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Sunday, 25 January 2009

Loads of snow in the Alps and in the Scottish mountains

Photos from the past two weeks ice climbing above -before the huge dump of snow...!
Needless to say with the cold weather throughout Europe many Alpine icefalls were in excellent condition though a bit brittle due extreme cold, dry and sunny weather over the last few weeks! Conditions have changed now and some of the fat ice falls will no doubt be partially buried by the fresh snow. Some should continue to fatten quickly due to fresh snow melt.
With over a metre of fresh powder in the Alps the Skiing should be superb once the high avalanche risk reduces.
On Friday and Saturday almost a metre of snow fell in La Grave creating a Cat 5 avalanche risk and overnight road closure. Fortunately the road opened on Saturday morning for a very snowy exciting drive past huge pills of avalanche debris, stuck buses to a chaotic Geneva airport. Due to the weather and resultant flight cancellations we had to queue for almost four hours to check in our baggage with EasyJet. Many flights had been cancelled or rescheduled so we were lucky to get away with only a two hour flight delay..!
Back home in Scotland there was also fresh snow and avalanche activity.
On our drive up from Edinburgh airport there was a fair bit of roadside snow on the Drummochter hills though less than we expected the closer we got to Aviemore.
Today (Sunday) on Cairngorm the strong southerly winds were causing a lot of snow drifting above 700 metres and will no doubt create unstable snow conditions on manty slopes and gullies Make sure you take heed of the SAIS avalanche reports. See http://www.sais.gov.uk/latest-forecasts.asp
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