Sgairneach Mhor by ski – Drumochter (Jan 2014)

Saturday 11 January 2014

On one of those increasingly rare days when it wasn’t blowing a gale and (rarer still) the sun occasionally popped out, Simon, Hazel and myself made a dash upto Drumochter for some ski touring. Unsure of quite how much snow there would be there, the backup plan was to drive on to Aonach Mor (since the west had already been getting huge dumps of snow by then) – but it didn’t come to that.

Infact conditions were looking good – parking at a layby on the A9 near the Allt Coire Dhomhain, we walked up the double track for a km or so, to just past the Sow of Atholl (taking advantage of a surprise bridge not on our map to cross the stream), at which point we were able to get our skis on and start heading up the slopes of Sgairneach Mhor.

Snow cover was excellent though a bit icy, but there were some fantastic views. From the summit (where the trig point was almost completely buried by the snow) we decided to ski the south east slope of the hill, as the snow was looking nice there. It was better than we hoped – we even found some nice consolidated powder, much better than the hard icy stuff everywhere else. We decided to skin back up to do it again but the weather closed in a bit, so on the second descent we traversed back around to the north slope and skied all the way back down to the double track where we’d put our skis on.

A short but nice day’s skiing – pretty rare to experience sunshine and hospitable conditions this winter!

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