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26 May 2013: Braeriach Skiing Spring 2013

Following a comfortable night in Corrour (too comfortable, as I didn't get out of bed as early as I had hoped), I headed for Coire Bhrochain on Braeriach.  Despite its Southerly aspect, it had collected a lot of the snow from through the week, and looked much better than any North facing options.  The visibility was not as good as the previous day, with high cloud, and mist hanging around the summits at about 1200m.    



First up was Central Buttress Gully.  It's unusual in that you descend with a rock wall on your left, before going through a gap in the rock walls onto a ramp, then you cut back left, avoiding going over the cliff below.  Apart from the top few metres where it's a bit steep, the rest is at a very amenable angle, and it was a great ski.  I had contemplated just heading out due to the mist and a lack of energy, but the mist lifted, and so did my enthusiasm.  There were a couple of lines in the corrie that I fancied doing - one either side.

The one on the west flank was great - an easy bowl to start with, before going down a narrow steeper shallow gully line.  The one on the east flank was a little rocky at the top, with just a shallow covering of the rapidly diminishing fresh snow, but just like when theres a noise in the car I don't like the sound of, I turned the music up, and it was all OK!  

I'd lost track of time by now, but couldn't resist the pull of West Gully.  I'd skied it 3 years ago at 4am on a weekday adventure after work, getting to work on time the following morning.  During that descent, the snow had melted back a lot (it was late June), and I had to side slip a bit of it.  I kind of felt that I would like to do it in better style, so I went back up.   It can be notoriously steep at the top, with a horrendous cornice, but it was nothing like that on this occasion.  An easy entry onto a 45 degree slope of perfect soft spring snow is as good as it gets.    Rather amusingly, I had an audience of 4 hillwalkers.  As I glanced at them just before sliding in, all 4 were holding their cameras out in front of their faces, poised to capture my demise on their SD cards.  For once, I actually felt that I skied quite well, and was grinning from ear to ear in the corrie.  I omitted to ask if I could get a copy of the photos, but never mind.  It was a fine way to end my season!  

Coire Bhrochain on Braeriach.
Apart from East Gully (which i've done twice before), I skied the other marked lines today.
Looking into the top of Central Buttress Gully.
Looking back up from the top of the ramp at the way through the rock walls of Central Buttress Gully.
The view in the opposite direction
The pile of rocks in the middle of the grassy patch is the Garbh Coire Bothy, about 500m below.
The view across the corrie from the top of the West flank.
It's not obvious, but there is a way through the rocks just to the right of the middle of the picture, when it becomes a narrow snow chute.
25 May 2013: Garbh Coire Mor and Cairn Toul Skiing Spring 2013
12 May 2013: Glenshee & Beinn a'Bhuird, but not in the same day Skiing Spring 2013
07 May 2013: The Stuic evening ski trip Skiing Spring 2013
28 April 2013: Coire Kander skiing Skiing Spring 2013
27 April 2013: Meall Chuaich Walk Spring 2013
20 April 2013: Ben Alder Skiing Spring 2013
13 April 2013: More Dubh Loch / Loch Muick gully skiing. Skiing Spring 2013
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