Hamish Frost und Peter MacKenzie fahren die ersten Rinnen diese Saison, in den Cairngorms, in Schottland. Peter MacKenzie ist unser Adele Bergzauber Skifahrer in Schottland, ein guter Freund und ein einmaliger Ambassador.
First taste of Cairngorms gully skiing today on a mad, mad day which somehow completely blew all expectations out of the water. Setting off from the car park at 6.45am under a starry sky, we headed over the back of Cairngorm and were able to ski three big gully lines in an 8 hour tour before sunset. First up we tentatively had a look in Diagonal Gully, not really knowing how much snow would be in it, or what condition it would be in. Scoping it out from the top it looked like it would go and seemed very stable. We dropped in as the sun was rising in the East, filling the gully with a magical glow. What followed was a descent that could easily have been in either Norway or the Alps, with superb soft snow down the entire gully.
Buoyed with confidence how good Diagonal had been, we decided to take a look at the top of Pinnacle Gully on the other side of the Coire. Again it looked good from the top, however with a technical and steep entrance. After picking what looked like a good line in we set off, bouncing through powder turns, enclosed by the dramatically steep gully walls.
To finish the day we headed for the top of Aladdin's Couloir in Coire an t-Sneachda. We were disappointed to find the entrance windswept and icy, however the snow looked tantalisingly good further down. With a potential no-fall zone below, this entry would've been an absolute no-go on skis - fortunately enough we met a climbing party topping out on another route in the Coire, who were kind enough to give us a lower on their rope over the difficulties, opening up the gully.
After a beautiful run down Aladdin's, all that was left was a blast from the foot of the gully along the 'Ultimate Blue Run' and back to the car park. Winter may have taken it's time turning up, but what a day when it finally did. Big thanks to Peter Mackenzie for sharing a truly memorable day with me, and to the climbing party for their help with Aladdin's!
Text und Bilder von Hamish Frost Photography