Monday, 11 January 2010
Small numbers!! Bit cold even for bouldering although I bet my usually sweaty paws wouldn't be much of an issue. Even so any boulders around Aviemore (where it apparently reached the aforementioned temperature) were buried under 2 feet of snow. Thus the only sensible plan was to go skiing at Cairngorm Mountain, taking advantage of the currently-better-than-alpine snow and the novelty of the last minute weekend trip - even manageable (although typically expensive) by train:
Definitely the end of the line.
Scottish skiing....small, badly organised, and COLD. But fun for all that.
Things I liked:
1. Snow is good this year.
2. Red runs were fun for cruising.
3. Resort's tiny enough to be easily tickable in a weekend.
4. Ski hire decent value.
5. Lift staff mostly friendly.
6. Easy to get chatting with fellow punters.
7. Very easy to hitch up to the mountain station.
8. Some services at the top ran smooth.
9. Very easily doable in a weekend or even a day.
10. Old Bridge Inn - good beer, great food, nice staff, eye-opening waitress.
Phone home?? Unfortunately we had lots of time to do that on the first day.
Things I disliked:
1. Rubbish cock-up with snowclearing on the first day that left everyone stuck in a 3 hour traffic jam despite them having 4 weeks of this winter freeze to practise getting it right.
2. Lift pass disproportionately expensive - near Alpine price for 1/6th the area.
3. Lift system slow, crude, and badly connected.
4. Arctic death freeze winds on t-bars / buttons.
5. Resort's tiny enough to be easily tickable in a weekend.
6. Good looking harder slopes closed.
7. Everything (including kit hire) somewhat dated.
8. Not much provision for storage at hostel nor hire places.
Basically this year, snow good, infrastructure still unreliable - BUT being able to ski all day, get the last lift up, the last run down, hitch back to Aviemore, sort kit and hostel out, buy food, get the train back to Glasgow, stop for a quick half between stations, be unpacked and in bed at 10:15 on Sunday is pretty damn cool. As is simply skiing itself!!
Incidentally my legs did okay, got tired quickly on individual runs, but lasted well throughout the day. So that's cool, I might go again soon.
Here's some more photos.