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Sunday, 28 February 2010

Huge snow drifts






The ski road opened at 10.00 am today but with limited parking due to the huge amount of snow still to be cleared. The link road is still buried with two way traffic on the normal down road. The roadside drifts are really impressive with some reaching over 4 metres!
Once you venture off the ploughed ski road travel is very difficult indeed and crawling is a useful technique in some of the bottomless snow drifts! It was well worth it though as we had a great day practising powder ice axe braking, step cutting up over cornices and uncovering and exploring the old group ice caves.
The sun shone and the tops cleared by late afternoon with the corniced and thickly laden slopes of Cairngorm's summit down 'Coronation Wall' to the Cas headwall showing up well from Glenmore. Westerly aspects and corrie headwalls are well buried with several metres of fresh windslab, no doubt overlying last weeks surface hoar frost. We could see some alpine sized avalanches in the future if your hear a whoomf and this weak layer fails...!
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