Posts Tagged ‘skiing’

Journey No 8

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Journey No 8 – 21st to 24th April 2010

21st April 2010 – Departed Carrick Castle to visit Castle Campbell at Dollar Glen, an Historic Scotland property at Dollar, Scotland.

View of Castle Campbell at the top of Dollar Glen

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We parked Harrie in Dollar at the start of the walk up to Castle Campbell. On the way up we chose the path alongside the river. It was a 30 minute walk up to the castle. The castle was built in the 15th century and the tower has four complete floors that we visited. The rest of the castle had been severely damaged during Cromwell’s occupation of Scotland in 1654.

The Tower at Castle Campbell

View of Dollar from the Tower at Castle Campbell

Douglas by the arch into the gardens at Castle Campbell

Liz in the gardens at Castle Campbell

We left the castle walking down the alternative woodland path to Dollar that took a further 30 minutes.

That evening Liz had an Institute of Outdoor Learning (IOL) Committee Meeting in Dunblane for a couple of hours. After that we drove up to the Cairngorm Mountain Ski Car Park to spend the night by Aviemore.

22nd April 2010 – That morning we put on our ski gear and went up the mountain railway to spend a day skiing at Cairngorm Mountain.

The Cairngorm Mountain Railway

Cairngorm mountain railway passing place

The railway takes you right up to the top of the ski area and into the Ptarmigan Restaurant building. We were surprised at the sheer amount of snow still on the mountain towards the end of April.

Liz ready to start skiing outside the Ptarmigan restaurant

You can see from the photo above the depth of snow alongside the building. To date the ski area has had approximately 746 cms of snow this year and the depths of snow whilst we were there were 316 cms on the top area and 106 cms on the mid area. It was very cold up there!

Liz and Douglas skied virtually all the area at the top of the mountain that was open and most of it was. We had very good skiing conditions in the morning. At lunchtime it started snowing again so we had lunch in the restaurant hoping for an improvement in the visibility. When we went out again there was improvement although not as good as in the morning. Douglas skied until mid afternoon and decided to go back to Harrie on the railway as he was tired and Liz continued skiing for the rest of the afternoon. On her last run, she skied right down to the car park but the snow was heavy towards the bottom and it snowed and then hailed for the last part of the return. On returning to the van it continued to snow and got heavier so we drove Harrie down to a lower car park for the night. This was Douglas’s 21st day of skiing in Scotland this year and Liz’s 19th day – amazing!

23rd April 2010 – Liz had a long meeting to go to at Glenmore Lodge by Aviemore on behalf of IOL again so Douglas dropped her off at the meeting and visited Ruthven Barracks at Kingussie, another Historic Scotland property.

Ruthven Barracks Kingussie

Ruthven Barracks was an infantry barracks erected in 1719 by the Hanovarians following the Jacobite rising of 1715, with two ranges of quarters housing 60 troops plus officers and a stable block for 28 horses. Captured and burnt by Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s army in 1746.

After this visit Douglas tried to visit Aviemore but the town was full with no free parking places so he went back up to the Cairngorm Ski car park to read and watch the snow falling through the day. He collected Liz just after 3pm and then drove across to Fort William to visit Douglas’s mother still in hospital following a stroke. After that we visited Douglas’s father in Corpach before staying in their car park for the night.

24th April 2010 – The morning was spent shopping for Douglas’s father and ourselves. After lunch we visited his mother in hospital again and then returned home to Carrick Castle arriving at 6pm. It was a good journey with very good skiing in the middle. We were surprised at the mileage covered – Scotland is a big place with big distances between places.

Mileage at start 113720 km and 114458 km at home, totalling 738 km (461 miles).

Journey No 7

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Journey No 7 – 15th to 18th March 2010

15th March 2010

Departed Carrick Castle at 15.10 for Glenshee to spend the next day skiing at a different resort. Arrived Glenshee Ski Centre at 19.00 in the dark to an empty car park. Parked up close to the chairlift on the Sunnyside.

16th March 2010

At Glenshee, ready to start skiing when the centre opened at 08.30. Started skiing on the Sunnyside of the mountain spendig two hours covering all that was open. Very good skiing on Glasse Mal and off piste at the top of the mountain. We came down for a coffee in Harrie and then crossed over to the other side of the road. Skied for another couple of hours on that side covering all that was open. Then returned to Harrie for lunch.

Douglas skiing at Glenshee

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After lunch we went back up Sunnyside again for the afternoon, Douglas skiing until 4 pm and Liz to 4.45 pm. Stayed in the car park over night – again the only ones there.

Liz & Harrie by chairlift at Glenshee

Skiing today was the 19th day this season for Douglas and 17th day for Liz – probably the best skiing season we have had so far and it’s not finished?

17th March 2010

We departed Glenshee at 8.30 am for Carnoustie arriving at 10.15 am. We visited Helen, Liz’s step mother, for the day, going to Arbroath for lunch. Returned back to Carnoustie taking Helen home again.

That night we parked on the seafront by the Carnoustie Golf Course and Hotel. So far every night we have been away in Harrie we have been able to ‘wild camp’ not having had to use a camp site yet.

Harrie on the sea front at Carnoustie

18th March 2010

Departed Carnoustie at 8.30 am for Stirling to visit Stirling Castle arriving at 11 am. We visited the castle first. The Great Hall had been fully restored with its incredible replica oak-beamed roof.

Liz in the Great Hall at Stirling Castle

There was a special exhibition on whilst we were there of the ‘Orkney Venus’ or ‘Westray Wife’ – a 4,500 year old stone carving of a woman found in Westray in the Orkney isles.

The Westray Wife

We then visited the Argyll Lodgings in Stirling dating back to 1632. This was an interesting visit of a well restored noble’s house.

The Argyll Lodgings in Stirling

We enjoyed our Stirling visits, all the better for being able to use our Historic Scotland membership that Simon and Gillan bought us for Christmas 2009. We departed Stirling and headed home arriving at 5.15 pm.

Mileage at start 113186 km and 113720 km at home, totalling 535 km (334 miles).

Journey No 6

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Journey No 6 – 6th to 9th March 2010

6th March 2010

Departed Carrick Castle at 19.30 for Nevis Range, Fort William to go skiing early Sunday morning – arrived around 22.15 and parked up for the night.

7th March 2010

Skied in the morning until lunchtime – Douglas went down earlier than Liz as visibility deteriorated but Liz found the visibility improved after a while so got another hour or so in skiing. At 2 pm we visited Douglas’s mother in hospital in Fort William and met up with Douglas’s son, Simon and his wife, Rika, for the rest of the day. Stayed in his parents car park in Corpach that evening.

8th March 2010

Collected Calum from the Fort William bus station to go skiing with us. Skied at Aonach Mor from 11 – 4 pm. Good sunny weather, plenty of snow on the mountain but much harder and icier snow than last week when we were up again by car. Then we had had almost perfect snow and skiing that week we were able to ski the whole mountain including the east wall of the Goose. Whilst the conditions were not quite so good, we still had good skiing and Calum had enjoyed his day before taking the bus back to Glasgow following visiting Douglas’s mother in hospital.

Liz and Calum with Ben Nevis behind them

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Liz being towed on the Summit Poma

We stayed in the apartemnt’s car park again overnight and had dinner with Simon, Rika and Donald. That night we found we had a problem with the van’s electrics as the indicators and brake lights stopped working.

9th March 2010

We abandoned our attempt to go skiing as we took the van to Croft Recovery Services in Torlundy to get them to investigate the problem. They discovered a loose wire in a junction box under the steering column and repaired it. After visiting the hospital once again we drove home by 7.15 pm.

Mileage at start 112794 km and on return home 113186 km totalling 392 km (245 miles).

Journey No 5

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Journey No 5 – 11th to 14th February 2010

11th February 2010

Departed Carrick Castle to go skiing at Nevis Range. Beautiful views driving up.

Driving up to the snow at Tyndrum on A82

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Driving over Rannoch Moor in Harrie

Skied in the afternoon and parked up in Neis Range car park. Went to the Ceilidh at the top station for the evening dancing and having a drink or two of mulled wine. Interesting going up and coming down in the gondola in the dark. Great views of the lights of Fort William, Coal and Corpach. Good evening that was the start of the Mountain Festival.

12th February 2010

Visited Douglas’s parents in Corpach in the morning and took Betty, his mother, shopping. We went skiing in the afternoon and then took Betty and Donald, his father, out to the Lochy in Coal and stayed in their car park overnight after visiting the Corpach Hotel with them to plan their 70th Wedding Anniversary lunch on 3rd April 2010.

Liz with Ben Nevis in the background

Douglas with Ben Nevis in the background

14th February 2010

St Valentine’s Day – We went skiing in the morning. Misty at the bottom station and at the top of the mountain. In between the skiing and the snow was good. Unfortunately it was difficult to see higher up and not so easy. Stopped for an early lunch in Harrie in the Nevis Range car park. Decided to head home arriving around 4pm.

The ignitor to the gas fire had not been working for some reason so we had three nights without heat in the van. Not such a problem as it turned out as we were out every evening and as our duvet is a 13.5 tog we were very warm in bed and slept well. Following the replacement of the alternator belt we have had no screeching noises from the heater. On getting home we discovered that the ignitor to the heater is powered by two AA batteries. No mention of this in the manual! We replaced the batteries andater worked again…

Mileage at start 112399 km & 112794 km on return home, totalling 395 km (247 miles).

Journey No 4

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Journey No 4 – 25th to 26th January 2010

25th January 2010

Took Harrie to our garage (MacKellar & Paterson) in Strachur to check out screeches when changing gear that apparently cause the heater to make that noise – however they diagnosed the alternator belt was worn and needed replacement. This was ordered and will be replaced on 1st February 2010. Air suspension was topped up whilst there.

We then drove up to Fort William and skied at Nevis Range in the afternoon. Very good skiing on the summit – did many runs – a bit icy on the Home Run but the Goose gully was good.

Douglas skiing on the Aonach Mor summit

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Liz on the icy summit of Aonach Mor

We visited Douglas’s parents in Corpach and stayed over night in their car park.

26th January 2010

We went back to Nevis Range to continue skiing – got to the summit however the visibility on the way up was very poor on the four lifts after the gondola. When we reached the summit the fog was so dense we couldn’t see anything and had to ski down very slowly to find our way down to the Goose. At the Goose you could bearly see a metre in front of you so had to try and find our way down on a red run. The snow conditions were alright but the visibility was appalling – Douglas particularly found it very difficult and was relieved to get back to the top station taking the gondola back down to the car park. So we went shopping in Fort William and returned home a day earlier than planned.

Mileage at start 111963 km and on return home 112335 km, totalling 372 km (232 miles).

1st February 2010 – Took Harrie to the garage to have the alternator belt changed in Strachur and returned home later that day- problem fixed. Mileage 64 km – total 112399 km.

Journey No 3

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Journey No 3 – 13th to 17th January 2010

13th January 2010

Departed Carrick Castle for Corpach to visit Douglas’s parents for dinner, who forgot we were coming! Douglas cooked dinner at theirs instead and then we departed and spent the night at the Nevis Range car park – very icy there.

14th January 2010

Spent the morning skiing at Nevis Range and then drove over to Glenmore and spent the night in the Glenmore Visitors Centre car park, the only place where we could get off the road because of the deep snow everywhere. There were huge amounts of snow in the Aviemore area.

Harrie at Glenmore surrounded by deep snow

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Harrie at Glenmore with thermal covers on

15th January 2010

Liz went to a SAAF meeting at Glenmore Lodge during the day and Douglas visited the Forrestry Commission Visitors Centre. After Liz’s meeting we drove back to Corpach to have dinner with Douglas’s parents again. They decided to take us out to the Lochy at Caol. After a good meal we took them back home and parked up in the Corpach Hotel car park for the night.

16th January 2010

We then went back to Nevis Range and skied again. Much better snow conditions – more enjoyable. We decided to stay over another night so remained packed at Nevis Range.

17th January 2010

Skied in the morning on Aonach Mor – the Goose gully was the best area for skiing. Departed for home after lunch returning home at 4 pm.

Liz skiing on the summit of Aonach Mor

Douglas skiing on the summit of Aonach Mor

Mileage at start of journey 111398 km & 111963 km on return home, totalling 565 km (353 miles).

Journey No 2

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Journey No 2 – 26th to 27th December 2009

26th December 2009

Our first real outing in Harrie!

Liz and Douglas took Harrie up to Corpach by Fort William to Douglas’s parents and stayed in their car pack at Caledonian Apartments. We had Boxing Day dinner with them and Douglas’s son, Gillan and his fiancee Angela. It was a snowy drive over Rannoch Moor and Glencoe. We stayed just the one night.

Driving through Glencoe in Harrie

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27th December 2009

We went skiing in the morning at Aonach Mor, Nevis Range, Fort William where we had season tickets for the season. We managed a couple of hours skiing – it was our first time skiing for three years so were not skiing fit.

Douglas and Harrie at Nevis Range

Liz and Harrie at Nevis Range

There was sufficient snow on the Goose and the Summit and were able to ski back down to the top station on the Home Run. The visibility was very poor however and very flat light so not the greatest skiing. We went shopping at Lidl afterwards in Fort William and took a photo of Ben Nevis behind Lidl and Harrie. The weather improved in the afternoon!

Harrie with Ben Nevis in the background

We wanted to get home before it got too dark as the temperature was dropping fast and was very cold and we knew the road back home was snowy and it would be icy too. It took us 3 hours to drive home for the 90 miles – pretty slow going.

The mileage at the start of the journey was 111,069 km and 111,398 when we got back home, totalling 329 km (206 miles). It was a good trip and we look forward to our next visit to go skiing again.