Sunday 9th February 2014
After huge dumps of snow on the hills for the past couple of weeks and precious few weather windows, it was time to lower the bar on what is considered an “acceptable” forecast for heading out ski touring in order to actually get out! This time the forecast was for winds of 35-45mph, increasing and gusting upto 50 or 60 mph and a risk of snow showers and whiteout :O
Infact when Simon, Hazel and I met up with Tessa at the ‘shee the skies were fairly clear, winds were moderate, and there were even occasional patches of sunshine, so it felt like a gamble that had paid off. We traversed around above the Cairnwell Burn and onwards alongside the Allt Coire Fionn towards Glas Coire before heading up and over, skiing into the bottom of Garbh choire. By this time the weather was starting to close in; thankfully the descent was well timed – but by the time we’d skinned back out the way we came winds were getting fierce and visibility was rapidly dropping off, so we skied directly to the bottom of the closed Glas Maol poma (the only visible feature!) before skinning up Coire Fionn and reaching a partially buried Caenlochan poma, where we had to step over one of the lift cables! It really was getting very windy at this point wind and taking skins off was challenging – not just the usual worry about skins or cheat sheets blowing away but a genuine worry of poles and skis blowing away! Poor Hazel got blown over tying to put her skis back on! We skied directly down to the Meal Odhar cafe for well deserved hot chocolates before traversing round to the upper car park.
An interesting an varied day. Snow was rather wet and sticky lower down but nicer higher up, probably would have gone further if the weather had been nicer to us!