Thursday, 21 February 2019

CREAG MEAGAIDH

White out,  despite little snow

Summit selfie 

A sad looking summit area

Best view of the day, towards the end 

Coire Ardair this morning 
Third day out with return clients Chris & Steve. Today we headed to Creag Meagaidh. The cloud stayed low most of the day,  below 700m. Light winds and some drizzle on the summit plateau. We made a circuit of the mountain, descending over Puiste Coire Ardair in the hope of an afternoon view.  We did get one but low down at the end of the day. It definitely did not feel like mid winter. Apparently it was 18C somewhere in The Highlands today, a record high for February. Things can only get better, can't they?
Thanks to Chris and Steve over the last 3 days. Chris has been coming out with me for the last 9 winter seasons. The most loyal client ever.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

WARM, WET, WINDY

Climbers in Coire an t-Sneachda 

What's left

Top of Jacob's Ladder 

No croc of Gold here

Afternoon Lenticular cloud 
Loch Morlich and the Northern Corries 

Day 2 with brothers Chris & Steve. Yet another big rise in temperatures,  as forecasted. A rather drab, warm and drizzly morning in The Cairngorms. It was a windy day, no gueeses which direction the wind was blowing from. A bit more snow loss, hardly anything around the Northern Corries. A bit of sun in the afternoon. There's always March of course,  the finest winter month of the season.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

LOCH AVON

Steve and ice

Feithe Buidhe Slabs 

Hell's Lum Crag 

Coire an Lochain 

Plenty of ice

Plenty of cloud 

Looking good, today
Brothers Chris & Steve have been returning for a winter course for so many years I have lost count! Their annual pilgrimage to the Scottish winter mountains is always a pleasure for me. Three days of winter fun in the Cairngorms kicked off with a great day exploring the Feithe Buidhe Slabs area. I love this place.  Wild, remote and peaceful. Just 3 other folk in the area which made it unusually busy! Plenty of ice and although there is much less snow than normal it was a good covering to  make it worth venturing into. A cold morning with plenty of frozen ground and firm snow gave way to a much milder afternoon and snow softening up.
Unfortunately it's looking mild for next few days. Winter on hold......again.

Monday, 18 February 2019

WINTER RETURNS, GOOD DAY FOR NAVIGATION





The temperatures dropped overnight giving much better walking conditions.  The remaining snow had firmed up and we had fresh snow falling for the first time in a long while! It felt like winter today! High winds had scoured many areas leaving icy conditions on the plateau. Great for cramponing.
Leanne and John were out with me for an Intro to winter hillwalking . They wanted to concentrate the day on Navigation and basic core movement on snow and ice. We even sneaked in a snowshelter for lunch. Brilliant day, feeling like a real winter day out in the mountains.
Unfortunately only one more 'cold' day tomorrow before a return to heat!

Sunday, 17 February 2019

WILD & WINDY







The Highland Hillwalking Club based in Inverness have been coming out with me for their annual winter course over the last 5 seasons.  Always lovely folk to work with. We walked into very high winds this morning but these slowly eased through the day. There was sleet turning to wet snow showers by the afternoon. The snowpack is still very soft but forecast is for temperatures to lower overnight so hopefully a bit easier walking tomorrow.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

A BIT COLDER








A showery,  cloudy morning gave way to a drier afternoon. Just a tad cooler than of late but still disappointing for mid February!  We had a good walk around the Cairngorm plateau today.  Soft snow underfoot making it hard going for much of the time. Nice views in the afternoon looking down to the gem of the Cairngorms,  Loch Avon.  Nice couple of days with Hannah and her family. Good luck to them when they climb Mont Blanc this summer .

Friday, 15 February 2019

WINTER HEATWAVE






More warm temperatures again today. Certainly not like mid February. At least we had lovely sunshine all day today. Despite the strong winds we found shelter in the coire for day 1 of Hannah and her family on their 2 Day of Intro to winter hillwalking. Apparently it is getting a wee bit chillier tomorrow.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

NAVIGATION REFRESHER , PART 2










It's been ridiculously warm last few days. Warren is out with me on a 2 day Navigation refresher course in preparation for his upcoming Winter Mountain Leader assessment in March. Our first day was in glorious winter conditions and temperatures with full snow cover. That was just 3 days ago. Today it was very different. Temperatures in the low teens has depleted the snowpack on the Cairngorms plateau. Despite this we still had plenty of snow to make it feel winter like. Indeed it was poor visibility this morning and a chilly strong wind. We were originally going to head out on Tuesday but very strong winds put a halt to that. So we rescheduled it to today. Plenty of Ptarmigan out on the hills around Cairn Gorm area. All looking for the white stuff. Good cover on certain aspects. A few ski touring folk around. Thankfully something colder on the way by Sunday on the higher summits and plateau. Maybe even some fresh snow!