Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Cold and Windy

Coire an t Sneachda

Very good snow conditions, well cleared out by the wind - this is in strong contrast to Southerly aspects which have unstable snow accumulations.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Toward Coire Lochain from Glenmore
A mild, grey and windy day with wet snow throughout the area, getting colder tomorrow though.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Back to a thaw

Coire an t-Sneachda today.

Trident Gullies.

After yesterday's snow we now have another thaw. The main gully lines are still complete and they saw lots of ascents today As you can see the buttresses are very bare with some ice here and there.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Winter again

Winter's here again in the Cairngorms with continuous snowfall above 600 metres, heavy drifting and a high wind chill. Deep drifts are developing again on lee slopes above 900m. Rain and mild temperatures are moving in again tonight...It's never dull being an avalanche observer in the Highlands!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Wet and windy

Note the large crown wall on the West flank of Coire an Lochain.

There was heavy rain and strong winds at all levels today causing a huge thaw. This is how Lochain looked at around midday. Summit winds gusted to over 120 mph today.

This small cornice at 820 metres had collapsed earlier causing a small slide on the scarp slope below.
Back to freezing temperatures again tomorrow!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Blizzard condtions

Heavy snow showers at all levels affected the highlands today.
Our pit was dug in Ciste Mhearad (a popular site for us). We had white-out conditions at times with the occasional clear spell. There are a lot of deep drifts, cornices are becoming very unstable and some avalanche debris was noted that had naturally released from a scarp slope.
A short clear spell gave us views out toward Bynack More.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wet and windy

Eric Pirie measuring the slope angle.

The SAIS co-ordinator Blyth Wright gazes out towards Lochain.

Coire an Lochain today.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Scarp slopes.

This cornice is situated on a North-East aspect at 1100 metres, its reasonably solid at the moment, the scarp slope below consists of deep firm windslab.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Large Cornices

The photo demonstrates the size of some of the cornices in the Cairngorms, this curly one was on a North-East aspect at 1100 metres. Tomorrow temperatures are going to rise in the afternoon with the onset of rain therefore cornices will become very unstable. Kathy

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Conditions in the Cairngorms are still cold and a bit breezy high up but the cloud lifted a little this afternoon giving nice views into Lochain. Underfoot its generally firm with a breakable crust at times higher up.
Tomorrow is set to be another cold day.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cold again

After a brief thaw in the Cairngorms temperatures have dropped again and the old snowpack has a crust. We had snowfall last night and winds of up to 132mph. Luckily they eased down to 60mph today so walking conditions up high were bearable. Today's pit was dug in Ciste Mhearad where new accumulations were quite deep. There is a hug cornice on the East corner leading to quite a server drop below!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Bracing conditions!

Winds increased during the early part of the morning making conditions quite difficult on the hill, with all the spindrift. Huge drifts have developed on sheltered Northerly aspects.

Wild conditions at the top of the Funicular station.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Can't see a thing on the Tops !!

Looking toward Cairngorm from Glenmore

Sorry no pics from the hill today as we couldn't see more that 10 metres. There is a blanket of fresh snow on all aspects and ski travel is improving at plateau level.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Misty and Colder

Looking toward the base of Jacobs Ladder - Coire an t Sneachda
Slowly getting colder - difficult walking underfoot with crusty snow - Snow though is getting firmer, and buttresses looking good.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Overcast with some fresh snow

Descending toward Strath Nethy
Some fresh snow on Eastern aspects , Plateau still quite rocky with sparse snow cover due to past high winds. Lots more snow should be with us tomorrow afternoon !

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Warm very wet and windy

A total contrast of conditions today after yesterday. Our waterproofs were put through their paces successfully.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Cold and Calm

Once the mist lifted at around midday the views were once again perfect. The photograph's say it all.

This little chap's photo was taken just before the mist lifted.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Sorry no pictures today

Due to a technical camera error unfortunately there are no photographs for today's blog and so instead I will describe to all you viewers out there how it looked. The skies were mainly blue with light Westerly winds, there is plenty of snow out there to play in, the skiing on and off piste has a lot to offer and the Northern Corries look very surreal and wintry. If this makes you a tiny bit jealous because you've been indoors all week, don't despair, it will still be there in the morning and it's a good forecast...Enjoy

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Calm and overcast with light snowfall.

Looking toward Mess of Potage from the top Alladins Coulouir

The plateau is good and firm underfoot due to the windblasting of the last few days clearing away any fresh snow. The majority of the snow lies on lee aspects and lower altitudes.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Strong winds - Heavy Snow

Conditions at the Snowpit site today at 670 metres.

Strong winds (135mph on Cairngorm Summit) today with heavy snow and drifting. Poor visibility. Trail breaking in deep snow from 400m alt. Bodes well for the future snowcover.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Cold with increasing Southerly wind


New soft snow on East aspects but mostly blown clear with exposed old hard snow-ice areas on areas facing west and at plateau level. Strong Southerly winds with heavy snow and drifting will affect the Northern Corries with windslab.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Sunny and cold in the hills

After a cloudy start the day rapidly improved and became very clear and sunny. This view is looking towards Loch Etchachan and Beinn MacDuibh from the summit of Cairngorm. Our pit was dug on the SE side of Cairngorm in the newly deposited soft slab.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The weather in the Cairngorms was much calmer today than of late. Many people were enjoying the good ski conditions which included the Ciste Gully this afternoon. The Northern Corries are looking very white and there is snow on the path all the way in from the car park.

Today's snow pit was dug in Ciste Mhearad at 1100 metres on a SE aspect.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Stormy weather again.

The winds weren't quite as ferocious today but at higher levels walking was still difficult and visibility poor in the squally snow showers. Deep drifts of firm slab are continuing to developing on lee slopes. Today's photo was taken looking up the Fiacaill a' Choire Chais ridge.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Poor Viz - Heavy Drifting

Snowpit at 1110 m

Soft snow at all levels with heavy drifting largely above 600m. Snow lying on bare ground. Still very windy . Heavy build up near corrie edges and on gully exits and very unstable snowpack especially on Northerly aspects.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Storm force winds and Colder

Toward Cairngorm from Glenmore

A very windy day with poor viz - The old snow has set like concrete!
Snow has started to arrive and hopefully will continue.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Misty,wet and mild in the Cairngorms

Mist boiling into Coire an Lochain

Old hard snow remaining, with any soft snow disappearing in the rain.
Plates of wet ice on summits and at plateau level. getting colder though!

Happy New year