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Scotland Snow Reports 2018 / 2019

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The only sustainable future I can see for Cairngorm is to de-couple the Funicular from the skiing infrastructure and return the management to a not for profit community sports group, supported by volunteers.

Trying to make money out of Scottish skiing doesn’t work.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Looks like it's worth a go for a probably-final hurrah this end week & weekend, Westwards at least. Cairngorm also seems to have had a fair bit, though Glenshee's reporting that it's all blown away there...
Coe and Nevis have had fresh falls in the last few days, today and maybe overnight, then predicting dry and increasingly sunny & warming with winds dropping by the weekend. Looks useable on their FB pages. Very Happy
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Nice to meet up with Grizzler and Mr Grizzler at the mighty Coe.

Heavy snow this morning then rain. Got to love Scottish skiing Cool

Only really main basin open and visibility poor but the snow is good and as always, surely the friendliest place in the world to ski. Lots of great skiers boarders and at least 8 telemarketers on the hill today.

Lively atmosphere in the cafe as the Grand National is about to run. Looking forward to tomorrow.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Nice to meet you again too Peter. Just got back - nasty 2 car and motorhome smash on A82 at Bridge of Orchy, so had to divert home via FW, Laggan and A9.
Interesting day, certainly. Not what Mr Weather forecaster predicted...
Spent a few hours perfecting my 'death cookies over ice, with rocks' skills on The Wall rolling eyes - but still upright; ish... Laughing
Main Basin was good fun yesterday, if crazy busy, but didn't fancy it more than once in the near total nil visibility today Sad
Hope you get a better day tomorrow; there's still some good fun to be had on the upper mountain in particular.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Looks like Scotland has had the best weather for skiing in Europe this week. Wall to wall sunshine since Sunday
http://www.winterhighland.info/cams/glencoe/
Cool

http://www.winterhighland.info/pix/pixalbum.php?pix_id=1370
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Mrs MA and I were ski touring up at (closed) Cairngorm yesterday:

- Skis on, for skinning up, just above the bottom of The Gunbarrel.
- No escape from the relentless headwind on the ascent – absolutely ferocious and Arctic cold, by we got to the Ptarmigan Restaurant.
- No point attempting to drop over the back – the south wind would have blown us back uphill.
- The snow was hard packed at best and boiler plate in parts and, unfortunately, there was no let up throughout the day. Despite some sunny spells, it just never warmed up. Slush had frozen into virtually unskiable/dangerous deep ruts in places but, where pisted (eg from top of Ptarmigan Tow to bottom of Ciste Tow), it was pretty decent skiing. Most of the Cas was good too. We finished via the top Zigzag then ascended to the Fiacaill Ridge where we skied some snow patches on the way back to the bottom station.
- Cover is pretty decent for the time of year above The Gunbarrel, although The White Lady is pretty shot. The Ptarmigan Bowl and Ciste are in fair shape. Such a shame (if not a scandal given that there's no end in sight or possible resolution…) that nobody can get up there with the train being kaput Sad
- Nice to be out but we were very glad to get out of the wind.








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Cairngorm needs to pull its finger out.

Attach a long trailer to a pisterbully and drag skiers up the hill for £2-5 a ride.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
A further problem....2 million quid's worth of Snow Factory equipment was bought (with public funding) to cover the lower slopes with snow that could be manufactured in above-zero temperatures.

This was to help guarantee access to the one drag lift (the M1poma) that could be used (instead of the train) to get people to the top from the middle station of the train.

A decent enough plan - and there was a time, early season where they'd covered a huge area of the lower slopes with manufactured snow.

But then the Snow Factory kit broke down - never to work again this season.

The whole debacle has cost the local economy millions in lost income - and businesses like ski hire shops have gone bust....It's just awful Sad
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Whitegold wrote:
Attach a long trailer to a pisterbully and drag skiers up the hill for £2-5 a ride.


According to FB, e.g. 7 April, they were actually operating lifts up, or "shuttle-ing" people up to mid-mountain and Coire Cas in a "tracked ATV" , "subject to demand" - no fee was mentioned. I don't know if they're still doing it, though it reported to be popular. Maybe there wasn't enough demand?

But as for the Snow Factory cost and subsequent failure... Debacle doesn't even come near, does it? Unbelievable!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Minibus shuttle from the car park up to the M1 and Corrie Cas ?
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Thing is it’s now unusable with kids as M1 impossible to get kids up (I can get my 6yo up on my leg but that’s prob an exception) and even car park t not exactly easy for little ones. Utter shambles.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@mountainaddict, do you reckon there would still be any snow around over the May Day bank holidays? My wife has always talked about doing X country (which I really don't fancy) but I think she might enjoy some ski touring, so was wondering about a last min trip up to the Highlands with the dogs.

She'd have to hire skis + skins, assuming somewhere would still be open then??
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Glencoe is still operating and there is enough for touring if you're willing to carry a bit.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Cairngorm has officially just announced that it is now closed for the season Shocked

Glencoe are presumably closing after the Easter weekend (saying "6 days to go" on FB). Yet again, the last man standing...

Also on Glencoe FB is a nice vid of skiing off the back of Nevis Range - so possibilities there, maybe? (Though they have also today announced that they are officially closed for snow sports.)
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:
mountainaddict, do you reckon there would still be any snow around over the May Day bank holidays?
Based on past experience at Cairngorm & Glencoe, I would say yes...BUT it all hinges on the weather (of course); how keen you are to carry the skis to the snow line (currently 20-30 mins at Cairngorm but could be a fair bit longer by May Day); and how easily pleased you are just to get some hard-earned turns in.

There's currently about 350 metres of vertical available at both Cairngorm and Glencoe - so I'd say you'd be probably/possibly(??) be looking at at least a couple of hundred metres vertical (possibly more) by then. Don't hold me responsible if all the snow is gone by then though!

The Ciste Gully at Cairngorm can also usually be relied on to retain late season snow for touring - though (in parts) you can be skiing down listening to the sound of the rushing mountain stream beneath the Snow....

There are also some fairly mellow and very scenic skiing descents, that generally hold the snow as late as June, over the back of the Cairngorm ski area. Go straight over behind the top of the Ptarmigan Tow, heading slightly left, and you'll not go wrong.

Nevis Range would probably have some snow in Snowgoose Gully, on the Summit Run and in the Back Corries in early May - but we've never ski toured there after the lifts have closed to try it out for ourselves.

Ski touring's just a totally different day out. Like me and Mrs MA, you might love it and find it really rewarding. It's great to be up there with the place to yourself when the lifts are shut.

Not sure if touring kit hire could be an issue. Best bet on that front could be Braemar Mountain Sports in Aviemore, which rents touring stuff, at least in the depths of winter. Not cheap though - I would think about £40 a day for boots, skis & skins...

Readers' tip: If you do go for it, using hire kit, take loads of Compeed anti-blister patches - the boots can rub on ascents...
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
http://www.winterhighland.info/pix/pixalbum.php?pix_id=1372

Looks like Easter Monday will be the last day of UK skiing this year. The last 10 days have had mostly fantastic weather for skiing up at Glencoe. Cool
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* Day 1 = Dec 1st, 2018.
* Day last = Apr 21st, 2019.

Just about the worst ski season in Scotland's history.

Several months of no natural snowfall.

Cairngorm registered its least skiers since records began.

Snowtrain was a disaster.

Snowfactories seem to have made little difference to the trails at the resorts.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
mountainaddict wrote:
A further problem....2 million quid's worth of Snow Factory equipment was bought (with public funding) to cover the lower slopes with snow that could be manufactured in above-zero temperatures.

This was to help guarantee access to the one drag lift (the M1poma) that could be used (instead of the train) to get people to the top from the middle station of the train.

A decent enough plan - and there was a time, early season where they'd covered a huge area of the lower slopes with manufactured snow.

But then the Snow Factory kit broke down - never to work again this season.
(


I don't know if it's the case, but from what I've read the reason for the Snow Factory kit at Cairngorm breaking down is that the water supply which comes from natural streams on the peaty ground has so much entrained material/silt in it that it keeps blocking the inlet filters? If that's the case it makes you wonder why they didn't foresee that when assessing the suitability of the Snow Factory kit for that location. Also begs the question of how the Lecht and Glencoe seem to be able to operate their Snow Factory kit successfully in what would appear to be similar terrain?
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@Alastair Pink, presumably they put a pre filter in or something similiar and clean it regularly!!
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@kitenski, You might very well think that, but as to why that would be beyond the competency of Cairngorm management I couldn't possibly comment..... Wink
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Alastair Pink wrote:
@kitenski, You might very well think that, but as to why that would be beyond the competency of Cairngorm management I couldn't possibly comment..... Wink


I was also being polite Wink
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Whitegold wrote:
* Day 1 = Dec 1st, 2018.
* Day last = Apr 21st, 2019.

Just about the worst ski season in Scotland's history.


Glenshee might be close in numbers, but in terms of snow and skiable days, 1963/64 still tops the league of shame!

Whitegold wrote:
Several months of no natural snowfall.

Usual Whitegold stuff and nonsense.

Whitegold wrote:
Cairngorm registered its least skiers since records began.

That I'll give you. The worst since formal mechanised uplift begun with the White Lady Chairlift in December 1961. However it has to be said that has absolutely nothing to do with the snow cover or lack of snow cover on CairnGorm Mountain and everything to do with CML.


Whitegold wrote:
Snowtrain was a disaster.

See above. To expand it is increasingly clear the funicular was a disaster full stop, and not just it's current closure!

Whitegold wrote:
Snowfactories seem to have made little difference to the trails at the resorts.

Robin and Wren Magic Carpets at the Lecht were both open over 100 days this season (and there were numerous days it was one or the other so the actual number of skiing days is higher than this). At Glencoe Old Mugs Alley was skiable to the Plateau Cafe (and Cliffhanger) a lot more than would have been the case without the snow factory and despite the farce with the double unit on CairnGorm, had it not been there the days of operation of the Carpark Tow would likely have been either or very close to 0!
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
After seeing snow in Scotland on the BBC weather map just ahead of the May Day Bank Hol weekend, it was off to the Highlands for some ski touring and turns at:

- Cairngorm - Sun 5 May 2019: Skis on at the bottom for the skin up but cover mainly cosmetic and some pretty sketchy/scratchy/rocky turns on the descents. Weather Arctic/hypertherhermic and very windy but (as ever), nice to just be out in the mountains.

- Glencoe - Mon 6 May: 45 min ascent to the snow from the top of the chairlift. An excellent day out with fresh tracks in the Main Basin, light winds and sunny spells. Over 200m vertical of great snow/unbroken descent and (after a short walk) a lovely steep descent on part of The Wall to finish. 

Cairngorm








Glencoe










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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@mountainaddict, hats off to you. That's what I call dedicated Very Happy
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Cheers boabski Very Happy - and a 650+ mile road trip to boot wink
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
great stuff!mountainaddict,

hats (or helmets) off indeed! Very Happy
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