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Scotland Snow Reports 2017 / 2018

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Great shots @moffatross
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I'm liking the "mile long" downhill snowHead
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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?
Not my photo but the view from top of Glencoe on Sunday.
Doesn't get much better than this although it was a bit misty at lower section for most of the day.


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A very mixed weekend at Cairngorm. We woke on Saturday morning in the Coylumbridge Hotel to overcast sky but no perceptible wind. The first report from CML said it was blowing a gale and uplift would be restricted. It was the Scottish Champs this weekend and people had travelled from across the UK so the prospect of cancelling was not good. As we headed up past the Sugarbowl the weather deteriorated with strong winds and drifting snow. The link road between the Ciste Car Park and the main car park was getting covered with drifting snow and it was clear it would become an issue. About 10 minutes after we arrived they closed the snow gates at Glenmore.

The course-setters were on the hill setting the GS on the White Lady and were reporting marginal conditions but still believed the race could run. CML had sent a test train up and it ran okay but they wouldn't make a final decision on whether to open until Ski Patrol had assessed the hill. Eventually the call was made at around 10:00 that they would open. I was on the first train up with the rest of the course crew but we only made it as far as the passing lop when the train stopped. It appears that the wheels had frozen and we had to be dug out by hand. The next train up fared even worse. It was stuck for 25 minutes!

At the top the conditions we wild. Viz was poor and there was a lot of drifting snow. I skied down to the top of the White Lady and encountered a mix of bolierplate and mounds of drifting snow. At the race start you could see 4 or 5 gates so technically there was enough visibility. After a while I took a run down the course and found it very hard going. The same change from boilerplate to mounds of drifting snow was evident. I missed one mound and ended up flying through the air and crashing.

Once back at the top it seemed like the wind had changed direction and more snow was drifting in. Some of the coaches began to express concern about the conditions so a few of the senior guys skied down to inspect. It only took them until Gate 3 to make the decision that it was too dangerous so the race was cancelled. Without a doubt it was the right call. As is always the case with these decisions there were complaints about when it was made. To give CML there due (not often you'll hear me saying that) they agreed to give all the racers a free pass on the Sunday.


Looking down the White Lady Race Piste.

I skied around for a time but it wasn't pleasant. I then spotted my son who was out training with his club and we headed in for lunch. While in the SSC Hut it was clear that conditions were not going to improve so I made a decision and we headed back to the hotel for beer (me, not my son) and an afternoon of 6 Nations Rugby.
Sunday was a completely different day. Once again at Coylumbridge there was no wind but a bit of mist. When we got up to the car park it was very foggy and you could not see the hill. Thankfully it began to lift and you could see the whole mountain. CML had said the train had been damaged in the storm on Saturday and there was a lot of digging to do before it could operate. There was then a delay in getting the uplift on as the Ski Patrol had to check the area and close off areas that hadn’t been checked. This resulted in large queues building at Fiacaill Ridge Poma and the Car Park T-Bar. CML weren’t restricting ticket sales so the queues were ongoing and also very long at the Cas T-Bar and M1 Poma.

On my way up the Fiacaill Ridge Poma I could see sections of the track were covered with snow. The tunnel mouth also had a lot of snow in it (see the photos on the CML webpage) but reports suggested there was only one man and a shovel digging it out. I think they eventually got it working at around 14:30.




Zoom showing tunnel mouth drifing


Zoom showing drifting over track and people digging it out


The U8/U10/U12 Bairns had a nice piste to race on.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
nelly0168 wrote:
Glenshee today with a mate. Probably the best day skiing in Scotland since I was a kid.

A bit misty early and late, but vis for the most part was decent. Snow quality was spectacular, pistes were perfect, including those unpisted.
It was quiet, not too windy, and we did a power of skiing. All in all a great day.
N.b. if you went by met office you might not have gone. Use MWIS for accurate forecast.


Took me a few days to get photos sorted.

First one me, Home Run, I think -



This one my mate top of Glas Maol

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@Gaza, Interesting report. With hindsight (or even foresight at the time) it does make you wonder whether the millions of pounds of public money spent on the funicular (Highland and Islands Enterprise alone spent £19.4 million on its construction) which so often struggles to run after heavy snowfalls could have been better spent on other uplift options e.g chairlifts , more drag lifts and renewing and expanding the Ciste side lifts.....
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Alastair Pink wrote:
@Gaza, Interesting report. With hindsight (or even foresight at the time) it does make you wonder whether the millions of pounds of public money spent on the funicular (Highland and Islands Enterprise alone spent £19.4 million on its construction) which so often struggles to run after heavy snowfalls could have been better spent on other uplift options e.g chairlifts , more drag lifts and renewing and expanding the Ciste side lifts.....


For us this would make sense, but the operating company prefers the (pretty much guaranteed) year round tourist cash to the "inconvenience" of a ski resort where they might even lose money.

It's really sad. When I was a kid we had many school ski trips to Lagganlia to ski there, but every time I've been in recent years there has been one issue or another.

A cynic might call it a strategy of planned failure.
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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!
I'm looking at the BBC and Met Office websites and it looks like Glencoe/Nevis could be clouded over and windy(ish).

Whereas Glenshee or Aviemore look to have more chance of sunny spells and less wind.

I much prefer the type of skiing available at Glencoe or the Back Corries at Nevis but would prefer better vis for a one day only hit! I think if I skied Aviemore I'd be lapping No 1 & 2 Gully and the white lady. It's years since I've been to Glenshee though. Is Glas Maol area open (assuming the wind dies down)

So question is which area would people recommend I head to for "guaranteed" skiing on Tuesday? Any area likely to have fresh snow over another?

Long way to go if wind stops play.

Probably need to decide today/tomorrow to sort out travel etc.

Thanks in advance,

Greg

also x-posted on winter highland....
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@kitenski, I think you'll need to make a call later on Monday. There is snow expected over the weekend with the majority in the east. Forecast for Glenshee looks best on Tuesday and there is nothing to indicate that there is anything that would affect Glas Maol. I avoid Cairngorm unless there is a very specific reason to go.

My son was due to race tomorrow at Glencoe but we've decided not to go as the wind is forecast to be 38/52 mph. While they might still run the races if the centre opens, it will be no fun hanging around.
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Agreed on the forecast for Glenshee on Tuesday (clear & almost no wind). Annoyingly I can't get there until Thursday which at this point looks like wind & rain.
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@kitenski, I also subscribe to the @Gaza school of thinking with regard to Cairngorm.
Glenshee forecast looking good at the moment for Tuesday but best to keep an eye on it. Should be plenty of fresh snow over the next 24/36 hours but would imagine there would be no reason for Glas Maol to be closed Tuesday at this point. May even be up there myself.
Coming from Leeds I would leave the decision as late as possible though. Check 5 day forecast for Glenshee and the General Situation update both on Winterhighland on Sunday evening and go with that if you can.


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Fri 16-03-18 16:46; edited 1 time in total
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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.
@kitenski, if you're booking accommodation the night before, book a room in Perth. Then you're close to Glenshee but can still get to most of the other centres without too much more hassle if the weather forecast changes.
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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
@denfinella, yeh good call, just snagged a travelodge on the A9 for £29 Monday night Smile
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Is the winterhighland weather forecast the most trusted?

It's showing blue sky and little/no wind for Glencoe Tuesday

BBC saying light cloud, met office saying cloud as well.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
kitenski wrote:
Is the winterhighland weather forecast the most trusted?


Here is the forecast you can trust most - http://www.mwis.org.uk/scottish-forecast
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Gaza, thanks, which forecast area covers Glenshee? The Cairngorm one?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@kitenski, correct. The PDF version is more readable.
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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?
@Gaza, thank you and everyone else for some prompt replies! Now holding two cancellable Travelodges, one in Perth, one in Fort William!

Got some new Whitedot R.98 I'm itching to try out!!
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I find this to be pretty accurate;

http://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Glenshee/9day/mid

& checked against the webcam for coverage;

https://www.ski-glenshee.co.uk/Webcam
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@kitenski, perfect!
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Found the Winterhighland forecast to be quite accurate if only a few days in advance.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
kitenski wrote:
@Gaza, thanks, which forecast area covers Glenshee? The Cairngorm one?


Apparently not.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Sat 17-03-18 6:41; edited 1 time in total
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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!
@kitenski, Glenshee is covered by the Southeastern Highlands forecast, not the Cairngorms forecast.

Cairngorm and The Lecht are covered by the Cairngorms forecast.

Glencoe and Nevis Range are covered by the West Highlands forecast.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Glenshee actually covered by Southeastern Highlands on MWIS.

"Hills accessed from Callander, Loch Tay and Loch Rannoch areas. Areas east of
Loch Ericht, and south of Dalwhinnie, upper Glen Feshie and the River Dee (includes
southernmost Cairngorm NP)."
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Cold day on cairngorm today. The summit weather station is indicating 60 plus mph and minus 9.2.
Around midnight it was gusting over 100mph.
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Windy next 2 days, Tuesday on glenshee could be a beauty 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.
Decision time, thinking Glenshee.

From mwis

Northwesterly 15-20mph; perhaps at times less.

Sunshine; perhaps extensive over several hours. Visibility excellent or superb.

VS MWIS for North West Highlands

Northwesterly 15-25mph; strongest across Sutherland where towards dusk reaching 30mph.

Glimpses of sun; particularly in morning before cloud tends to increase from the northwest. Visibility excellent or superb away from snow showers.
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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
kitenski wrote:
Decision time, thinking Glenshee.

From mwis

Northwesterly 15-20mph; perhaps at times less.

Sunshine; perhaps extensive over several hours. Visibility excellent or superb.

VS MWIS for North West Highlands

Northwesterly 15-25mph; strongest across Sutherland where towards dusk reaching 30mph.

Glimpses of sun; particularly in morning before cloud tends to increase from the northwest. Visibility excellent or superb away from snow showers.


Looks like vis will be good all week, especially tuesday onward.

Wind is the only real potential issue for you now - and as I am sure you know, can make it feel incredibly cold in Scotland. It is blinking freezing just walking around Edinburgh today.

Not sure when you need to make a decision - easier for me, can decide the night before, throw the skis and boots in the bag and head up early doors.

Having been in Glenshee a week or so ago (pics above), and the new snow over the last couple of days, I think I can say for sure it will be great conditions.

You asked about Glas Maol? All good when I was there, black runs were off though and dont expect that to be any different this week. You had to traverse right across to the unpisted red along the end or the run right next to the poma.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
From what I heard from a buddy who was up at Glenshee today, the conditions are pretty epic.

They managed to open Meall Odhar mid afternoon and they were de-icing Coire Fionn pomas and grooming Caenlochan by late afternoon gradually working their way out. He reckoned the Glas Maol needs a lot of work so hopefully by tomorrow afternoon they can get it operational. As @nelly0168 mentions above, i'd imagine the black run would be closed due to avalanche risk.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@nelly0168, @Backcountryboarder, thanks - need to decide tonight! Unpisted red sounds perfect for what I enjoy!

Reckon I'm going for it, looks like good vis and hopefully good snow, even better if they only open Glas Maol on Tuesday Smile

Sounds like I should head over Meall Odhar way and see how it all is, is the skiing better on that side of the road than the other?

What time do they open the lifts? Can't see anything obvious on their website

The only shame is I'd get some decent lift discount at Nevis which would be ideal if Braveheart was running and the forecast was better!!


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Sun 18-03-18 20:08; edited 1 time in total
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 Poster: A snowHead
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kitenski wrote:
@nelly0168, @Backcountryboarder, thanks - need to decide tonight! Unpisted red sounds perfect for what I enjoy!

Sounds like I should head over Meall Odhar way and see how it all is, is the skiing better on that side of the road than the other?

What time do they open the lifts? Can't see anything obvious on their website


I prefer it that side, but whole area good last week. You can buy tickets from 8.30, and if weather ok that's when lifts start to roll.
Enjoy 👍
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
8:30 ish. Every time I've been this year it's been great but starts to whiteout at 3:00
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Double post deleted
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@kitenski, ticket office usually opens around 8am/8.15am during the week and lifts start opening from the roadside at 8.30am. Sometimes best to do a few laps of Sunnyside to allow the Staff to get further out and check/open the outer lifts. All the runs should be in good condition just now but, obviously, anything West facing will be the loaded and pretty damn good at the moment. Hopefully it'll be a nice quiet few days coming up, but I think a lot of people may be pulling sickies Toofy Grin
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Just booked the sleeper train to Aviemore for 3 days over Easter. Expecting busy, potentially 'interesting' weather although hopefully sufficient snow cover if lifts running (base depths look pretty good, is it likely to stick around?). Any tips for Cairngorm? We're bringing our own gear, will be getting bus up from the station. Prepared to spend some time drinking whisky in the event the weather is adverse Toofy Grin
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http://m.webcam-hd.com/ski-scotland/glenshee

What a day. Sunnyside, Meal Odhar and eventually Glas Maol all loaded. Cool
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Got up early due to forecast. Skied the back side of Ben Ledi, climbed back up and skied from top as far down towards bicycle park as I could. Nice and soft on the back, hard and icy lower down on the way back. Slipped a couple of times on the ice. I did not drop off into the big bowl of white stuff, no way back if I did that! Maybe when there is a lift or a path out of there....

Off the hill at 2pm because I got what I went for. Probably last ski on Ben Ledi this winter, but a good one!

Blush


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Mon 19-03-18 18:45; edited 1 time in total
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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!
@Bigtipper,

Nice one! I'm thinking of doing that tomorrow, but dropping into one of the east Corrie's and picking mw way down that side, you cam get out and hook back to the main tourist path back up.
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Put your mobile phone in a break proof box before you drop off, and you might get a free helicopter ride out!
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Right I’m in the travel lodge Perth, heading for Glenshee in the morning. Happy to ski with others if they are around? I’ll be in blue trousers and helmet and black jacket. Either on white dot r98s or green volkl piste skis if it’s all hard pack!! I’ve not packed my skins or avi gear.

Anyone else heading up?
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