Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunny and Cold

Beinn Mheadhoin from the nr the saddle of Strath Nethy
Fiacaill a Choire Chais and Fiacaill Coire an t Sneachda
S side of Cairngorm looking toward Carn Etchachan
Snow is firm and icy in places with a dusting of new snow- this has formed weak windslab in isolated places where it has accumulated as a result of the recent wind. - Steep areas and convexities.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Conditions after the thaw

Looking across to Coire an t-Sneachda, still plenty of snow around after the thaw.
3 ptarmigans shuffle around in the rocky landscape...not so good for camouflage.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A blustery day

Its been another mild and windy day with occasional rain showers... very spring like apart from the 90 mph gusts over the tops.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Spring ?! Warm and Windy

Northern Corries
Coirrie an t Sneachda
Very dry winds have reduced snowpack but it remains fairly dense and compact - good cover throughout.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Warm and Windy

Coire Lochain
Coire an t Sneachda
Snowpack is pretty saturated with many cornices collapsing and triggering surface avalanches.
Otherwise the snowpack is generally stable. Horrible weather tomorrow then cooling on friday with freezing levels at 500m - hopefully the thaw will not not go to deep.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Change in the Weather !

Large cornice over Jacobs ladder climb Coire an t Sneachda
Clouds pouring into Sneachda

Snowpack has improved a lot in stability but some weaknesses remain good cover on the plateau.
Wet weather and very warm for tomorrow !

Monday, February 21, 2011


This firm chalky windslab was sitting on a weak facet layer at 930m on a NW aspect.

Strong winds and drifting have continued in the Cairngorms for most of the day.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Another stormy day

Clear skies elsewhere but the Cairngorms have been shrouded in this billowing mass of spindrift and storm clouds for the whole day!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The storm arrived.

The storm was at its most active overnight with heavy snowfall and winds of over 90mph.
Heavy drifting in Coire na Ciste this morning

Friday, February 18, 2011

Poor viz - Big Storm Coming!

Storm Force winds developing over Northern Cairngorms.
Very poor visibility today - lots of new snow and windslab build up - this seemed to be well bonded low down in the moist and warmer conditions - high up though large cornices loom !

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fine day on Cairngorm

Lighter winds and sunny weather gave good conditions on the tops. Excellent snow cover on the Cairngorm plateau. Soft cornices and deep powder snow in the corries require care.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cold, Snowy and Windy

Strong winds with much drifting snow gave very unpleasant conditions in the Northern Corries
Conditions in Coire an t Sneachda - No current avalanche activity noted in the corries. Very poor vis -
tech problems uploading clip - no image today sorry

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Life as an avalanche forecaster

Sometimes we can't see a great deal but we try our best...
Blizzard conditions on the hill today; snowfall for most of the day accompanied by strong Southerly winds.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A day for Avalanches

After last night's stormy weather and all of the avalanche activity it turned into a pleasant day.
There have been several natural and human triggered avalanches today in the Chais headwall area and Northern Corries. This photo is of a triggered avalanche below the Fiacaill Buttress with an unpleasent run out through the rocks.

The large crown wall at the top of the Goat Track.
The debris from the triggered avalanche on the goat track this morning. Two people were carried down.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Precipitation arrived during the afternoon.

Precipitation clouds build over the Northern Corries as the expected front arrives from the South-East. Significant snow is expected during Friday night.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Sunny Day !

Coire an t Sneachda from 1141m cairn
Carn Etchachan
Hells Lum
Bein Mheadhoin from Stac an Fharaidh
A good cold day with great conditions for climbing and skiing ( although a bit firm- just enough grip exists on the surface)

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Warm Windy - Poor Viz

Northern Corries from Loch Morlich in afternoon
A much warmer day with no rain has improved conditions - All gone soft again today with another re-freeze for tomorrow !

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Soft weak layer

As the winds increased on Monday a firm slabby layer developed. This overlies the soft snow beneath leading to snow pack weaknesses.
In this photo you can see the mixture of blue snow ice and windslab deposits. (Mess of Potage and Jacobs Ladder)
A tap test revealing the weaker soft layer.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Less windy and cooler

Spindrift blows across the Fiacaill Coire an t-Sneachda
The icy conditions underfoot left someone with a broken ankle.Alladins Buttress today

Friday, February 04, 2011

Stormy weather.

A real mixed bag of weather in the last 24 hours. Heavy snowfall, winds of up to 114mph, then the temperature rose quickly by 6 degrees C during early afternoon, leading to rain at all levels.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Blizzards and Windy

Slab release - blocks on test slope at 750m

Conditions before Snow arrival

Strong winds and drifting snow produced weak slab

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


Looking into Coire an t Sneachda

Buttresses getting black - Blizzards and colder temperatures on the way though

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Very windy - Bullet hard snow !

Snowpack has re-frozen everywhere and is solid, very small areas of thin new snow can be found on East aspects - If you can stand up in the wind (gusts over 100mph today) great conditions