/ Sunday Northern Cairngorms ski touring report

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James Edwards - on 30 Apr 2012
I'm having to post a new thread rather than continue the old one as for some reason the computer at work puts a block on the old thread...

Busy day for ski touring from Cairngorm to Macdui on Sunday with a lot of evidence that Saturday had been busy too. Initially the surface of the snow up high was frozen solid making riding over olf refrozen tracks a bit throwy. This softened up during the day as the sun thawed them out.
We went up Cairngorm and over to do all the 4000ers. There was evidence on the other side that someone else had done it in the previous week.
There are two options to ski off macdui. 1. Ski the line of Tailers burn - more shaded, reasonable surface of powder making for good turns, but a shorter run. 2 Ski the face directly from the summit. Depending upon the time of the day this will be frozen at the top for the first couple of hundred metres then great skiing on sun soften snow. A longer run and probably a bit steeper. Ski able snow down to 750m
The top of the slope had avalanched a few days ago and there is a lot of debris in the middle. According to what i saw, the slope was now safer and i was very happy to ski it.
On the other side of the larig gru we took a short cut off the col just north of Braeriach then kept height going passed the pools of dee. This slope was steep but a good ski and seemed 'reasonably' safe. Lots of evidence of wind transported snow going onto this shaded slope but it 'seemed' stable and in the end it was fine.
What wasn't fine was the 'short cut' i took to avoid the trudge out through the Chalamain gap. We booted up to the south of Lurchers to near 1083. This meant that we could ski Lurchers Gully and have a short walk back to the cat but the sun softened snow up to 1083 was purgatory!
To top it all my car battery was flat when we got back and much fun then ensued.
Hope this helps some one
James e
AG - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to James Edwards: Sat was amazing in the morning on cairngorm, powder was some of the best i've skied on in a very long time. Fresh tracks were hard to come by in the afternoon though!.

Might be more snow later in the week in time for the weekend!..
some reports here..http://www.winterhighland.info/touring/
Gav M - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to James Edwards:

I think we saw your tracks on Macdui.

We descended the tailors burn on Saturday, spent a night in Corrour then came over the devils point, angels peak, carn toul and braeriach on Sunday. Coire gorm on braeriach was full of beautiful powder surprisingly still untracked in the late afternoon, easily the best ski of the season. Thanks for leaving it for us!

The walk out through the chalamain gap was torture but a small price to pay for an awesome weekend.
Cuthbert on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to James Edwards:

We did the traverse of Beinn a' Mheadhainn yesterday which was superb. Best conditions for ages.
craigloon - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:

Epic day Donald, happy memories!
Slugain Howff - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to James Edward et al

Nice one

I'm hoping some of this remains until next weekend. It was 3 degrees and pissing down when I left Deeside for the airport this morning so hopefully it was falling as snow on the tops.

S
Scomuir on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Slugain Howff:
There's a fair bit of soggy snow high up on Lochnagar. I went out late afternoon hoping it would clear up. It didn't, and if anything, got worse. The mist was right down to Glen Muick. Put the skis on at about 800m, but gave up once on the plateau along from Chuidhe Crom. Complete white out. I knew it was bad when I couldn't make out the cornice when I knew it was less than 10 metres away. Anyway, there was more than enough snow to ski down more or less the line of the path to the col, so that will give you an idea of how much snow there is.
hedgepig - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to James Edwards:
I met one of you guys walking by Loch Muick on saturday carrying his skis.
He must have walked about 4 miles from where the snow ended, in skiboots. Respec'

I was pootling along with my offspring looking like a tourist.
Al Todd - on 02 May 2012
We avoided the touring crowds on Sunday and headed up from Glen Feshie across to Braeriach. Bumped into Gav and his pals on top (I was the one taking the pics from the subsidiary top)Only came across 8 or so folk all day so nice and quiet on our side of the Lairig Ghru !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WwKoTI3rd0

James - are the Affric hills cosmetically white or is there sufficient for a tour around Mullardoch?

Forecast suggests its going to stay good for some time yet

James Edwards - on 02 May 2012
In reply to Al Todd:
There is zero snow in Torridon, and very limited in the Straths. Nothing i would cary skis for a couple of hours to do. The major snow fall has been in the Cairngorms. Certainly that is where it is at for touring.
I'll be out on Friday and Sunday i think at the moment. Thurs is looking too warm.
James e
Gav M - on 03 May 2012
In reply to Gav M:

Some words and pictures from the weekend gone in the Cairngorms.......

http://gavinmacfie.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/cairngorms-overnight-ski-mountaineering.html
Roy on 04 May 2012
In reply to Gav M:

Nice one.

If I didn't have a 7 hour drive I'd be up there myself.
Snax - on 04 May 2012
In reply to James Edwards: LD Mountain Centre have just posted this on their wall... apperently filmed this week... https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151058854348504 What month are we in again???
Cuthbert on 04 May 2012
In reply to Snax:

Shame they missed the best conditions ;-). There were a lot of "athletes" out at the weekend.
In reply to Gav M:
> (In reply to Gav M)
>
> Some words and pictures from the weekend gone in the Cairngorms.......
>
> http://gavinmacfie.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/cairngorms-overnight-ski-mountaineering.html

Brilliant!


Chris
James Edwards - on 04 May 2012
In reply to James Edwards:
Went up Alladins couloir after work this evening. Gully was too icy to ski down i thought. Went over towards Macdui instead but gave up and turned back before the summit when a hail storm meant i couldn't see the end of my ski tips.
I thought the snow surface was very icy, skis were slipping on steeps and it was very rattley to ski down.
I'm into minds weather to tour on sunday and monday or go rock climbing; the cover is still good but some new snow stuck to the surface would be nice.
Hope this helps
James
CatherineOgilvie - on 06 May 2012
In reply to James Edwards:

Just to say I was up yesterday (Saturday, 5.5.12) and the snow cover is still good. Little bit icy in places and did use my couteaux but a great day so still definitely worth a trip. If it stays cold I'll be up again next weekend!

Catherine
CatherineOgilvie - on 06 May 2012
In reply to James Edwards:

Just to say I was up yesterday (Saturday, 5.5.12) and the snow cover is still good. Little bit icy in places and did use my couteaux but a great day so still definitely worth a trip. If it stays cold I'll be up again next weekend,

Catherine
dmhigg - on 06 May 2012
In reply to CatherineOgilvie: I apologise if the weather changes, but today was excellent. Lots of skiers about: I could see skiers on Mheadhoin and Bynack More. I had no plan, but ended up walking the steep bit of the new path up the Ptarmigan ridge, then skinned to the top and just did laps of the various Cairngorm descents until the snow warmed up. Only the summit and the West side were icy, all other aspects terrific skiing. I went to wolftrax in the afternoon for more sunny antics.
graeme gatherer - on 07 May 2012
In reply to dmhigg: Ditto today! Snow was very amenable this morning though with a couple of inches of fresh to make it very pleasant indeed. Not often you can ski from the summit of cairngorm in any direction. We did 3 of the southerly lines and then back down the M2 with only a short walk at the bottom. Stayed sunny up top longer than we expected. Snowing heavily as we left about 1330.

Aonach Mor still had plenty to do in the back corries on Saturday too. We did easy gully, summit gully and another line further south that was pretty similar.

This season has a bit to go yet! Me thinks the Braeriach gullies for June :)
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Al Todd - on 08 May 2012
In reply to graeme gatherer: Graeme I was also out for a wee morning wander over the back with a couple of descents on great snow towards Loch Avon / Strath Nethy before heading back into the ski area for a couple of hours until the weather closed in. Not good weather for pics but took this pic of a couple touring - was it you?

http://i867.photobucket.com/albums/ab234/atodd3337/cairngorm%207th%20May%202012/P1090855e.jpg
graeme gatherer - on 08 May 2012
In reply to Al Todd: Nah, that's not us but we spoke to them twice during the morning. It was apparently the girl's first time ever on skis!! She seemed to be enjoying herself!
graeme gatherer - on 08 May 2012
Al Todd - on 08 May 2012
In reply to graeme gatherer: ok got you now - I skied back up to the met station and was taking my skins off as you both were about to head off from the summit

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