Sunday, 30 March 2008

Conditions this Sunday

Temperatures were much milder than of late and winds much lighter. This is how Coire an Lochain looks at the moment. A very snowy scene. With close inspection you can see the sizable cornices along the Coire rim.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Avalanches in the Cairngorms.

It was a beautiful day in the Cairngorms... Some blue Skye's and although strong winds the spindrift that was blowing around made the hills look very atmospheric. Below Michelle and Neil walk into Coire an t-Sneachda to check out conditions and do some snowcraft. The photo below this is of sizable pile of avalanche debris below the Cas headwall. This happened yesterday after the snowfall and strong Southerly winds.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Stormy in the hills

There was fresh snow overnight, but the main problem this morning was the drifting over the ski road. The snowplough men worked really hard though and eventually re-open it around midday so all the keen beans could make use of the rest of the day. Tomorrow is forecast to be dry but very windy (gusts of 100mph) Oh joy! Feels more like January conditions.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Cairngorm days

Here Rupert enjoys sunshine, great views and fresh tracks on the South side of Cairngorm. The ski touring is amazing and the skiing in the ski area has some great off piste runs. Many people were out enjoying the hills today, we even saw a loan snow shoe'er heading for the hills. A dump of snow is forecast tonight and tomorrow for the whole of Scotland. It's going to be even more of a winter wonderland. I think we should cancel the start of British summer time this Sunday!

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Calm in the Cairngorms

There is fantastic snow cover on the plateau and climbing conditions are looking really good for the time of year. This picture is looking over to Carn Etchachan and the Shelter stone. The Northern Corries seen below.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Great skiing on Cairngorm later today

Early this morning the conditions high on the hill were pretty awful, white-out and strong north westerly winds carrying some precipitation. Any slope of a southerly- easterly aspect will be very dodgy . Crag aprons, scarp slopes and descent gullies will be very interesting indeed. The snow is ace for skiing upon although it was only by mid-afternoon that visibility improved enough to think about increasing ones speed on the old boards! Cairngom Mountain was open but the upper runs were closed due to the high winds and lack of visibility. There are some ice patches forming on the narrower pistes but then again, there is enough fresh soft snow to avoid them. On the upper runs many of the snow fences are buried so look out for the tripping hazard of the occasional fence post sticking just a few inches up above the multi-layered and freezing snow pack!

Monday, 24 March 2008

One of these days!

It's been a wild day today with lots of fresh snow. We got the Runnel climbed in the very windy and almost whilte out conditions. It was also an interesting navigation day and just as we came near the "Cairngorm Mountain" ski slopes later in the afternoon, clouds parted revealing wonderful views.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Northern Corries

Today it was Red Gully which is a good winter climb. At Grade 11/111 it is one of the best climbs for its grade in the corrie. The lower narrow chimney had ice in quantity and Tim and Wayne enjoyed the challenge. Today has been blustery with lots of graupel and spindrift blowing from the North, so between the cold wind coming at you from behind and cascades of spindrift pouring from above, its pretty unpleasant or perhaps I should say, wonderfully "character building"! Although really us locals refer to such an upward thrutch as "perfect" and such conditions are often described as"Full Scottish winter conditions".
Actually, it's OK if you can cover every inch of skin, if not it's Mr. icicle face complete with frozen snotter!
Och aye, what a game it is, it's a total blast to have such amazing conditions for Easter and even on the ski slopes those who braved the elements have had wonderful snow. Long may it continue.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Climbing in the Grampian Mountains

Well, its been an ace day today and by mid afternoon it turned out to be reasonably nice although the day started with really strong Northerly winds, providing lots of spindrift and reducing visibility. These photos show Wayne and Tim climbing on Spiral gully a classic grade 2 Scottish winter climb. Skiers on Cairngorm Mountain seemed to be having a good afternoon on the excellent powder snow.Happy Easter weekend everyone!

Friday, 21 March 2008

White out conditions

We had white out conditions in the Cairngorms today with strong winds at higher levels and frequent snow showers. Large accumulations of new snow have developed on E to S aspects, cross loading in affecting Northerly aspects too. The good news is that after yesterdays thaw the snowpack has re-frozen again in the cold temperatures. More snow is forecast for tonight and tomorrow. Below are pictures of the avalanche service at work today on the South-East side of Cairngorm at 1100 metres.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Corie An T-Snechda, Grampians

An intersting day today with southerly winds bringing milder and very windy conditions. From first thing this morning snow has been melting on all our local climbing crags. However we climbed Spiral gully and the turf remians frozen. The weather forecast tell us that the winds will turn northerly and bring much colder temperature and more snow. This should lead to excellent climbing conditions and as you can see from the general photo, there was plenty snow remaining on gullies and ledges as we walked out to the Cairngorm Mountain car park this afternoon! It's going to be a fantastic snowy Easter weekend!

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Red Gully and Goat Track Gully, Cairngorms

We enjoyed wonderful weather today in the Cairngorms and climbed two nice routes. David has come up from London for a couple of days and climbing conditions here in the Northern Corries are pretty good.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Frequent snow showers throughout the day

The Northerly winds have affected the Cairngorms today with more snow arriving than forecast. The photo below was taken on the South-East side of the Cairngorms . If you look closely you can see an avalanche crownwall above where I am stood. This was triggered by me (not accidently) and it went within the newly fallen snow which consists of weakly bonded needles. Just beneath the fracture line was a thin firm sun crust layer from the day before which added to the weakness making a firm sliding layer. The slope was also steep and convex. (Ones to avoid at the moment).
The Sneachda moraines and Northern Corries; We have good allround winter conditions in the Cairngorms at the moment and the forecast outlook for the week is for cold conditions to continue.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Conditions in the Cairngorms

This photo of Loch Etchachan was taken today around midday from Cairngorm summit. Winds were light NE with occasional snow showers and it was around minus 2 over the tops. The plateau is potentially very good for ski touring if you pick your route. We arrived at the summit of Cairngorm today thinking of deep powder only to be faced with wind scoured rocks and so a descent in the opposite direction put a big grin on our faces with some nice soft powder on a firm base. Climbing conditions: Many routes were being done today as the buttresses are white, the gully lines are firming up and mixed routes are variable with good placements where you need them. Tomorrow is going to be a little cooler. Winter continues:) Kathy

Friday, 14 March 2008

Good conditions in the Cairngorms

Coire an t-Sneachda today

Winds were fairly light with occasional snow showers and good views. Gullies on Northerly aspects are quite firm again and the buttresses are covered in snow. Weakly bonded windslab does exist but this lies mainly on North-East to South-East aspects at present. Tomorrow's forecast is for light winds again with isolated snow showers.


Thursday, 13 March 2008

Wild and windy

It's been wild and windy in the Cairngorms but here you can see there is good snow cover in the corries and climbing good. The forecast is for clearer weather in the east , with colder temperatures and less wind... so its looking good for the weekend and days of good climbing.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Meanwhile in the Cairngorms

The wild weather as forecasted has not been so bad after all.We have adequate snow cover and climbing conditions are pretty good.Do keep an eye on the SAIS avalanche forecasts though!

Monday, 10 March 2008

Eye of the storm

The UK has mostly been affected by stormy conditions, high winds and rain in the South and the Highlands has seen a lot of snow. The Lake District however has managed to escape it all as at present is in the eye of the storm with the barometer reading very low this morning. The lakeland fells are looking stunning at the moment with the covering of fresh snow.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Conditions in the Cairngorms

Winds were much lighter with occasional snow showers. There was plenty of routes were being climbed today. Careful route choice was needed to avoid accumulations of weakly bonded windslab from yesterdays snow.
Tomorrow is forecast for high winds and lots of snow....a good day to stay at home and catch up with all those jobs!

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Heavy drifting

Winter is truly here in the Cairngorms. There have been heavy snow showers at times with some sunny spells. You can see the stormy conditions from the photographs taken this afternoon. Below is some recent avalanche debris that was found in Ciste Mhearad at 1100m today.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Snow, wind and cold temperatures

Winter has returned, the Northern Corries are looking a lot whiter on the buttresses, and

the cold temperatures have re-frozen the snow surface, all good news for the climbing. More snow is forecast for tomorrow but we could do without the accompanying 60 mph winds South-Westerly winds!


Thursday, 6 March 2008

Mild and windy

Mild temperatures have left the snowpack surface soft and slushy. Tomorrow the freezing level is expected to fall to 600 metres in the Cairngorms with snow showers on Westerly winds, so it's back to winter again as the thawing snow will begin to re-freeze. This picture of the Northern Corries was taken today at around midday. My apologies if its a little blurry, the very strong wind didn't make it easy for a steady hand. Kathy

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

The Cairngorms today

Conditions are good in the Cairngorms; Today was a low wind speed day with sunshine, cold temperatures and fresh snow. The only problem with these sort of conditions is choice... Does one choose to climb, ski, go for a big hill walk day, or just simply look at the view....