Archive | Skiing

Meall Ghaordaidh and some epic driving conditions!

On Friday morning after a few days of cold weather we thought we would go and have a look at Eas Anie before the weekend of thaw. We didn’t want to waste the day walking in and out for it to not be in condition so we thought it would be a good idea to try and drive our people carrier along the snow covered land rover track. It certainly was not. We made it about 1km out of the 4 before this happened…

woops!

A couple of hours later we managed to free ourselves and made it back to the main road! Snow chains snapped in half, and the poor car being through quite an ordeal. Lesson number one: People carriers are not meant for offroading!

By this point it was around 11.30am so a bit late in the day to do much else so we headed over to Glencoe mountain to see what condition the piste skiing was in. The weather wasn’t looking good though so we opted not to waste the money for them to then decide to close. We had a nap and headed back down to Tyndrum for some food in the real food cafe and mobile signal to check conditions for Saturday.

As the snow was really wet and slushy (and it was raining) the next morning, we headed back down the road to see if conditions for skiing were better anywhere else. We tried to go and have a look at Sgiath Chuil and its neighbour but once again got the car stuck in the snow. Now that we had no snow chains it was even more epic having to scrape all the slush off to road to free ourselves. Lesson number two was learnt: people carriers are not good in slushy snow without chains. By this point I was sick of spending a large proportion of my weekend digging so driving down any dodgy looking roads was out of the question.

So eventually at 11am we arrived at the car park for Meall Ghaordaidh – success! The snow was quite wet below 400m and water logged our skins, but above there conditions were pretty awesome, just a bit thin in places. We started off having a really nice day, but of course Scotland being Scotland, the bad weather made its way towards us. We made it to about 800m in fairly nice weather, then the wind picked up and the whiteout arrived, making the top slopes towards the summit very interesting on skis! Quite scary actually, but thats what adds to the fun :)

setting off through the farmers field

<3 the mountains
 
Traversing around the crags to reach the summit

We kept our skins on for the descent initally until we were back on the plateau as visibility was down to about 10metres so we didnt want to gain too much speed whilst trying to navigate around the crags.

The descent was awesome! So fast compared to walking. Skiing has got to be the best/only way to tick off munros in winter conditions!

getting the skins off for some downhill fun
J in action on the plateau

Now heres hoping for some cold weather so the snow stops melting!

Janey and Keith

A quick blast up Benvane before work!

Super psyched for ski touring, and unable to wait until the weekend, Keith and I decided to go up Benvane yesterday morning before he started work at 2pm. This meant leaving Edinburgh pretty early (6.30am) to get up to Balquhidder for sunrise.

I have recently developed an irrational fear of narrow snowy/icy roads so the drive along to where we opted to park at Ballimore was interesting to say the least. It requires snow chains in its current condition for anyone intending on heading up there.

car park nice and white looking :)

We were able to tour straight from the car park to the plateau without any real problems. The snow was lacking in a few places and there were a few rocks etc needing avoided. Conditions could have been better but could have been worse – it was definitely worth getting up early for. A wee thaw/freeze and bit more snowfall would make it pretty awesome.

Anyway enough of my chat, its time for pictures!

Keith skinning up and enjoying the views.
not long after sunrise :)
awesomeness!
Time to descend….
My amateur skiing skills on show.
Keith heading for the car
We are now getting ready to head out into the mountains for a 3 day weekend. Psyched! Checking out Beinn Udlaidh tomorrow, so fingers crossed for good conditions, and it will hopefully be fairly sheltered from the strong southerly winds as well. Hopefully get some more ski touring in too.
Janey

An attempt at ski touring

Yesterday, after the fresh snow fall on Friday night, wishful thinking led to us heading up to Newtonmore with plans/hopes to ski tour A’ Chailleach and maybe Carn Sgulain. With a risky looking avalanche forecast for southwest to north easterly slopes, we chose these hills as the slopes we would be skiing were east to south east facing. There also aren’t really any steep ascents or descents – ideal for us just starting out with touring.

Keith setting off up the landy track

However there was nowhere near as much cover as we hoped for – we knew it was a risk – but we toured a short distance up the landrover track anyway to have a better look. Sadly there is still loads of heather showing through and patches of rocks on the landy track still exposed. Bring on the snow fall!

not so much snow :(

 After binning this idea we headed over to Cairngorm Mountain to tour up one of the closed runs and ski down the pistes. It was a windy day and the ski centre were unable to open quite a lot of the tows, so the areas that were open were rather crowded. Not quite what we had in mind for our day but still good fun.

We would like to thank the guys at Blues Ski Shop for the awesome advice and expert boot fitting. My Scarpa Blinks are perfect and Keith also loves his Maestrales. Definitely recommend anyone looking to invest in anything ski related to check out their shop in Tiso (Perth). www.bluestheskishop.co.uk

Janey

MTA