Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Warm and still on the Tops

                                  The Northern Corrie ridges piercing the cloud

Conditions warm and pleasant on the tops. The snow that remains is bullet hard and is almost impossible to cross without the use of crampons. Some snow flurries tomorrow maybe !

Have a Happy Hogmanay  and a Happy New year !

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cold in the Glens - Warmer on the Tops

Surface hoar crystals of about 6mm - they grow upwards as a result of vapour in the air solidifying when making contact with the very cold  surface. They are beautiful crystals but create extremely weak layers when buried by subsequent snowfall !
                                    View toward Loch Etchacan from Cairngorm

Monday, December 29, 2008

Continuing cold and clear

                                    East face of Sgor Gaoith from Glen Einich

Ice seeps are forming in gullies and on paths!. The snow remains bullet hard and icy.
These conditions will continue for a while yet.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Chilly wind

Temperatures were very cold in the hills today, it was below minus five on the summit of Cairngorm with a brisk South-West wind. Many people were in the Northern Corries as most of the classic gully lines are complete with very firm snow-ice. Photograph courtesy of Dave Willis Mountain Sport Photography.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Temperature Inversion

Another stunning day in the Cainrgorms with a sea of cloud in some of the valleys and fabulous views over to the West.

Looking out towards Loch Etchachan and South Cairngorm.
Loch Avon, Etchachan, and the Shelter Stone.

Large areas are snow covered on some parts of the plateau.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Cold, Clear and Icy

                                    Looking to Bynack Mor from the North Ridge of Cairngorm

Snow remains patchy but what remains is very hard and icy - great for cramponing!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mild and Balmy on the tops

                                    Coire an Lochain

                                   Coire an t Sneachda

The snowpack that remains is quite firm in the gullies and pretty good elsewhere with a thick crust, which  softened as the day progressed. Warm and dry conditions to continue.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hard and Icy Snow

Looking toward Bein Macduibh and Coire an t Sneachda
Heading toward Coire Raibert on the S side of Cairngorm. Refrozen snow very hard - still good cover on the plateau.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Thawing at all levels

The freezing level was down to 900 metres overnight but has now risen again to above the summits. Some large patches of snow remain on the plateau and Corrie head walls.

Looking out towards Loch Etchachan and South Cairngorm below.

Conditions in Coire an t-Sneachda today.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Warm wet and windy

Once again it was very windy in the Cairngorms. Temperatures have been mild with rain at all levels. despite all of this the Corries are still holding onto the snow and the main gully lines are complete. Slightly cooler temperatures are forecast for tonight with much lighter winds tomorrow. Below is Coire an Lochain.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Thaw Freeze

Today's weather was a real contrast after yesterday.  There was a brief thaw at all levels, this was followed by hard freeze.  Pictured above is some avalanche debris from yesterdays storm.  It came from a steep North East aspect at 1120 metres. 

Friday, December 19, 2008

A picture paints a thousand words.

Conditions in the Cairngorms quickly turned extremly unpleasent as SW winds increased to very strong around midday. Heavy drifting poor visibility and difficult walking conditions were encountered much to our four legged friends distaste!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Getting very windy with fresh snow

Morning view of Coire an t Sneachda, before the blizzards arrived at around midday.

A lot of snow has disappeared due to the thaw of the previous night. Going is hard in the soft snow. It became colder during the day with the old snow forming a crust. From midday the snow arrived with strong winds and visibility reduced dramatically. New fresh snow is accumualting at a high rate into sheltered lee areas, into gullies and onto corrie rims. Top windspeed recorded since yesterday is 126mph !! Similar winds expected tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Very windy and Colder

Looking into Coire Lochain

It has been an extremely windy day with gusts on the plateau in excess of 95mph.
The snow has refrozen and is very hard. Climbing conditions would be good if you can get in to the corries.
However the new snow that is blowing in is very weakly bonded and any accumulations are very unstable. Continuing fairly cold and windy.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mild with soft snow

A very mild day and a lot of snow has disappeared, enough remains though to provide what could be good climbing, especially if it freezes !

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Blyth's Angels

"Blyth's Angels" ventured out once again into freezing temperatures and white out conditions to collect the final snowpit data this season for our loyal audience. Sadly this is the last day for this season but we will be back again next December for some more avalanche and blog action.
Eat your heart out Charlie.
Kathy Michelle and Nicky

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Pea Soup

Visibility was none existent in the Cairngorms making ski travel quite challenging.
The photo above is looking up towards the summit of Cairngorm, and below looking out across the plateau towards Beinn MacDuibh.

Friday, April 11, 2008

So much snow!

The Cairgorms have an amazing cover of snow. This is how Coire an t-Sneachda looked today. Steep and convex slopes are loaded with soft weakly bonded snow although it is beginning to stabilise at lower altitudes. Looking up towards the summit of Cairngorm; Off piste skiing is excellent above 1000 metres with fresh powder sitting on a slightly firm base.

An authentic signpost from Cairngorm Mountain.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Great Snow cover

Ascending Cairngorm N Ridge on Ski - Strath Nethy below.

Snowpack remains deep but is gradually consolidating

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Warm going in the clouds ! -Deep Snow

Looking At Alladdins Buttress in Coire an t Sneachda

An incredible amount of snow covers the hills.
Our records indicate the most snow at this time of year for 15 years !
A time for snow shoes and skis' - Walking is hard graft !

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Windy and very Cold

On the South side of Cairngorm
Deep snow accumulations on E to SW aspects and very hard where it has been scoured by the wind - A return to cold wintry conditions

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Ptarmigan days

Poor me... It's a hard life being a Ptarmigan! No sooner do I change my plumage and it starts to snow again. I wish the weather would make its mind up!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Colder temperatures

After yesterdays thaw it has turned a little cooler. There was a little fresh snow along with hail which is shown in the photo (quite painful in a strong wind). The snowpack hasn't re-frozen yet but by tomorrow it should as we are expecting much colder temperatures along with significant snow.

Looking towards Beinn Mheadhoin.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Very warm with Soft snow at Summits

Looking into Coire an t Sneachda
Wet snow at all evels with debris from cornice collapse below the Trident gullies and below Jacobs ladder. Colder conditions on friday should solidify the snowpack.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Damp and windy

Looking To Coire an t Sneachda from Cairngorm West face

Progressively wetter during the day and dissapating snow. Warm and windy again tomorrow

Monday, March 31, 2008

Sunny, Clear and Cold

Coire Lochain
Looking toward Carn Etchachan and Ben Macdui

Good snow cover and generally fairlly stable conditions - large amounts of debris at the base of Hells Lum

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Milder temperatures.

Winds were much lighter today and it was mostly dry with the odd light shower.
Below Lindsay steps onto her Rutschblock. After several bunny hops it eventually sheared on a soft graupel layer.

Coire an Lochain below.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Yesterdays Avalanche

Yesterday there was a large avalanche on the Cas headwall. The crown wall stretched the full length of the head of the Coire. This was caused by the strong Southerly winds and snow that arrived early Friday morning. There was also a temperature rise during the day. Today the snowpack surface has re-frozen but there is a large amount of spindrift blowing about in the strong winds forming new accumulations on lee slopes.

Today's pit was dug on the Chais ridge on a NE aspect. The top layer sheared very easily on a softer layer beneath.

Views into Sneachda.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Snowfall overnight

We've had plenty of weather action over the past 24 hours. There was snowfall on strong winds overnight. The hill was storm bound during the morning but winds eased in the afternoon and the road opened again. Tomorrow should be mainly dry but its forecast to be a big wind day with gusts up to 100mph.

Localised surface sluffing below a small cornice at 550m.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Who needs to go abroad!!

Below Rupert enjoys sun and skiing on the South side of Cairngorm.

With good views of Carn Etchachan and the Shelter stone, Loch Etchachan and the Southern Cairngorms.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Calm and fine

The Cairngorms were very pleasant today. Calm and mainly dry with great views which was a real treat after the recent arctic conditions. The plateau has very good cover, you can just about ski anywhere you like within reason.

The Northern Corries today.