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 !