/ Cairngorm Conditions

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kbow265 - on 16 Dec 2012
Was wondering if anyone had been up in the Cairngorms this weekend - particularily the area around Ben Macdui, Braeriach and Cairngorm itself. Not so much for climbing but for walking. Is the snow wet and slushy? Where's the snowline?
Cuthbert on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to florence58:

Snow is well packed and walkable but I reckon skis would be easier. Snow line about 650m I would say.
craigloon - on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to florence58:

Ice ice baby today. Crampons.
Ron Walker - on 16 Dec 2012
Chad123 - on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to florence58: was out ski touring today, very variable conditions, bullet hard at top of cairngorm, patches of powder and ice on plateau. Aladdins couloir had nice powder in, but icy step in lower half makes it exciting ski descent at present, nice snow descending coire an sneachta but inevitable ski de combat lower down, can't complain with cover for December though....
Colestyron - on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to everyone:

What's in nick folks? I'm in a cottage near Blair Atholl for the next week. Anything at all in condition, either north or south Cairngorms? Just a lot of rain where I am...
Cuthbert on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to Colestyron:

Look on Winterhighland and SAIS. Lots of snow but warm.
Colestyron - on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:

no internet. On a little phone with a patchy 1G signal, so surfing not really optional. If anyone did have a successful outing in the cairngorms antywhere today, I'd love to hear about it.
AlH - on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to Colestyron: http://elementsgb.wordpress.com See bottom of today's post.
Andy Nisbet - on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to Colestyron:

I'm going out tomorrow and I think it's going to be great conditions.
nigel pearson - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to Andy Nisbet: I walked up yesterday (Sunday). There was evidence of several avalanches in Sneachda with a larger one below the left side of mess of pottage. It was still windy and it rained a bit up to the corrie. There was lots of snow cover and the buttresses looked great. Alladin's mirror direct looked good. Given the forecast for worse weather in the afternoon and the avalanche risk I didn't climb anything.

However once it freezes I suspect the climbing will be great. Unfortunately I had to come home today.
drunken monkey - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to nigel pearson: I was colder and clear here last night (Moray) so i'd be hopefully that something would be in nick in the corries today.
jacobfinn on 24 Dec 2012
Anyone been out and about in the Cairngorms or Glencoe today?

I'm planning on escaping the Xmas madness tomorrow and heading for the hills. Options are either an easy climb in the Coire an t'Sneachda (Goat Track Gully maybe) or Glencoe (Inglis Clark Ridge perhaps?), or else a tramp up a Munro in the Southern Highlands.

Any pointers much appreciated for the likely climbing conditions.
Aly - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to jacobfinn: I went out for a short tour today up Glenshee. "Spring" snow at all levels, heavy slush below ~750m, still raining at 1000m. Snow from 900m upwards was firm, and even icy in places underneath a soft surface - especially where it's been exposed to the wind. It didn't freeze in Braemar last night, was cloudy/raining overnight. Skins on at the car park, loads of snow above 900m and most of the pistes are complete. Cairngorm has had significantly more snow too I believe.

Freezing level is forecast for about 900m tomorrow, I suspect the climbing above this level will be quite good, although I don't know how much snow the buttresses will have hung on to so it may have to be gullys. Will be very icy underfoot once it freezes.
HTH
jacobfinn on 24 Dec 2012
Andy Nisbet - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to jacobfinn:

Conditions were great today, walking conditions were excellent. I've rarely seen conditions in Sneachda as good pre-Christmas, especially on the lower grades. As for SAIS and "considerable", you'd have need dynamite to shift anything! We were in Loch Avon though.
Colestyron - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to Andy Nisbet:

Woohoo! Thanks Andy.
Boulderdash86 on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to florence58: Whats the current conditions like at the moment - am up from new years day till the 11th and was wondering where will be good - looks like its getting slightly warmer though
craigloon - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to Boulderdash86:

Getting warmer tomorrow (Fri), before FL drops to 2500 on Sat and 1500 ft by Sunday. However, looks like wind will be vicious from Fri-Sun, so I suspect Monday would be your first realistic option for play. Looking good for next week I think.
Colestyron - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to Boulderdash86:

Had a brilliant day at Sneachda today. Cold, very consolidated snow. I'd say go for it tomorrow. I walked off in the dark and it was only getting colder.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Ron Walker - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to Andy Nisbet:

The Loch Avon basin was amazing today and yet only two other climbing parties to be seen! See https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.156930934407462.23287.124310161002873&type=1
paul-1970 - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to Colestyron:
> (In reply to Boulderdash86)
> Had a brilliant day at Sneachda today. Cold, very consolidated snow. I'd say go for it tomorrow. I walked off in the dark and it was only getting colder.

Variable snow in the corrie today, actually. I saw two guys get avalanched off Alladin's mirror early on. My own solo up 0.5 was quite slow and ponderous because of the variable snow and a few unnerving creaks underneath me! Most notable aspect today, of course, was the cold. Cairngorm Ski centre noted -7c at their top station. So on the tops it was either that or lower. It definitely felt lower in the cold.

But what a fantastic day! :)
Ron Walker - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to paul-1970:

It was minus 8 without the wind. Bitterly cold walking over the plateau today. So much so, we almost abandoned out trip over to Loch Avon at first light. With wind chill it was close to minus 30 according to Google. Fortunately it warmed up a bit by midday, but all our layer were still worn!!!
The snow was good as long as you weren't on lee aspects sheltering from the slight subzero Cairngorm breeze, drifting snow and applied common sense ;-)
Apparently it would only take 30 minutes for frost bite on exposed skin with today's temps...
jonnie3430 - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to Ron Walker:

30 mins! I, err, walk in in long johns and a certain body part felt the cold today much more than ever before! If anyone saw me with hands where they should not have been that's what I was doing. Trying to avoid a trip to hospital, I'm sure it'd amuse the nurses though...
Craigie17 on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to paul-1970:
Spoke to the lads avalanched off Aladdin's today - apparently swept 200m down to the coire floor. Both unharmed, and climbed Spiral Gully instead. In their own words - "Really f*cking lucky..."
tomjagger - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to florence58:
the 'getting colder next week' means early next week? mwis is saying mega thaw from the middle of next week?
chris smith - on 28 Dec 2012
I was one of the team who got avalanched off Aladdins mirror. The entire snow pack which was around a foot thick went. Luckily we were below the fall otherwise we would have been over it. However i thought the snow on the goat track certainly by the end of the day was getting ready to go aswell. Take care up there.
xplorer on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to chris smith:

Did you test the snow pack or just chance it?
Jamie B - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to chris smith:
> I thought the snow on the goat track certainly by the end of the day was getting ready to go as well.

Descended the goat track around 4.30pm on firm snow throughout - any windslab must have been confined to the shallow gully-feature nearest to the main crags.


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