Saturday, February 28, 2009

Slightly cooler temperatures

It was very pleasant in the hills today with sunshine and moderate winds.  The slightly cooler temperatures have firmed the snowpack up a little.  A few folk were climbing the gully lines in the Northern Corries today.  Snow and cold temperatures are forecast from tonight!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Mild with drizzle

Six Ptarmigans hang out together for shelter.It was mild again today and the most recent snowfall which came on Wednesday is thawing and lies mainly on E aspects above 1000m.  We dug our snow pit on this E facing slope which overlooks Strath Nethy.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wet mild and Cloudy - Perfect!

Steve excavating snow profile pit in windslab on E aspect at 1080m- Mostly there is no sign of any new snow, the reason most probably is that the surface was so hard and icy yesterday that any new snow would not lie,  it has been pushed into lee aspects to form these deep areas of isolated instability above 1000 m. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wintry and very windy

                                   Parties in the lee of Fiacaill a Coire Cas

The snow is refreezing and has a pretty firm crust at the moment with a dusting of new snow - The wind is mainly westerly gusting 70mph on the tops for most of the day.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mild and Grey

Looking to the Faicaill of an t Sneachda from Coire an Lochain
Ice bulge area in Coire an Lochain

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mild and misty

Today I decided to check out the wind direction antenna's on the Cairngorm Summit weather station as it's malfunctioning at the moment and one was pointing at a funny angle after all the snow and ice that had accumulated on everything the week before.
Its been another very mild day after yesterdays brief freeze.  The snow pack is soft and wet in most places.  The International Climbing Meet is taking place this week at Glenmore Lodge and although soggy it was reported that some routes were being climbed but the word "waterfall" was also mentioned during some gully ascents. 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Snow flurries over the tops

Visibility was fairly poor earlier today, but the colder conditions have left large areas of flat ice from yesterdays slush pools.  New snow accumulations were small and the old snowpack surface has re-frozen, hopefully improving the climbing conditions at least for today.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Warm and windy

Lochain with Lurcher's gully on the right.With the combination of strong winds and warm temperatures the snow is melting at a rapid rate of knots.  The main gully lines are still complete and should improve tomorrow as its expected to be cold again.  Bosses of ice remain on easier angled terrain. 
Coire an Lochain

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hail and rain

The day progressively turned milder as sweeping hail showers turned to rain.  A few folk were climbing in the Northern Corries today, mainly in the Gullies.  Bosses of ice remain on easier angled terrain.    

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Cooler and Brighter day

                         Looking into Coire an t Sneachda from the Fiacaill of Coire Cas

                      Clearer skies and cooler temperatures have firmed up the snow.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Slush fields on the plateau !!

                                   The Cairngorms from Loch Morlich

Cloudy again on the tops with poor visibility. The snow is saturated at all levels to the extent that large areas of shin deep slush abound.  It's disappearing before our very eyes !

Monday, February 16, 2009

Cant see a thing !!

No pics today as it has been thick mist and strong winds - The snowpack though is very wet at all levels and on all aspects - still difficult going in the deep snow - A brighter day is expected for tomorrow.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Milder temperatures

Looking out towards Etchachan and the Shelter stone.
Many climbers, walkers and skiers were making the most of conditions today.  The lower sections of the Buttresses have lost some snow due to milder temperatures.
Alladins and Fiacaill Buttress.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Milder temperatures

Temperatures were slightly milder in the Cairngorms today.  Many routes were being climbed in the Corries.
The snowpit was dug at 1100m on an E aspect and beneath a thin rain crust several weak layers were noted including this graupel layer.
The RAF mountain rescue were also out and about practicing their winter skills with this none complaining victim.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Excellent snow cover.

The winds were light today and visibility was good during the morning. Views looking across to Beinn Mheadhoin with the snow holes in Ciste Mhearad in the foreground.

A few routes were being climbed in the Northern Corries today.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A 'Pea Souper' day with new snow

Looking at the Faicaill of Coire an T Sneachda yesterday (wed) as today, I could not see a thing.
New snow cover and poor viz.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Good Snow Cover

Looking toward Beinn MacDuibh
Still difficult Trail breaking - a team heading to Jacobs ladder in Coire an t Sneachda

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Light winds and blue sky's

Great weather in the Cairngorms today with light winds blue skys and temperatures as low as minus 10.9 degrees C. The snowpack is also very cold and due to a strong temperature gradient from -6.9 to -8.6 within 10cm some facets have developed in this area.

An Arctic Hare enjoys the peace and tranquility in the Northern Corries.

A few folk managed to walk into the Corries but found it to be quite a slog in the deep snow. Rob enjoys the use of snow shoes and I found ski's a big advantage also.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Deep snow

We have had heavy snowfall over the past 24 hours. Snow shoes or ski's are definatly recommended for travel in the mountains. Glenmore Lodge are delighted with the snow especially as this weekend they are running some avalanche awareness courses.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Snow and poor visibility

We have had very cold temperatures in the Cairngorms today with poor visibility and continuous snowfall. Our pit was dug on the South-East side of Cairngorm and travel was made a lot easier with the use of skis, as the snow is at least thigh deep in places.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Cold with very deep snow everywhere

                                  Looking into Coire an t Sneachda from windy col
                                   tap test demo
                                    failure after two taps from the wrist
Exiting from Sneachda

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Wind, snow and poor visibility

Conditions at lower altitudes were quite calm, but higher up it was a real contrast. Heavy drifting has led to deep accumulations of windslab developing mainly on Westerly to Northerly aspects which cracks underfoot even on low angled terrain. We dug our pit at an altitude of 1050 metres after thumbing a lift with Adam and Dave on Cairngorm mountain, thanks guys it was much appreciated.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Blustery snow showers.

There were heavy snow showers in the Cainrgorms today on Easterly winds. We dug our snow pit on a West aspect at 1065 metres. It was evident from general observations on route that the snowpack was weakly bonded. Cornices were building on W facing slopes and the new windslab was cracking beneath our feet.

A busy day on E facing slopes which are covered in the old firm snow.

But still affected by sudden strong gusts with spells of white-out conditions.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Steep icy run outs!

A Ptarmigan tries to mind it's own business amongst the crowds.

The Northern Corries were very busy today, routes of all grades were being climbed. Conditions are good at the moment after the thaw/freeze cycle. Run outs below the crags are very steep and the snow very firm so careful footwork is needed, there have already been two incidents during the morning from people falling down the slopes, be careful out there!