bank holiday Monday on the 7th of May. I hope the bad weather does not put a stop to that. I would expect the traverse and cas to hold up to a fairly large deluge.
By far the best run of the day was the White Lady. Still wide with bumps the full length.
The Gun Barrel is still wide and flat, easy to ski.The Cas is still in good condition.
The east side of the Ciste still has many good routes though the traverse in has bare patches . This is Black Cat Alley.
The return to the west wall poma is broken and requires a walk or heather skiing.
The lower slopes are now closed and you can see why. We got down using side slope and the ridge poma track as the lift is now closed.
Edited 2 times. Last edit at 18.47hrs Mon 16 Apr 18 by WindyMiller.
west wall return.JPG (198kB)
black cat.JPG (200kB)
White Lady.JPG (204kB)
gun barrel.JPG (224kB)
Car Park Run.JPG (244kB)