Last day of the season: Groms ride the ‘gorms, Sunday 19th April

23 Apr



The 2008/9 Scottish season started with a lot of promise. Early dumps at the Lecht and elsewhere led most to believe that this would be a season to remember. Sadly, it was not to be: the snowfalls that were breaking records in mainland Europe didn’t find their way over here, and it seemed that more snow was falling on Guildford than on Glenshee. The groms didn’t get a chance to ride the Scottish slopes until early February, and even then it was in less-than-stellar conditions. Two more trips followed, including an aborted trip to the Cairngorms, and it seemed that the groms had missed out on the best of what Scotland has to offer. Last weekend, with only one day left to ride the snow, a trip to Aviemore was quickly organised for another stab at the ‘gorms.


After the ungodly departure time and seemingly endless drive, the crew were rewarded upon arrival with blue skies and sun, and the talk of a quality terrain park waiting for them on the Ptarmigan. For Lara Wood and Murray McFarlane, it was their first time on snow, so a few laps of the T-bars were taken while the snow softened up and the riders got used to the conditions. It wasn’t long, though, before the majority were keen to try their hand in the park. Once it had been shaped, the park was looking good, and it seemed there was something for everyone: uprail, downrail, wave box, battleship box, and three kickers.


Angus Jacobs

Angus Jacobs warms up on the booter. photo: Dave Jacobs.


The battleship’s similarity to the one at the dry slope made it a popular feature, with Grant Donald and Kris Bell standing out. Rowan Cameron, who had only hit the slope’s box for the first time the previous Wednesday, soon had it mastered with some solid 5050s. The downrail was a more intimidating prospect, but Nicol Paton  stepped up to do some frontside noseslides to fakie out. Over on the kickers, Pete McKay was showing the kids how it’s done with big backside 180 shiftys. The Jacobs clan were soon raising the bar for the skiers, with Finlay getting big air, Angus spinning smooth 360s, and dad Dave doing the same despite frequently losing a ski on the take-off. Murray and Johnny Watson didn’t mess about, hitting their first snow jumps straight away. Before long Johnny was charging at the medium-sized kicker, holding his nerve at speed to claim some big lien airs.


Pete McKay

Pete McKay catches a wave. photo: Dave Jacobs.

Familiar faces Slav Gnatetski, Neil Cruikshank, Kevin Cowie, Kate Guthrie and Ryan Sciach were among the other riders, making the session a fairly Aberdeen-heavy affair! Ryan dropped a few jaws with his misty 540s, while Cowie was the only rider of the day to hit the monster booter, throwing huge floaty back 1s and toeside rodeos.


It was a bittersweet end to the season, seeing how good it can get in Scotland coupled with the fact that it was all over for another year. Still, the groms all got a taste of a truly great day up the hills, a memorable experience that will hopefully keep them going during the long hot summer at the mat……


See below for some photos, and visit for the chance to buy more pics from the day. Video coming soon!


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