Friday, February 29, 2008

Blizzard conditions above 950m.

Wild conditions in the hills today with strong Southerly winds and snow. Kendal Mountain Rescue Team joined in with the avalanche obs today. We all identified a weak soft layer within the new windslab. Snow gradually turned to heavy rain at lower levels as temperatures slowly rose.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Variable conditions

We've had interesting conditions in the Cairngorms this week; Strong winds coming from all directions, heavy rain, then snow, quite often all within 24 hours. At the moment windslab accumulations are very variable in quantity, depth and stability. This is partly due to the strong variable winds eddying around and dumping snow in lee areas, mixed in with graupel this leads to localised instabilities, and so although the cairngorms at present seem generally quite solid in most areas keep an eye out for that cheeky bit of windslab.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Back to cooler temperatures.

The Northern Corries are looking nice and wintrey. Fresh accumulations of windslab lie mainly on Easterly to Southerly aspects.

Ciste Mhearad today, all the snowholes have dissapeared under the new snow. New accumulations were up to 80cm deep.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Very wet and windy.

The forecasted cooler temperatures never arrived! Instead summit temperatures were over 6 degrees and there was heavy rain at all levels. Looking on the bright side at the very least this changeable weather gives our British nation something to talk about!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Localised accumulations and crevasses.

New accumulations are localised but this slope released easily on a weak graupel layer.

Crevasse above Ciste Mhearad (worth avoiding!)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Warm and windy

We've had very strong winds in the Cairngorms again with gusts over 100mph. Today's pit was dug in Coire Laogh Mor with mountaineering assistant Einich on the right who seems to enjoy the wind.

Coire an Lochain

Friday, February 22, 2008

Windy with heavy snow showers.

Einich and Mac brave the weather.

Today's pit was dug on the Chais ridge.

Coire an t-Sneachda today.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Warm wet and windy

The Cairngorm hair dryer has been turned on again with wind, rain at all levels and warm temperatures. All change tomorrow though as a cold South-Westerly airstream is forecast with some snow!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Overcast and Cool

Looking toward Coire an t Sneachda from Cairngorm
Good cover of very hard snow in the Corries and on the plateau - Beware of loose rock on gully flanks and on buttresses

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sunny and Clear

Looking toward Ben Macdui and Cairn Toul

Friday, February 15, 2008

Winter action on Cairngorm

Looking across the Ptarmigan ski run.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Warm and sunny

Could you tell me which way to the snow please!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Alpine Conditions in the hills

It is mild and very pleasent in the mountains, Northerely aspects are firm and frozen but rockfall is a potential hazard. A large one was seen today below the Red Gully area just after this picture was taken at 1pm this afternoon. Coire an t-Sneachda and Etchachan.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Warm and sunny

This is how Coire an Lochain looks today, the snow is very firm under foot, there are some nice patches of ice on the easier angled ground to the right. Quite a few parties were heading up towards the buttresses. Walking conditions are very pleasent in the warm sunshine, there are quite a few Ptarmigan and grouse around, even a dipper was seen feeding at the half way Lochain.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bright sunny day

We've had strong winds high up with mild temperatures. The snow is firm on Northerly aspects and on South facing slopes there is some very nice spring snow to ski on.
Looking over towards Beinn Mheadhoin

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Mild again

The Cairngorms are looking and feeling very spring like in the mild temperatures. Beneath the cloud there is still enough snow to for winter sports, you just need to avoid the brown bits. Today's pit was dug is Ciste Mhearad where we did manage to find some dry snow even the odd bit of graupel. It may look like it's snowing in the picture but alas it's drizzle.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Windy and mild

It's been another mild windy day. The snow is thawing rapidly, but there is still plenty left in the main gully lines.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Very Windy and Warm

Wed 1500hrs

What a difference in a couple of days !

Friday 1400hrs

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Coire Lochain today

Coire Lochain showing avalanche crown walls, path and debris, most likely triggered by cornice collapse from The Coulouir.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Cold, Windy but Glroious

Looking toward Loch Etchachan

Cold and windy on the tops but sheltered with firm snow in the Northern corries. A great day, tomorrow though it will be wet and windy - depressing!!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Milder and Calm

Looking toward Fiacaill Buttress Coire an t Sneachda
Looking up Aladdins Buttress
A milder day with hard icy snow below the buttress and crusted snow on shallower slopes. Pockets of slab in gully heads. It felt very muggy but it was good to have no wind.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Windy and Heavy Drifting.

Snowstudy pit at 1020 m - East aspect

A wild day with drifting snow on a SE wind - old snow pack has refrozen - new snow drifting onto N aspects

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Windy in the hills

We battled against strong winds today and after being blow over a couple of times decided we had gone far enough. Our pit was dug at the top of the gun barrel in a deep snowdrift to the right. There were dry layers beneath the wet surface which sheered easily on a graupel layer.
See below.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Snow in the Cairngorms

Triggered avalanche debris in Ciste Mhearad.

The Northern Corries.

Canadian observer Alan Dennis triggers a small avalanche in Ciste Mhearad.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Full Scottish winter

Preperation for Tap Test.
We have full Scottish winter conditions in the Cairngorms with foot penetration up to your oxters!
Kathy and Alan (former SAIS observer now evicted back to his home country of Canada).