Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Winter is back

Yes it really is... a mild day yesterday followed by freezing temperatures along with some fresh snow has led to some nice climbing conditions. These pictures of the Northern Corries were taken today, the forecast outlook is for the unsettled cold weather to continue!

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Winter is back

Winter is here once again and it looks like there is a lot more snow forecast for tomorrow along with strong South-Westerly winds. This crevasse was found hidden beneath a thin layer of snow, worth avoiding if you heading into Ciste Mhearad as my feet didn't touch the bottom!
New accumulations of windslab are localised, however this slope seen below triggered easily just after the photo was taken.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Blustery Cairngorm

Here we are climbing in the Cairngorms. It's been incredibly windy and mild today, but amazingly, many of the gully climbs and several of the butress routes have retained their snow and ice. The turf is also quite frozen and if you can manage to stand up to the winds, climbing is actually OK. The winds were 100mph on the summit of Cairngorm toady and around 3 degrees C Tonight it due to drop to -5, so we cannot really complain about that!
These photos show Rob and Dan climbing on Invernookie

Friday, 15 February 2008

High pressure continue's

Evening sunshine on Loch Morlich.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Busy day in the hills

There is little change in the hills, Northerly aspects remain very firm. Many people were out enjoying the sunshine, above is looking out towards Ben MacDui, and Fiacaill Buttress.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

High pressure for a few more days

Yes it's high pressure, warm temperatures, and light winds, very idillic really but you still need your wits about you if your wandering around on steep Northerly aspects below buttresses. Today a large rockfall was seen below the Red Gully area in Coire an t-Sneachda, there were many blocks the size of microwaves luckily nobody was in the way. Also steep slopes need careful crampon work as Northerly aspects are frozen and hard.
Today's photos are from the top Coire an t-Sneachda, Etchachan and Loch Avon.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Coire an Lochain

The snow is very firm underfoot especially on the steep North aspects, a few partys were in Lochain heading up towards the crags for some winter sport. There is a lot of birdlife out and about, Some Ptarmigans were hanging out on the small patches of snow, red grouse seen at lower altitudes, even a lone dipper was spotted feeding in one of the smaller Lochains. Kathy

Monday, 11 February 2008

Cairngorm Conditions

Although Cairngorm summit temperatures were over plus 5 degrees today the snowpack on Northerly aspects is becoming nice and firm again, which is good news for the climbing as most of the easy gully lines are complete. Ice is beginning to re-form again too. On the sunny side of the slopes on plateau areas there are some nice large patches of spring snow to ski on, definatly worth the effort. The forecast out look is for high pressure to dominate for a few more days, enjoy it while it lasts.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Spring in the hills

And so it is spring in the hills. Very mild and a mild forecast for tomorrow

too, but there is still plenty of snow around and about for various winter activities. This is how the Cairngorms looked by the end of this afternoon.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Mild conditions

The Cairngorms have had quite a battering over the past few days with the mild temperatures and

very strong winds. Thankfully there is plenty of snow left in the main gully lines and large patches of easier angled ice remain in the corries. Slightly cooler temperatures are forecast tonight with some light snow.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Stunning Day in the Cairngorms

It's been amazing weather in the Cairngorms today. From left to right...Coire an t-Sneachda, Coire an Lochain, the Lairige Ghru and Braeriach.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Lots of weather in the Cairngorms

Winds over 100mph have crossed over the summit of Cairngorm today. Its snowing above 850 metres and raining at lower levels. Sandy thought he would blow away the cobwebs by joining the avalanche girls on North Cairngorm today. They all managed to skin up to 840 metres against the strong winds, do the pit before it all melted, this was followed by a very rapid ski back down in the strong tail winds.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Chilly but nice on Cairngorm today

An interesting but chily day in the Grampian mountains today. Westerly aspects very rocky and earlery aspets much better for skiers. Climbers and skiers should note that easterly aspects have a high avalanche risk and gully descents on ski or foot, to Hells lum for example ( anything on an eastery aspect) will be dangerous and not recommended.
Powder hounds should be very careful on such enticing terrain even with your ABS airbag....I suppose you could try filing it with helium, but that's really for Birthday balloons!

Friday, 1 February 2008

Deep drifts in the Cairngorms

Deep drifts in the hills with a High Category 4 avalanche hazard on Cairngorm. Kathy and Alan were the observers for SAIS today.

We've had widespread snow accross the Highlands with strong winds accross the mountains. The Cairngorm ski road has been shut all day due to deep drifts on the road but the snow blower has been working on it throughout the day. Winds are forecast to be much lighter tomorrow with more snow showers.
Alan working on his snowpit.