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Tuesday 22nd 12 2009 11:40:00 AM

Pictures and words by Andy Main

Geal-charn Ski Tour

Been wanting to get out ski touring for a long time and I finally managed to cobble together the gear. The last week and the constant snow and cold had me very cyked and a little nervous that my begged and borrowed gear wouldn't be up to it.

Warren dove up from perth and we tackled Geal-charn one of the west drumochter munros. We arrived at Balsporran cottages to find the entrance uncleared and under several feet of snow but managed to get parked in a ploughed bay 200 yards up the road. An unpleasant start alongside the A9 and the brackish of taste salt spray lead past the cottages over the railway and we soon gain the initial powder laden slopes.

Very hard going to say the least, no base to speak of except the springy heather and 1/4 m of powder compressed by whoever was breaking the trail. Despite the hard conditions we soon had a good head going and made ok progress up towards the col north of Geal-charn and the ridge leading to the summit.

As we hit the ridge the powder got a lot deeper and the gradient greater, I got very jealous of warrens heal raisers. We forced a tail upwards with alot of zigzagging and back sliding.

As we hit the small bowl before last rise to the summit we got to some nicer snow and made fast tracks. It was all worth it as the vista opened up, the mist and claged cleared revelling 100s of sq miles of pristinely white plastered hills.

Days like this are magical and as ridges, corries and summits were revealed by the shifting mists and the changing light we broke over the last rise. It wasn't the summit but we had what we came for, the beauty of the hills was enough.

We were soon de-skined and in skiing mode and careering down the powdery slopes, it had been about 10 years since Iíve skied and I arrived at the bottom after a few spills powder coved and grinning.

A great day out, first tour and ill be back for more soon!

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