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06 May 2017: Ben Nevis Skiing Winter 2017
08 April 2017: Garbh Coire, Cairngorms. Skiing Winter 2017

A great forecast (for the Saturday at least), a free weekend, and with people keen for an overnight trip, it was off to An Garbh Choire on Braeriach for some skiing.  A very early start at Linn of Dee still saw a late arrival in the corrie, but it was a nice day, so it was fine.   Despite the lean pickings on offer across the country, and here, there was still plenty to go at.   First up, was a nice gully line that i've never quite got round to doing for various reasons.  All was going well on the ascent until the top 10m headwall, where the snow became less appealing for skiing, and I was not enjoying the climb out.   The lack of crampons significantly contributed to this.  At the top, we all agreed that none of us were going back in on this occasion, so headed round to Pinnacle Gully.



Pinnacle was in good shape, but as the sun had been on it a while, it was like skiing on a big steep pile of sugar.  Every turn sent a wave down, so there was a fair bit of management required to safely descend.  Climbing back to the plateau, we went in search of an entry into Monolith Gully, which descends into Garbh Coire Dhaidh from the nose between it and Garbh Choire Mór.   Despite being in the shade, the snow was OK, and this gave us a fantastic 300m descent to the corrie floor.   After checking out the Smith-Dey Bivouac, Dave and I decided another run was in order, whilst Gav went for a snooze by the campsite.  We found outselves climbing back up the first gully of the day, noting that the snow was significantly firmer.  Stopping below the cornice (Dave a bit closer than me), we put the skis on, and did it.  A little disappointed not to do it from the very top, but that wasn't going to be a lot of fun!   

The following morning, the weather wasn't quite as nice as the previous day, and for various other reasons, we decided just to head back out.   

Early morning cycle up Glen Derry.
Keeping the feet dry at the Luibeg crossing.
Starting to get a good view of what we came for.
Fresh debris, the source of which unknown.  Where ever it was from, it travelled a good distance, probably on snow, given the lack of damage to the surrounding area.
Heading into Garbh Choire Mór itself.
We headed up the obvious gully to the left of Dave (centre of picture).  This is probably
Heading up the fine line.  The narrow gully on the right has been skied by Aaron Mclean, as featured in the film
Despite being in the shade, it was soft enough (at this point).
The top out after a steep, and not too pleasant headwall of the gully.
Heading for Pinnacle Gully, the top of which is in the sun.
Dave sliding into Pinnacle Gully.
Dave dodging the sluff in Pinnacle Gully.
Gav's turn with sluff management
Evidence of natural piste-making observed on our way back up to the plateau.
Gav heading into Monolith Gully.
Looking back up to Dave on the plateau.
Dave sets off into Monolith Gully.
Dave below the chute of Monolith Gully.
With the Falls of Dee are in the background, Monolith Gully becomes Monolith
Dave by the not-too-obvious Dey-Smith Bivouac in Garbh Choire Dhaidh.   Not one to rely on, as this whole area can be completely buried by snow in winter and spring.  Obviously not an issue this season...
Dave descending the gully we climbed earlier, after we decided to go most of the way back up.  Was a little firmer this time.
Dave just at the point that the snow softened a little again.
Whereas Gav was wearing everything in his lightweight bivvy, I had the problem that I was too warm in my 5 season sleeping bag in the tent.
Heading out the following morning.
Someone wasn't too happy to see us near Luibeg!
31 March 2017: Beinn a' Bhuird Skiing Winter 2017
25 March 2017: Aonach Mor Skiing Winter 2017
12 March 2017: Left Hand Branch of Black Spout, Lochnagar Skiing Winter 2017
05 February 2017: Portes du Soleil Skiing Winter 2017
21 January 2017: Beinn a'Bhuird Walk Winter 2017
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