Sunday, 13 April 2008

Fantastic spring conditions here in the Grampians

We are having a fantastic time here, ski-touring , and snow shoeing and even the piste skiing on Cairngorm Mountain allows one to ski anywhere. The visability comes and goes but when it's good its outstanding and when its bad, one has to ski with care, but there are lots of fresh tracks to be made. It's sometimes difficult to remember that you are in Scotland, however there are still boulders and the top few centimeters of the snow fences sticking above the fresh snow which need alert avoidance skills!
The Scottish Avalanche Information Service ( SAIS) closed its doors for this season as it always does around the 15th of April, so sadly we will no longer have the daily avalanche reports for our various climbing areas. Kathy did the last official report today and while there will still be some tidying up in the office for a while yet, it will be sad for us all not to meet Blyth's SAIS experts on the hill. As you can see, certainly on Cairngorm they model the Mountian Equipment outdoor clothing range rather well. Although one is best not to forget that the SAIS teams at Lochaber, Glencoe, Lochnagar and Creag Meaghaidh also cut fine figures in the mist!
Fortunately of course the hills are still there and there are plenty adventures still to be had... dig lots of hasty pits, keep your eye on the snow pack,weather forecast and especially the wind direction and have a wonderful time! Today its being snowing lots at higher altitudes and raining in the vallley so accumulations are building and as you can see from the photograph of Coire an Lochan the crags are truly plastered. Here at Team Ascent we will still be private guiding and climbing and sking. Also we will be heading off to the Alps in the next few days for the Haute Route and other ski journeys, but we will do our best to keep the blog alive and report conditions when we can!

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