Thursday, January 31, 2013

Heavy snow today

good ski-ing in GlenCoe and looks set for a great week-end.

After the strong winds (104 mph), there were 2!! 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dry but windy 

looking into Coire Gabhail (lost valley)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Still plenty of snow left after the brief thaw.

Icy surface layer

thawing below 850 metres today.

Climbing conditions improving.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Heavy snow showers with very strong winds.

Buachaille Etive Beag - Stob nan Caber

Buachaille Etive Mor

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A bright spell before the heavy snow showers.

Summit temperatures became plus three degrees Celsius last night, and it rained. This led to a brief melt freeze cycle which helped stabalise the old snowpack.  However, heavy snow showers through the day soon started building up fresh layers of unstable windslab. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Coire nan Lochan and Red Deer

Coire nan Lochan crags.

The Three Sisters.

Red deer just above the Coire nan Lochan path.

Friday, January 25, 2013

New snow which became more establish this afternoon

Buachaille Etive Mor

Aonach Eagach showing 'Blue Riband'

Stob Coire nam Beith

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Buachaille Etive Beag.

There is lots of ice streaks and frozen water courses in Glen Coe at the moment. Although the icicle of Elliots downfall has not touched down yet, it is certainly getting there.

 Looking over to Buachaille Etive Mor from Buachaille Etive Beag. 

 Looking along the Ridge to Buachaille Etive Beag to Stob Dubh.

Looking over to Stob Coire Sgreamhach and Bidean nam Bian beyond. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Stob Coire nan Lochan

Coire nan Lochan cliffs

View East-North-East from Coire nan Lochan.

Glen Coe Three Sisters.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Snow Day.

The snow that the rest of the country seems to be have recently arrived in Glen Coe today. A fair bit must have fallen last night, and it continued through most of the day. The combination of fresh soft windslab, older hard windslab, and the very old and firm ice snow, each of which is not particularly well bonded to the others, has created a complex and variable snowpack at the moment. Take care if you are planning to be out and about over the next couple of days. 

Visibility was poor so no great landscape pictures I am afraid. 

 I found some big deep drift of fresh snow, over a metre in this location. There were also some very fresh weak cornices along the side of a shallow gully line. 

A quick stability test found the fresh deposits of soft windslab easily sheared off the older harder windslab deposits formed by the high winds last Thursday/Friday.

The older harder windslab is also not well bonded to the underlying snow-ice. When walking back down this drift of the older windslab cracked and slid out from around my feet easily, and that was on a very easy angled slope.
Snow building up at about 500 metres where visibility was a bit better. This is that icefall which was pictured in the blog last Wednesday (16th). Most of the new snow has fallen in the past 24 hours.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Stob Coire nan Lochan

The crags of Coire nan Lochan appearing during a brief thinning of mist.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Strong Southerlies

Strong Southerly winds have scoured many aspects. Although it still looks wintry, the hills to the North are definitely not looking as uniformly white as they did yesterday or the day before.

 The soft snow that was present has been blown off and has either built up deeper drifts or has dissipated into the atmosphere. Even on lee aspects, such as the hillside on the left which has a North-Easterly aspects, there is not much snow.

 However, close to exposed ridges, there was a fair bit of snow being transported and deposited.

 Spindrift blowing off exposed ridges to the South-West.

In some locations, especially in sheltered locations adjacent to exposed ridges,  unstable areas of hard slab were being deposited. I came across this crack in a large drift behind some rocks on an Easterly aspect around 950 meters. It ran for about 4 metres. This is a pretty clear indicator for poor stability within these deposits.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Clearing up but turning windy

It started of quite grey and overcast in Glen Coe. I headed up the ridge which bounds the West Side of Coire na Tulaich on Buachaille Etive Mor. Through the day the skies cleared to give some good views. However, the wind started to get up which began to move snow about at higher levels. 
 When it is cold for a long time lots of ice falls and ice smears form at lots of different levels in Glen Coe. Although probably not thick enough to climb, I saw plenty of icefalls starting to form such as in the picture at the entrance to the Lost Valley. 
 Some nice ice crystals I found beside the path.

 Ice making some of the paths hazardous at various points. 

Snow was starting to be blown about at higher levels around midday. By the time I drove back down the glen at about 2pm,  I could see plumes of spindrift being blown off the tops from the road.

 Not a bad view. The hills of Glen Coe from the top of Coire na Tulaich, Buachaille Etive Mor.

Looking North to the Mamores. Ben Nevis and Aonach Beag in the distance.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Another cold day.

 The Buachaille this morning.

South-East across a somewhat bleak looking Rannoch Moor.

 Looking North with the East end of the Mamores in the distance.

Ice forming rapidly in water courses in the current cold conditions.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A cold clear day.

Buachaille Etive Mor

Aonach Eagach

The Coe