Monday, March 31, 2014

Warm, Windy and Clear

Cairngorm plateau and Northern Corries from the top of Coire Raibert

Coire an t Sneachda with surface instabilities in the foreground (yesterday's late afternoon)
Looking West From the Northern Flanks of Cairnorm

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A grey day

Coire an t-Sneachda - looking like a black and white photo in the grey conditions. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Cloud cleared by early afternoon

Coire an Lochain
Cloud lifted by the afternoon leading to mild conditions with hazy sunshine 

A murky morning looking into Coire an t-Sneachda.    

Friday, March 28, 2014

Cool with moderate winds

Hill conditions this Friday
Looking South across Coire Raibert towards Etchachan.  Underfoot conditions a mix of rocks, ice, hard neve and  windslab

Mess of Potage 

Alladins Buttress

Fiacaill Buttress 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

All Change- Windy with Blizzards

A party ascending the Fiacaill a Choire Chais  in wild winter weather

A real contrast to yesterday with strong winds and severe drifting - piling in some deep windslab in places 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sunny and Calm

Looking into Coire an t Sneachda from Coire rim

Loch Morlich and the Spey Valley from the summit of  Sneachda

Cairn Toul and Sgor an Lochain Uaine from Sneachda summit, feith Buidhe and plateau in foreground
Cairngorm Summit beyond Coire Raibert

Monday, March 24, 2014

Very Strong Winds and Severe Drifting

Northern Corries from Loch Morlich
 From a distance all looks beautiful and calm
Up close, severe wind transportation of snow is obviously taking place and unstable windslab is being formed

Sunday, March 23, 2014

North Westerly winds

Cracking underfoot within new windslab accumulations.

The old snow is very hard and icy, windslab accumulations are distributed around approach slopes and within gullies

The goat track - a mix of firm snow ice and windslab with  Fiacaill buttress to the right 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Cold with drifting snow

Cornices along with  deep poorly bonded windslab forming on lee slopes.  This is looking towards Cnap Coire na Spreidhe 

Firm hard snow on wind exposed slopes good cover in the Ptarmigan bowl area above 1000m

Looking across towards Cairngorm summit, crampons are handy for crossing any steeper slopes if your ski touring as its hard neve on windward slopes.

Coire an Lochain

Friday, March 21, 2014

A return to winter conditions

                                                                Coire an t-Sneachda
The old snowpack has firmed up and buttresses are beginning to look a little more wintry.  

A mountain hare pops up from the boulder field.

Looking towards Fiacaill Buttress

Underfoot conditions - the main trail out of Sneachda.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Turning Colder

A glimpse looking West from Cairngorm summit area toward Coire an t Sneachda
Slowly slowly it is turning colder but still around zero degrees centigrade on the summit early afternoon.
Snowpack is beginning to freeze above 1000 metres, the thaw has stripped a lot of snow away but cooler temperatures should now halt this.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bright and Very Breezy

Northern Corries from Glenmore
 A very windy day on the tops with wind speeds of over 100mph recorded on Cairngorm summit
The  'glacier like' great slab in Coire an Lochain

Serac and crevasse like forms

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Dry an Mild

Coire an Lochain
A depleted snowpack but good complete cover  on plateau

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mild and Windy

Coire an t Sneachda from the moraines - 

Cornice debris and rockfall below main crags

Twitcher 'commandos' stealthily approaching suspecting!  Ptarmigan in Coire an t Sneachda

Sunday, March 16, 2014

mild and wind

 Ciste Gully

Large patches of soft snow remain above 600m - looking towards Coire Lochain

Friday, March 14, 2014

Rain with gale force Westerlies

Cornices remain large and unstable,  glide cracks becoming more defined in Lochain.

Rain at all levels with gale force winds gusting 114mph on the summits.  This was at 900m at the bottom of the Fiacaill of Sneachda, walking was manageable with some careful route choice which involved skirting around lee areas to avoiding the Westerly winds.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mild and Murky

 Ptarmigan on walkabout; looking for food and romance  

Quite the opposite to yesterdays blue sky day - misty, more humid and mild.  This photo is looking East towards Bynack More and was taken in the brief 10 second clear spell from Ciste Mhearad at 1100m.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sunny and Warm - Icy and soft Slopes !

Tenuous skinning on icy slopes

Hells Lum crag with large cornices and debris at base - note two persons for scale

Carn Etchachan with large cornices looming

Coire an t Sneachda with avalanche debris and large cornice chunk with climbers on top

Hells Lum crag with Ben Macdui beyond

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sunny and Clear

Contemplating the great views from Cairngorm summit

Cornices ready to collapse on an East aspect
Snow ice covers many areas

Ice glistening slopes of Ben Macdui