Sunday, 4 January 2009

Shooting Cracks, Cross loading and interesting snow

You may have to enlarge the uppermost photo here ( Click the photo to enlarge!) to see the shooting cracks, these were occurring on NNE aspects as I traversed a slope. Further along, on North facing slopes I encountered cross loading, this is identified by subtle changes of colour in the snow where old damaged snow and fresher "newer" snow sometimes intermingle. East facing slopes shear easily where the new wind slab hardly bonds at all to the older layers. With this new snow fall one has to be ever alert to the changing snow pack! Interesting needles and surface hoar crystals lay buried in the snow, avalanches are bound to occur today if the snow continues to deepen and climbers inadvertently trigger them! Do take care approaching routes and climbing . Skiing conditions will be improving but today's flat light and wind blown snow made it quite unpleasant high on Cairngorm, but it's forecast to be much nicer weather soon. Down in the Glenmore forest there were many people out and about on their skinny skis and there were ice-skaters on Loch Morlich. The ice is only a couple of inches thick though so it may not last too long. I suppose when you see water marks half- way up the snow men who seem to have decided to populate the loch you will know it's time not to walk on the ice!

1 comment:

Dave Emery said...

Hey Sandy, I was on the loch today mincing about with the camera, the light was rubbish though so nothing special to report. Would of rang you but don't have your number mate. Im staying in the Cairngorm hotel tonight off to Aberdeen tomorrow. See you on Tuesday man