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Skiing North of the Border

Glencoe ski centre had (just) enough snow, just a shame about the cloud and the rain

Glen Coe ski centre had (just) enough snow, just a shame about the cloud and the rain

Friday, 7pm. I’d just got back home from a hard days work, Monika and I were both feeling ill, we were yet to pack and gales were forecast. Yet we had already paid for the bunk house and we were being picked up in just over 4 hours. We were in too deep to back out.

After driving throughout the night we arrived at Glen Coe ski centre. The access chair disappeared into the cloud. The Nevis range forecast was for much stronger winds so we got ready and headed up to the ski slopes to do our worst.

There was enough snow to give a good covering of soft snow. Unfortunately the cloud restricted visibility and made it more ‘entertaining’.  Several falls were taken by us all, the others laughing as I slid on my belly towards them.

It was well above freezing and by mid afternoon we were soaked and headed for the cafe for a hot drink before seeking out our accommodation. We slept in the Ben Nevis bunkhouse, complete with an onsite pub. The pub’s food was beautiful and we highly recommend a visit if you are in the area, booking is recommended.Sunday

Ben nevis

Our perseverance paid off once the cloud lifted from the piste with stunning views across the highlands dominated by Ben Nevis

We pulled up at the Nevis range carpark and looked in dismay at the cloud clinging to the ski area, blue skies everywhere else. There also was an apparent lack of snow. Despite this we were convinced by a web camera picture of a snowy piste and a promise of a sunny summit.

We eventually found a good route to take which gave the most soft spring snow whilst avoided the worst of the ice. We also had a go at getting some (not so big) air in the terrain park.

The summit was cloud free and offered some stunning views across to Ben Nevis.  On skiing back down from the summit we head back into the cloud and we were pleasantly greeted by the elusive Brocken spectre, a rainbow of almost 360 degrees formed around your shadow when it is cast onto the top of a cloud. This made the day and despite the appalling forecast and far from perfect condition we all had a fantastic weekend, well worth the long drive.

A Brocken spectre on the ski slopes of Aonach Mor

A Brocken spectre on the ski slopes of Aonach Mor

Buachaille Etive Mòr

Buachaille Etive Mòr in Glen Coe on the way home


Glen coe at dusk from Buachaille Etive Mòr looking back towards Glen coe village

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