Goneboarding Aviemore Chillout Weekend

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The Cairngorms from Loch Morlich.
Photo - smcwilliam.co.uk.

The idea for this weekend had been with me since I had read the report on highland instinct about the walk they had done last June up in the Cairngorms in search of some snow for a Summer slide.
I mentioned the idea on Goneboarding and there was a positive response. When my Winter trips to Europe and Canada were completed I started  to think about a weekend chill out up at Aviemore.
Jill and I took Poppel with us and stayed in a lovely bungalow at the North end of town which was booked through Morlich Bungalows. We drove up on the Thursday which gave us the chance to get up into the Cairngorms on the Friday to check out where the best snowfields were. Unfortunately we only walked to the top of the highest tow,the Ptarmigan as visibility was not good and we did not want to venture too far when we could not see. I managed a few turns on Friday and I was confident there would be enough snow to play on for everyone the next day. 

On Friday afternoon we went down to High Range Campsite where quite a few folk were staying. Met up with Tim,Mike,Dan and Simmy as they finished putting up the tents.
We had arranged for everyone to meet up on Fri night at Cafe Mambo to discuss the following days plans.

Cafe Mambo

By 10 am on Sat morning there were only 4 of us ready to go but gradually they began to arrive some in slightly better states than others after last night. Glad I had been sensible and headed home at a reasonable time.
Once we were all gathered we had a pre walk beer and set off.
At first it was snowing down at the car park but brightened up and by the time we were well up Coire Cas the sun was shining quite brightly which helped wash away the remnants of any hangovers.

We arrived at the Ptarmigan building after about 1 hour 15 mins of walking. We signed the walkers book and got into the building for refreshments and to use the washrooms. It was then on up to the top of the Ptarmigan tow where we had a look at the remains of the snowpark before heading down towards Ciste Mhearad. There was plenty of snow in view so we got ready for the first run of the day.

I had hoped to have been over and checked Ciste Mhearad out yesterday but when we arrived at the top of the Ptarmigan tow the visibility was poor so we did not get over the back. The result of this was that we did not know where the best starting point would be or just how far we would get down the Ciste.

I set off first. At the top where the snow was soft and the slope gentle it was difficult to get up much speed. There was a large gully to my front and I dropped down into it hoping to get back up and out the other side but I ended up unstrapping and climbing back out before continuing down. The others could see from the top what was happening and some of them were able to stay higher and get round the top of the gully.

When I got down to the furthest point we could see from the top I was pleased to see the slope become steeper which meant more speed and better ,faster turns. I kept going until the snow ran out. I took off my board and walked a little further to where I could see there was another nice run of about 250 metres further down. This next part was steeper again and the snow looked good. I waited until the others started to arrive and we got ready for the next section.

The bottom part was excellent and we all had a good run down it. At the bottom there were views down towards Loch Avon and the mountains beyond.It was quiet and certainly a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon in May.
The worst part was looking back up. Our tracks looked good but the thought of the hike back up was not the most appealing part of the day. Luckily we could walk on the grassy slope at the side of the snowfield and this made things a bit easier. It was a walk of about 25 minutes to get back to our starting point where we all had a rest and some refreshment before deciding to head back to the top of the Ptarmigan bowl to see what we could do with the big kicker/hip which was there.

It was a short,pleasant walk back to the top of the Ptarmigan bowl. When we arrived the sun started to break through again and there were stunning views across to Meall a Bhuichaille and towards the Glenmore forest.
The bottom big bank of snow was still in reasonable shape and it was possible to ride up the side wall and to use it to drop off when approached from the right but the landing was a bit flat. We then built our own little kicker which had a decent run in and landing side. We had a fair bit of fun on this with Grant (holmesGI) taking the prizes for most height and most distance and probably most spectacular landing as well.
The afternoon was passing quickly as I tuned into Radio Scotland to find Hearts were leading Gretna 1-0 at half-time in the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden.
It was time to pack up and make our way down.....but there was still some sliding to do yet !

From the top of the Ptarmigan tow we could almost ride down to the top station with only a small break in the snow of a few feet in one place.
We were looking forward to riding the deep line of snow down the side of the Traverse. I had done it yesterday and it was great fun and today I kept going all the way till the snow ran out. There were big rollers which you could not see over so it was important that you had taken a look on the way up....as jennx found out when she tumbled onto the track below but luckily got back up with no damage done.

We then walked down across Coire Cas and onto the Zig Zags where there was a nice long patch of snow at the edge of the track. This was nice and gentle and was about 250 metres long. A nice way to finish the days boarding.

Widebeest ready for the last run of the day.

Once back down to the car park we opened a beer and relaxed after what had been a pretty good day where we had decent weather and found some nice patches of snow.
I had enjoyed the company and the chance to meet up with and put faces to names of people from Goneboarding whom I had not previously met. I certainly hope to board with you all again in the future.

After getting back to town there was time for a quick beer sitting outside Mambo,into Tesco for some supplies ,back to the bungalow for a shower and then Jill drove us to High Range where we all met up for a BBQ and a few beers before finishing the night off back at Cafe Mambo.

Below are a few piccies from gingermonkey doing a bit of advertising for High Range campsite !!
It is a pretty good small site with good facilities and we also found out that there is an unsecure WiFi network that can be picked up from the tents.

Well, when I woke up on Sunday morning I felt pretty good. There was no hang-over and no real aches and pains. Went into town to get some diesel in the car and to get a paper to have a read at how well Gretna had performed in the Cup final yesterday (yuk!!!!).
Once we got sorted Jill and I took Poppel to Loch Morlich. It was a bright and sunny morning as we parked the car near to the entrance to Rothiemurchas and walked all the way along the shore to the other side of Glenmore. There were some really nice views over the Loch and up into the Cairngorms.

Cool mountain bike

Cairngorm View.
Photo - smcwilliam.co.uk.

After leaving Loch Morlich we headed back to Aviemore and went up to the MacDonalds Hotel for a look around the shopping complex. They have a cafe/bar area  with free wireless internet as well. It was then down to the Cairngorm Hotel for a refreshing afternoon pint before taking Poppel for another nice walk through the woods near the house.
This evening we went to the Dalfaber Golf and Country Club for a swim and to relax in the jacuzzi for a while before Dinner. We went to the Restaurant and had the Sunday carvery. It was excellent with a choice of Beef,Pork or Chicken (or all 3 if you could manage). It was then back to the house to relax for a while before bed with time to reflect on what had been a great weekend.
Many thanks to everyone who helped make this a success and heres looking forward to next year.


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Ski Club of GB

Ski Scotland

Cairngorm Mountain.

The video clips below are courtesy of Rob Ashworth (RobA)

holmesGI video clip.

Merlin video clip

riddler900 video clip

Simmy video clip

Stuart video clip

Wildebeest video clip

jennx video clip

timays Aviemore weekend Pics

Jennymartin Photography.

Morlich Bungalows

Highrange Campsite

Aviemore Bunkhouse.

Cairngorm Hotel

Rothiemurchas Estate.

Glenmore Lodge

Dalfaber Golf and Country Club.

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