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Click here to view the previous season (Summer 2015)
21 May 2016: CIC Hut trip Skiing Winter 2016
08 May 2016: An Teallach Skiing Winter 2016
21 April 2016: Sgran Dubh Mr Skiing Winter 2016

I had a solo day out a few weeks back to the North side of Ben Avon and Bheinn a'Bhuird, which I didn't post anything about.  The pictures and the skiing were generally unremarkable, with the most notable thing being that my bike broke at the furthest point from the car park, so could only free wheel the 12 miles back!  Anyway, today was also a solo outing, but a little different.  Like the last time, there was a surprise on the bike, but this time, it was the track that was broken, and not the bike.  The lower track up Glen Einich after the split has a landslide across it.  At first, I couldn't understand why the track just stopped, but then the penny dropped.  Quite cool - there are sizeable blocks of soil and vegetation that you could have sat on an ridden down safely during the landslide.  Reminds me of my uni days, as my dissertation was about a landslide, albeit from a Bolivian volcano. 



Anyway, the reason i was cycling up Glen Einich, was to take a gamble on the spectacular gullies below Sgran Dubh Mr.  The Willow Spout looked like a much higher, narrower version of Black Spout on Lochnagar, and as I climbed it, I figured my assessment was right.  That was to be the end of day run, as it doesn't end in a cliff.  Coire Olc sits due East of the summit of Sgran Dubh Mr, and is an impressive feature.  There are 3 obvious lines into it.  I chose the Northernmost one, and once i'd found a way into it, I was rewarded with a great descent to below where the 3 lines meet.  The middle line ("2/3rds Gully"), was narrow, and had rocky steps in it, and the other line had a break in it low down, so both will need to wait for another visit.  In a way, I was slightly relieved, as I knew I wouldn't feel like I had to do them today.  All the lines currently end in a big waterfall over a cliff.  In exceptional winters, it can apparently bank out.  Maybe someday...

Back up at the top, the mist rolled in, so I carefully skied to the top of the fairly amenable line that descended into Coire Sgran Dubh Beag.  This gave a good, but brief ski (200m vertical).  Back at the top, the mist looked like it was only temporary, and I got myself over to The Willow Spout.  Having been up it, I knoew what to expect.  The upper gully felt reasonably steep, with a long drop below, but the snow was good.  A bit of sluffing meant that I had to be patient to let it pass.  A narrow section 3/4 of the way down involved an unceremonious body slide, as it was soft snow on a slab of rock which was too narrow to ski, but the deep narrow gully below it was a joy to ski.   The Willow Spout is probably the biggest gully in the Cairngorms, and is an outstanding feature to ski.  I intend to come back and do it again with a bit more snow.   


The landslide on the lower track.
Looking up the Willow Spout.
I knew this bit was going to be a joy to ski.
Looking down into the line I skied into Coire Olc.  I didn't know if the snow continued round the bend, or whether there was going to be a break of some kind.  It turned out to be good snow thankfully.
Looking back up the line in Coire Olc (to the right of
Some escalating going on.
At the bottom of my second run during the misty spell.
Looking out to Braeriach.
At the top of The Willow Spout.
A long way down from here.
The lower slot.
Coire Olc.  The line I skied marked with red dots.
All 3 lines I skied.  Coire Olc on the left, The Willow Spout on the right, with Coire Sgran Dubh Beag between them.
The Willow Spout.
The 3 that went up earlier, on their way down.
The Escalator looking fine.
The Escalator.
Braeriach
Back at Whitewell.
16 April 2016: Short Cairngorm tour Skiing Winter 2016
14 April 2016: Aonach Mor and Aonach Beag (again) Skiing Winter 2016
12 April 2016: Meall a' Bhuachaille and The Couloir Skiing Winter 2016
10 April 2016: Aonach Mor and Aonach Beag Skiing Winter 2016
19 March 2016: Cairngorms Tour Skiing Winter 2016
17 March 2016: Toll an Lochain, An Teallach Skiing Winter 2016
09 March 2016: Loch Avon basin gully skiing Skiing Winter 2016
27 February 2016: Beinn Dearg and Cona' Mheall Skiing Winter 2016
25 February 2016: Caenlochan Skiing Winter 2016
13 February 2016: Invercauld Skiing Winter 2016
10 February 2016: Glenshee skiing Skiing Winter 2016
17 January 2016: Ben Macdui Ski Tour Skiing Winter 2016
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