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Just back from skiing in Scotland

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all, I just spent a week in Scotland walking and self-catering with Mrs snowball, and I got in a visit to a very nice seafood restaurant (indoors) and a couple of days skiing at Glencoe (May 4th & 6th). The access lift was working but not the ones on ski slopes. (Well, to be strictly accurate, when there is lots of snow you can sometimes ski the 270m vertical of the access lift as well).
The first day (Tuesday) there was a couple of inches of new snow but there was very flat light and the top was often in cloud so I wasn't very exploratory. The lowest, flatter part one had to walk up a track as there was not enough snow. After that it was a skin to the top, a total of 450metres of vertical, of which about 350 were skiable on a few routes.
The second day (Thursday) some of the new snow lower down that fell on bare ground had gone and weather was variable but mostly better visibility, including some sun and a short snow shower. On both days I did 4 descents, mainly the main bowl, but also two Spring runs and one Flypaper. Flypaper (the famous 45º run), contrary to what I had been told, had very nice snow, but I had been worried on the first day I might get lost trying to find it in the cloud, so hadn't tried it.
On each of the days I must have climbed around 1300 vertical metres, which wouldn't be much for a tourer, but I am very unfit.
I had originally intended to ski the back bowls of Nevis Range (Aonach Mor) on the second day, where the access lift was also working, despite the fact that they no longer link up with each, other or with the front, due to lack of snow,. This would have involved climbing up where I had skied down, using crampons and ice axe (which I am unfamiliar with using) to get up the steep top and past a cornice. However I decided my fitness was insufficient to do several ascents, and in any case the bad visibility on the Tuesday meant I hadn't made proper use of the Glencoe possibilities.
On the Tuesday there were 11 or 12 of us on the hill and the Thursday perhaps 20.

Below are the top part of the main bowl on the second day, and me at the top.




Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Thu 13-05-21 11:43; edited 5 times in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Unfortunately I didn't think to photograph the Flypaper till I was well past it, traversing out over mixed snow and heather, but you can see the top of it at the top of this photo before it disappears behind rocks. I was the first to make tracks on it but if you look carefully you can see a guy standing on the skyline about to ski it, and another on a less steep variant just below and left, between two lots of rocks.



Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Mon 10-05-21 17:22; edited 5 times in total
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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?
Many thanks snowball - nice pics and update. We’re thinking we may give Scotland a try next spring. Glad you’ve been able to make the most of the conditions - lucky you. It’s the Snowdome for us next week!
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@snowball, cool report, and I'm glad you got some turns in Happy For info, the other skier on the run alongside Flypaper is on a part of the hill known as 'Bailey's Gulley'.

P.S. Perhaps with the cool April, they've not had the opportunity to form, but did you encounter any mahoosive bergschrund on the Flypaper fall line ? In the late Spring months, you can sometimes encounter proper body swallowers that if they're not jumped, are adventures in themselves to negotiate !
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
No, @moffatross, no bergschrund at all, but a fair amount of sloughing. I wish I had been down it earlier as I would have liked to do it again, but a liftie had (wrongly) told me it was incomplete with a rock band cutting it.
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moffatross wrote:
@snowball, cool report, and I'm glad you got some turns in Happy For info, the other skier on the run alongside Flypaper is on a part of the hill known as 'Bailey's Gulley'.

P.S. Perhaps with the cool April, they've not had the opportunity to form, but did you encounter any mahoosive bergschrund on the Flypaper fall line ? In the late Spring months, you can sometimes encounter proper body swallowers that if they're not jumped, are adventures in themselves to negotiate !


I was there the week before last and some were starting to form on the Spring Run, but I'd imagine they would have been covered with the new snow. I'd imagine the Mid Summer day ski at Glencoe will be on this year.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
snowball wrote:
No, @moffatross, no bergschrund at all, but a fair amount of sloughing. I wish I had been down it earlier as I would have liked to do it again, but a liftie had (wrongly) told me it was incomplete with a rock band cutting it.

The sluffing is pretty normal, and I can almost hear it now ! Weird comment from the chairlift operator, perhaps out of date due to new snow coverage as observed by AndAnotherThing. There's almost always a rock band in (or slightly skier's right of) the fall-line and it's only one or two years per decade that an intimidating rocky buttress doesn't stare at you from the lower run reminding you that a rag-doll fall there could end up being very nasty indeed.
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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!
AndAnotherThing.. wrote:
I'd imagine the Mid Summer day ski at Glencoe will be on this year.


Hope so. I've joined a couple of the midsummer skis, and even in a normal year there was real camaraderie on the hill. This year of all years, if it happens, there could be a proper party atmosphere up there !
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Actually yes,@AndAnotherThing.., someone mentioned a bergschrund on the left lower down on the Spring run, but I didn't find it.
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snowball wrote:
Actually yes,@AndAnotherThing.., someone mentioned a bergschrund on the left lower down on the Spring run, but I didn't find it.


There is indeed a massive "crevasse" on skiers' left of the Spring Run, immediately before the left turn traverse out, back to the T Bar. It was about a meter wide, 10 metres long and appeared to be about 2 meters deep, at least. Shocked
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Wow. Good thing I stayed away from the left. Very obvious on todays webcam - piste narrowed from both sides..

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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.
Great pics!
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