Wednesday, 30 January 2008

WINTER NOOKS & CRANNIES, BEN LAWERS



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The snow and winter conditions are definately back after the wee blip of warm, wet weather over the weekend. Today I was checking out some of my favourite winter spots on Beinn Ghlas & Ben Lawers. I went onto the South faceing corrie of Beinn Ghlas then over to the Creag Loisgte area on Lawers before descending the S/SE ridge from the summit of Lawers back down to Tombreck.


The crags are well rimed and looking good, a lot of windslab building on Eastern slopes, the gullies on Creag Loisgte not filled in yet but I think that will change somewhat after the next few days of blizzards and heavy snowfall forecast.


It was quite a pleasent morning with sunshine and the tops clear. I was just descending back down to Loch Tay before the wind picked up and the snows arrived.


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Thursday, 24 January 2008

WILD & SNOWY AGAIN






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There was yet another good dump of snow in The Highlands today. After yesterdays mild and wet day we were thrown back into excellent wintery weather. There was constant snow showers, heavy at times throughout the day, down to 300m.



Ian was on a intro winter skills course. We went on the Eastern slopes and crags of Meall Corranaich, covering basic moveing on snow, avalanche assessment and avoidance as we moved up through steep sections near slopes building quickly with windslab. Ian learned how to use 'islands of saftey' as we progressed up the hill.



The road up to the visitor centre was well covered with snow by the time we were on our way down, not passable today.



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Tuesday, 22 January 2008

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LOW VISABILITY DAY!

Today started dry and overcast after a cold night. Ian, Peter and I were on the shallow gully that leads up to the summit of Meall Corranaich, a very nice route to the Munro. The snow is absolutely perfect, from 600m we wore crampons all day. The visability was very poor making identifying our gully not so easy. Just as we got to the summit the light snow fall started. We descended West to the Lochan nan Lairige road. Again wonderful ribbons of excellent cramponing snow right down to the road.
Tommorrow is wet and warm but back to cold weather and more snowfall later on Thursday, brilliant!
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Monday, 21 January 2008

MEALL GHAORDAIDH GULLY




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Some great winter conditions today on Meall Ghaordaidh, Glen Lochay. I went up a nice wee gully on the crags on the Eastern shoulder of the hill, its in the centre of the crag on the picture. Good frozen snow despite it being south faceing. Only 70m at about grade 1. Lots of short routes in a great spot away from anyone as I suspect not many folk bother exploring this part of the hill. The north side of the summit looks good too, lots of snow and ice. There was a good mix of frozen snow, water ice with windslab on top and rimed crags today. The SE wind was light but cold and becoming stronger on the descent.


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Sunday, 20 January 2008

A CRACKING WINTER ROUTE ON TARMACHAN




Kristina & Sophie were on Tarmachan's NE ridge from the dam at Lochan na Lairig today. We spent the day moveing on steep ground finding some excellent snow and frozen ground. We also had some navigation/route finding excercises, avalanche assessment and copeing with 40-50mph winds as we got to the summit which seemed to do the trick for Sophie's hangover!
The ridges are scoured and windblown but still plenty of excellent snow around and especially on SE aspects. There is also some ice forming on the higher crags although the freezing level was higher today.
This weekend I was doing work for Walkabout Scotland who still have several places left on their winter skills program. http://www.walkaboutscotland.com/



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Saturday, 19 January 2008

SLIDEING, CHOPPING & CRAMPONING


The conditions today were excellent for a full range of winter skills. Sophie & Kristina were out on their first day of a two day winter skills course. We covered moveing on snow, cutting steps, cramponing and axe arrests. The snow conditions were superb for all. We were on the Eastern slopes of Meall Corranaich were at one point we dug a avalanche pit down to over 2 metres in depth. The ridge as been windblown and there is ice forming on the crags. We also covered avalanche assessment as we moved up and down the hill. Lots of folk out walking & skiing today.
Tomorrow looks like more of the same, the NW wind was quite strong with a high windchill today. The forecast is for winds to ease down by tommorow

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Wednesday, 16 January 2008

GLORIOUS GLENCOE



Yesterday and today I was with Keith in Glencoe who works for the Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS). We were up on Buachaille Etive Beag yesterday and in Coire na Tualaich, Stob Dearg, today. The weather was actually much better than was forecast. It was a beautiful clear, cold day today and we wore crampons virtually all day in the superb hard snow conditions. Yesterday we were in cloud at 700m as we took an excellent line up to the NE summit of 'The wee Buachaille'.

More snow is due for tommorrow, always a good idea to check the latest avalanche forecast on: http://www.sais.gov.uk/


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Saturday, 12 January 2008

ANOTHER FANTASTIC WINTERS DAY




Another superb day on the hills. There was a temperature inversion on Loch Tay today, the top of the cloud was at 300m, leaveing Killin shroude in cold cloud all day. Meanwhile the mountains were bathed in warm sunshine, blue skies and no wind.

I was on Ben Lawers s/se ridge and descended s/sw ridge, rocks were palstered in snow which is consolidating. Snow shoes were perfect for the conditions again.

There will be a temperature rise tomorrow and freeze /thaw cycles through the week, perfect.

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Friday, 11 January 2008

FANTASTIC ON THE HILLS





What a superb day today. I was on Tarmachan Ridge, hard going again but with snowshoes easing the ascent. Today I set off from the house, a lovely way on to the tops, direct from the door at Morenish. It was low cloud up until 1pm then just as I reached Meall Garbhs' final steepening the clouds parted and wonderful views all round. I met 2 other walkers, the most I have seen all week.


They were both amazed at the amount of snow on the hills. The avalanche hazard is lowering as the snow pack starts to settle but there is still quite some scary looking windslab in places. Tomorrow looks like another superb clear day and forecast for next week is still good, snow wise!


Click the movie below, it's the 360 degree view from Meall nan Tarmachan


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Thursday, 10 January 2008

WINTER SKILLS, LOTS OF SNOW


Alison was on a intro winter skills today. We covered axe arrests, avalanche assessment and walking on steep ground. Route choice was critical today as there is a lot of windslab about, on all aspects. We were on the south ridge of Meall Corranaich. It was poor visibility and snowing in the morning but the tops cleared by mid afternoon.

The weekend looks great with winds easing and forcast clear skies in the South Eastern Highlands.

Click on the picture below for movie clip

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Wednesday, 9 January 2008

A WILD NIGHT & DAY


There were severe gales overnight bringing lots of snow above 400m once again. The winds eased through the day and snow showers easing by late afternoon.

The picture is Tarmachan ridge from Killin.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

THE SNOW JUST KEEPS ON COMING!





Paul and I were up on Meall nan Tarmachan today. Again it was heavy going through deep, unconsolidated snow after overnight showers of snow down to 200m. Snowshoes were again the order of the day as higher up there was a harder crust. Just below the summit ,on the Eastern side, we triggered a small avalanche, well loaded from the previous couple of days Westerly winds. More snowfall started as we descended in the poor visibility.

A wild night is in store with high winds and snow forecast. Shaping up to be one of the best winters for years!

Monday, 7 January 2008

THIS IS WINTER


The hills are looking superb just now. It as been lovely and sunny here at Killin, forecast was wrong with snow showers.

The picture is the view of Beinn Ghlas from the house.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

SNOW, SUN & SMILES




Superb snow on the hills right now. It was snowing most of yesterday and overnight. Large accumulations on the tops and right down to 700m. It's still hard going but it's consolidating slowely. I was out on Ben Lawers S/SW ridge today. There was some avalanche debris on the south slopes, but this great wee ridge is taken direct and was mostly wind blown. The ridge is a big feature on Lawers, yet I never see anyone along it. Today there were big drifts in the fissure, will be great for a snow hole soon.

There was excellent sunny spells and just a few brief snow showers on the moderate to strong Westerly winds.

Forecast looks very wintery for the next few days with strong winds and snow showers.

Friday, 4 January 2008

SNOW SHOEING



It's been snowing for over 30 hours over Perthshire. There is over a foot of fesh snow and drifting snow on NE slopes. Paul and I were snow shoeing up Beinn Ghlas today, hard work. Almost white out conditions in places, and spindrift on the tops. Great stuff.

Forecast for more snow overnight and tomorow.

Looks set for a good winter season.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

WHITE DOWN


It's been snowing continuely all day here at Killin. Looks like it could be a great weekend in the hills. The photo is taken from the garden looking down the Loch Tay, I didn't venture far today!

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

A DULL NEW YEAR!

I was up in the Northern corrie of Beinn Ghlas today, only small patches of snow & ice remaining.
Snow is forecast from tomorrow and lowering temperatures. Visibility was poor today and extensive cloud to 400m.
A miserable day!