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Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Wild with horizontal snow!

After the past few relatively calm days and good skiing we are back to the wild wintry weather.

Following last weekend the coires have been relatively quiet. Many west facing areas are wind scoured and good climbing has been reported on some of the buttresses.

With all the new fresh snow and storm force winds the avalanche forecast is again high at Category 4. This all is good news for future snow and ice buildup. However at the moment it's probably best to avoid climbing or standing below any deep snow filled gullies or coire headwalls until the snow consolidates.!

Last weekend there were several reported near misses due to the typical Cairngorm January weather and the fresh snow. Several weeks of strong winds (over 100 mph) with blizzards are not unusual in the Cairngorms for this time of year. These storms are the building blocks of a good winter season. Please remember to pack your goggles and several spare maps in addition to the usual winter kit. You need to be able to navigate in stormy whiteout conditions as well as in perfect weather - in fact bad weather is when you need to be able to navigate and make the right route choices...!

We will be ice climbing and skiing in the Alps over the next few weeks so there will be no further Scottish updates until after the 26th January 2008.
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