Saturday 17th January 2015
With the unlikely scenario of clear, cold, sunny weather being forecast for a Saturday following loads of fresh snowfalls, five snow-thirsty ski tourers headed off from Dundee to rendezvous at the Spittal. With fantastic, deep snow cover right down to the valley floor there there was no need to drive any further up the road or face the crowds at Glenshee, so we instead headed up to Ben Earb via the forest track, which was in alpine condition. The only problem was having to climb over endless gates which were immobilised by being half buried in snow.
Snow cover remained good out on the open hill with only the most exposed ridges being scoured, and even then they were still skiable. On reaching the summit there was some dilemma and debate about which way to go, but in the end we went with Martin’s suggestion of heading down due east from the summit, which turned out to be a great choice as we not only got to stay in the sun that way but also even found some proper fluffy alpine quality powder!
After the descent it was a very short skin over towards Creag an Dubh Shluic before dropping down above the forest there before skinning up to the top of Coire Lairige from where we could ski directly all the way back to our cars at the Spittal.
Of course, we had to climb over a few more gates on the way back down, but it was well worth it! Sadly no more popping into the Spittal Inn afterwards anymore since it burned down, but thankfully Gulabin Lodge has a wee tea room so we thought it would be rude not to grab some hot chocolates before heading home.
Fresh tracks all the way, great snow, blue skies, and hot chocolates to round off – perfect!
More days like this please!