Winter's here again in the Cairngorms with continuous snowfall above 600 metres, heavy drifting and a high wind chill. Deep drifts are developing again on lee slopes above 900m. Rain and mild temperatures are moving in again tonight...It's never dull being an avalanche observer in the Highlands!
Heavy snow showers at all levels affected the highlands today.
Our pit was dug in CisteMhearad (a popular site for us). We had white-out conditions at times with the occasional clear spell. There are a lot of deep drifts, cornices are becoming very unstable and some avalanche debris was noted that had naturally released from a scarp slope.
A short clear spell gave us views out toward Bynack More.
The photo demonstrates the size of some of the cornices in the Cairngorms, this curly one was on a North-East aspect at 1100 metres. Tomorrow temperatures are going to rise in the afternoon with the onset of rain therefore cornices will become very unstable. Kathy
Conditions in the Cairngorms are still cold and a bit breezy high up but the cloud lifted a little this afternoon giving nice views into Lochain. Underfoot its generally firm with a breakable crust at times higher up.
After a brief thaw in the Cairngorms temperatures have dropped again and the old snowpack has a crust. We had snowfall last night and winds of up to 132mph. Luckily they eased down to 60mph today so walking conditions up high were bearable. Today's pit was dug in Ciste Mhearad where new accumulations were quite deep. There is a hug cornice on the East corner leading to quite a server drop below! Kathy
Due to a technical camera error unfortunately there are no photographs for today's blog and so instead I will describe to all you viewers out there how it looked. The skies were mainly blue with light Westerly winds, there is plenty of snow out there to play in, the skiing on and off piste has a lot to offer and the Northern Corries look very surreal and wintry. If this makes you a tiny bit jealous because you've been indoors all week, don't despair, it will still be there in the morning and it's a good forecast...Enjoy Kathy
New soft snow on East aspects but mostly blown clear with exposed old hard snow-ice areas on areas facing west and at plateau level. Strong Southerly winds with heavy snow and drifting will affect the Northern Corries with windslab.
After a cloudy start the day rapidly improved and became very clear and sunny. This view is looking towards Loch Etchachan and Beinn MacDuibh from the summit of Cairngorm. Our pit was dug on the SE side of Cairngorm in the newly deposited soft slab. Kathy
The weather in the Cairngorms was much calmer today than of late. Many people were enjoying the good ski conditions which included the Ciste Gully this afternoon. The Northern Corries are looking very white and there is snow on the path all the way in from the car park.
Today's snow pit was dug in CisteMhearad at 1100 metres on a SE aspect.
The winds weren't quite as ferocious today but at higher levels walking was still difficult and visibility poor in the squally snow showers. Deep drifts of firm slab are continuing to developing on lee slopes. Today's photo was taken looking up the Fiacaill a' Choire Chais ridge.
Soft snow at all levels with heavy drifting largely above 600m. Snow lying on bare ground. Still very windy . Heavy build up near corrie edges and on gully exits and very unstable snowpack especially on Northerly aspects.