Sunday, 13 May 2012

Cairngorm Ski Tour

Last weekend after taking out Stephanie and Ben for a day of scrambling in Snowdonia I jumped into Jon's van and headed up to the Cairngorms. The upside of the recent poor weather has been snow on the Scottish peaks so we were both psyched for some more skiing. After a long drive, a minor panic when I realised I had left a load of gear behind (thanks to Greg at Glenmore lodge for sorting me out), some pain au chocolat and a short lift assisted skin we found ourselves on the top of Cairngorm. The cloud was lifting and there was total cover on the plateau.

We made our way over to the North Top of Ben MacDui and then took an awesome line, initially in powder then nice spring snow, down to the beautiful Loch Etchachan. Now the Cairngorms are not Chamonix but in many ways they are just as awesome. In fact having lunch after the descent to Loch Etchachan in bright May sunshine with no one around was really special and one of my best ski moments of the year.

From there we skinned up to Ben Mheadhoin and shredded a long descent down to Loch A'an. We had to boot pack round the Loch and even had to take boots off to ford the river before sloggin up a steep ascent back to the Cairngorm Ski area. We definitely earned our turns with a total ascent of 1600m and 20km covered!