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Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Cold, wild and very windy in the Cairngorms

The temperatures have dropped so the old snow is now refrozen and wind scoured so excellent for step cutting and crampon practise. There was limited visibility, light snow showers and wind driven ice particles during the day which gave Catherine, Jason and Michael a taste of winter and what is to come. I must remember to pack my goggles for tomorrow!
Although some of the fresh snow was drifting into to sheltered north facing hollows the bulk of it seemed to be being blasted down the hill!
We met Fi , Trevor and Clare who had a tough fight to get up onto the plateau to dig snow shelters. They had a quick return to the car park with the tail wind behind them. See Fi's blog at http://www.marmotte.co.uk/blog/diary.
We also met several climbers who had a good day on the popular grade 1and 2 gullies and they reported little change from last week. That will soon change though...
On returning to the icy car park it was minus one and care was required in getting into the lee side of the car to avoid the car door and contents being blown away! Wild you might think but actually fairly typical Cairngorm weather in the past for January in fact ideal for filling up the north facing ski and climbing gullies.
Over the next few days we will hopefully get a lot more snow and conditions will change with the avalanche risk increasing significantly in the corries and in many of the gullies. Road access could be a problem in some areas too.
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