Thursday, 10 December 2015

FRESH SNOW & COLDER IN THE CAIRNGORMS

The Northern Corries, Lairig Ghru & Braeriach
The top of An Slugain
Sunny spells this afternoon
Northern Corries
Northern Corries of Braeriach
Wrap up warm
Good to see a colder night with fresh snow fall down to Aviemore level. A light covering of fresh snow on the Cairngorms and a much cooler day. There was some sunshine and a few snow showers today. I had a good afternoon blast on the bike over An Slugain and back down to Glenmore & Loch Morlich. It started snowing again back to the house. Long may it last, now stay cold and behave yourself!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

ANOTHER WARM SPELL BEFORE THE SNOW

Sun beam on the Northern Corries
White please!
Nice cloudscapes over Loch Morlich
Snow looking a but desparate on Cairn Gorm
At least we had a lovely sunny day
Hope!
Holly
Another warm spell and more snow loss on the Cairngorms. We are due for a colder air mass this evening and into tomorrow with snow to 500m so hopefully it will start to look more winter like. This last few weeks it's been Winter boots and sack one day then back to approach shoes the next. A bit of a slow start to winter but it will come back very quickly. At least we had a nice sunny day on Meall a' Bhuachaille today. It was a steady 50-60mph wind higher up and some lovely cloudscapes. Just snow please.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

WINTER ON THE TORRIDON MOUNTAINS

Mullach an Rahain, Liathach & Torridon village
Beinn Alligin
Maol Chean-dearg & Sgor Ruadh
Upper Loch Torridon & sun on Beinn Alligin
Beinn Alligin & Upper Loch Torrridon
A weekend in that most wonderful part of this planet, Torridon. Despite the gales and torrential rain it was a great couple of days in my favourite place in the whole world. The high winds die down by Saturday afternoon and the rain eased off for a  low level walk. By Saturday night it turned much colder again and Sunday morning the fresh snow was revealed in the much clearer skies. We are still in this cycle of cold/mild spells bringing snow on the high mountains. If you are looking for some winter action then Scotland has it.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

COIRE AN LOCHAIN, FROZEN

Coire an Lochain, everything solid and frozen
A light dusting of overnight snow
Ptarmigan
Bit lean in Coire an t-snachda
Mountain Hare are almost completely white now
You're not camouflaged mate
Clear skies overnight had frozen any snow that was left behind after the thaw. High up there was also a slight dusting of fresh snow. It was below freezing at lower levels. Shame we lost so much snow at the beginning of this week. Having said that Core an Lochain was still looking quite wintry. A couple of folk were heading up to find some climbing. Looking like a very wild day tomorrow and into Saturday. Some snowfall higher up in the Scottish mountains. If your looking or winter you won't find it south of the border.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

WHERE'S THE SNOW GONE?

Braeriach, Sgor Gaoithe & Loch Morlich at sunset
Northern Corries from Loch Morlich
Cairn Gorm & Northern Corries
Someone is enjoying the sun
We were up Meall a' Bhuachaille just two days ago when we had snow at all levels, a blizzard on the summit and sub zero temperatures. Today was very, very different. There wasn't a scrap of snow bar a few small patches in sheltered hollows and the temperatures felt more like a Spring day. There was probably about a 10 degrees difference in the temperatures today. Unfortunately a lot of snow has also disappeared from the main Cairngorm plateau. On the plus side what snow there is left in the Northern Corries and on Braeriach will freeze solid overnight as once again a cold air mass will drift over us tonight. Along with clear skies there should be a hard frost. This mornings rain shifted by mid morning and I had a quick bike ride up Glenmore in beautiful sunshine. I lingered on the summit of Meall a' Bhuachaille to capture the sunset. It was already a few degrees colder on the bike ride home. More snowfall is forecast above 800m Friday & Saturday with gales. Once more the hills are changing on a daily basis.

Monday, 30 November 2015

FULL WINTER EXPERIENCE ON FIACAILL RIDGE

Fiacaill Butress
Iced ridge
Water ice, frozen turf. all good!
Fiacaill Ridge in profile
Windy up here
Late afternoon on Meall a' Bhuachaille
The ptarmigan are almost white
Hard going lower down in the drifts

Fiacaill Ridge and Cairngorm plateau

More ice

Interesting to see more snowcover on Meall a' Bhuachaille than the plateau!

Coire an t-sneachda
Cold temperatures and some more snowfall overnight to low levels. Today was dry in The Cairngorms. A cold 40mph wind on the tops. It took me double the time I would normally take to get to the foot of the Fiacaill Ridge. The drifts were knee deep in places. That's fine by me, I enjoy a good work out early in the season to get winter fit :)  The ridges and plateau are quite bare of snow with the high winds and cold temperatures. I went on the eastern side of the Fiacaill where the ground was well frozen and lots of wonderful ice. A great mix of rime, water ice, frozen turf and some frozen snow. Pretty cold and windy on the plateau. Coire an t-sneacha was looking bare with the snow blown off, Coire an Lochain looked much snowier. All this will change rapidly again over the next 24 hours with more snowfall then a rapid rise in temperature tomorrow afternoon. Wednesday looks like the temperatures will lower again. An unsettled spell but giving great early winter conditions. It is after all only November.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

BIG SNOWFALL ACROSS THE HIGHLANDS

Stunning scenery in the Glenmore Forest
The best view we got on Meall a' Bhuachaille
The Northern Cairngorms clear for a spell late afternnon
Beautiful forest scenery
Sunshine for a wee while
A different story on the summit
You can't have enough of this surely?
Here's the sun
Rime ice higher up, summit cairn Meall a' Bhuachaille
A decent dump of snow overnight had transformed the Cairngorms again. With a good coating of snow to low levels this morning. We had a great day up on Meall a' Bhuachaille. This is a great wee hill and is best enjoyed by doing a traverse walk which takes you through the beautiful Glenmore Forest and Ryvoan. It was even more spectacular with the trees all snowed up and looking stunning. There was very low cloud earlier in the day and you couldn't even see the hill from just out of the tree line. A gentle wind soon picked up, as always, just before the summit cairn. Poor visibility until we got down to Ryvoan and the clouds lifted to reveal the Cairngorms for an hour or so, we even got a few glimpses of sunshine to lighten up the snow covered trees. It started to snow heavily again by dusk. It seems that the Southern  and western Highlands had even more snow than up in The Cairngorms. Looking good and temperatures staying low.

video

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

MOUNTAIN PATH AWARENESS & BEN NEVIS

The NE Buttress on Ben Nevis
The team of outdoor leaders with Dougie
Dougie imparting his knowledge
Lifting rocks, expensive
Google the website on the side of the bus
Several mountain path users
More rock lifting against a wintery Carn Dearg
I had an interesting day out with Dougie, the Footpath Officer from  Nevis Landscape Partnership today. Along with several other outdoor instructors and leaders we were on a workshop to learn more about footpath construction, maintenance and the erosion created by thousands of boots and water damage. The day was also aimed at what we, as leaders, can do to pass on our knowledge to the folk we take out walking and climbing. We headed up the path alongside the Allt a' Mhuillin and  up to the CIC Hut. Despite over £100,000 spent on this  7 years ago, the path needs some attention already. The Fiends of Nevis  run volunteer days throughout the year if you feel you would like to help out. During the day we could see and hear the helicopter shuttling bags of rocks from one part of the mountain over to the lower section of the Mountain Path. This is major work being done over the winter months and will last two years, costing £1 million. They are asking folk to choose a different route up the mountain during this period as this section of path is quite narrow and awkward to get around whilst work is in progress. Despite the warm temperatures there is still snow down to 800m. We ad a dry day despite rain being forecasted. Big thanks to Dougie for a really informative day.