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Saturday, 2 January 2010

New Year and new winter course

There's been lots and lots more snow in the Cairngorms making road travel extremely difficult and mountain travel almost impossible without skis or snow shoes.
Road access to Cairngorm is also difficult due to the sheer number of visitors and skiers up for the Christmas/New Year and the resultant traffic queues. On the plus side the snow cover for skiing couldn't be much better with the best powder skiing in Europe! The lower level forest skiing is also fantastic.
Despite several feet of snow the Cairngorm Mountain ski road has been cleared of snow quicker than the streets of Aviemore or even the A9 by the ski companies fleet of snow-blowers and snow-ploughs.
The depth and weight of snow on trees and roofs has caused a lot of damage and the possibility of being avalanched from roofs, hit by icicles or crushed by fallen trees is a real risk. On the hills the avalanche risk on most aspects is very very high too.
Today a few climbers tried to access Coire an t-Sneachda on foot but gave up only halfway after more than three hours of floundering!
There's plenty of good thick snow covered ice close to hand in the lower hills without the slog or the high avalanche risk if you know where to look...
The first Winter Mountaineering course of the New Year started today and details can be found on Fi's blog here
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