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Thursday, 20 May 2010

20 degrees and skiing Aladdin's Couloir today!

It's been very warm over the past few days and nights with the snow cover becoming more and more patchy AND icy in places - take care on the coire headwalls!
With the high in Aviemore hitting at least 20 Celcius we packed our trainers as well as the ski boots for the hike up onto the Cairngorm plateau for some more couloir skiing.
Within the ski area it's still possible to ski down Coronation Wall and down the Coire Cas ski run to the middle station but the cover is a lot less than on our last visit just few days ago.
The gun barrel will likely start to break up within the next week or so but should just about last until the weekend.
Having said that the NW facing slopes, coire headwalls and big gullies are still holding out surprisingly well and the skiing was really nice and not at all sticky due to the surface granular ice crystals.
The warm temperatures have melted off the newer softer snow layers leaving a surprisingly firm and quite icy old snow pack in places.
We were glad of the ice axes and almost wished for crampons at one point while checking out the Coire an t-Sneachda gullies this afternoon - step cutting was usefull!
We skied Aladdin's Couloir and had fun videoing the descent on the homemade Pentax W90 helmet cam and my Lumix TZ7 - all in HD stereo!
The YouTube video of us skiing Aladdin's Couloir is here

In the meantime see Fi's blog here for more details.

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