Sunday, June 23, 2013

That Weekend, Those Conditions

With Mid-summer officially two days gone, the days are getting shorter, and, technically, we're on the way back to winter. Pessimistic some might say. But they probably don't like the snow either. And they've probably not been snowboarding/skiing/walking in the scottish hills in the winter.
Anyone who has been in the mountains in Scotland regularly will be able to tell you about "that day". The day when all the the other grey, windy, wet, zero visibility, character building day pale into insignificance, and the sun comes out.
Last season, that day bombing around a Glenshee in the sun and more snow than I've ever seen up there would normally have been enough to end my season with a big smile. But with silly amounts of snow on all north facing slopes of the Pentlands too, I figured an early start the next day was worth another early rise. 
So, after a five minute drive to the car park at 07:00 I was hiking in toward the Carnethy/Scaldlaw climb with my homemade splitboard skinned up and ready to go on my pack. Twenty five minutes in and I switched over to skis and skinned up by the steep fence, turned left and headed for the summit of Scaldlaw. 

Clear blue skies, temperature around -10, four inches of wind blown powder on top a firm base and a line I can see from top to bottom: not bad considering I was in bed less than 2 hours ago! A quick cup of coffee and board change-over and..... drop....
....into an untracked line all the way down to the burn at the bottom of the valley.

I laughed. All the way down. Then, board split and skins back on, I was heading back up, exchanging pleasantries with bemused walkers and checking out more untracked areas on Carnethy. In the end, I summited Carnethy twice before dropping down the spring snow on the south face and hiking back to the car for the five minute drive back to 2nd breakfast and a nap.
Splitboard touring in The Pentlands?
Perfect conditions at Glenshee?
How long until it snows now?

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