Friday, 15 January 2016

A quick catch up of snow conditions over the last three days in The Cairngorms.

It is extremely varied and potentially dangerous out on the slopes at present and particularly over on the east. So do please be careful.

Wind shifts and fresh snow fall [ which has not consolidated ] is making for very accurate and careful judgement of where to climb, mountaineer and walk.

Wind slab has been evident and building since the beginning of the week. Layers of unstable snow has been seen each day on a variety of slope aspects.

Although much of the snow pack seemed to be well bonded there was a thin layer approx 7 inches under the surface. 55 cm down we found hard pack or ice.

The expected thaw will stabilise the situation but that is predicted after another cold spell, so the snow will remain poorly bonded for a while. With the sun out it can lull us into a false sense of security.

Please check out area forecasts on before heading out.

Wind transported snow under foot.

Rime Ice, Building into the wind.

Rime ice on the summit of Cairngorm.

Hasty Pit, shows wind slab formation.

55 cm depth which slid under my weight 

Solo climber taking massive risks climbing in such an huge natural snow collection area. Luckily he topped out unhurt.

The Gullies are loaded. Large cornices have formed also.

Ridge and Buttresses are the safest options at present, but care is required to access them. The ice is slow to build this year.