Tuesday, 30 December 2008

ABOVE US ONLY SKY






















What a fantastic temperature inversion on the mountains around Loch Tay today. With sub zero temperatures over the last few days, a light dusting of new snow and hard neve, water ice and frozen ground it was pure delight. The top of the cloud was at around 700m with blue skies and bright sunshine. Superb visability in every direction. Quite a few folk on Ben Lawers today, we took the quiet route up on the South ridges from Tombreck, the finest walking way up with great views over to An Stuc and Lochan nan Cat. Dissapointing to see quite a few folk totally under-dressed and ill equiped for winter mountains - no rucksacs, ice axes, crampons or even boots. Settled, cold conditions are set to continue through to 2009. HAPPYNEW YEAR!

Sunday, 28 December 2008

NEVE NEW YEAR




It was another day of sub zero temperatures above 400m today. There was some good lines of neve on Carn Gorms Eastern crags which were linked up to get to the summit. There was a very cold wind chill on the tops in the moderate Easterly breeze. A great mix of neve, water ice and rime ice on the hills. Looking cold and dry for the next few days here in the Highlands. Still plenty of excellent neve in the sheltered gullies to play in.

Friday, 26 December 2008

NEVE ON TARMACHAN




Cary and I were on Tarmachan today. The snow above 700m is well frozen and excellent cramponing terrain. Still quite big areas of snow to play in. The weather has been quite benign over the last few days, dry, mostly cloudy and lowering temps. It was a much colder day on the tops today. Forecast looks the same, at least for the next few days.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

WHITE CHRISTMAS




I was on the Eastern slopes of Meall Greigh today, getting a white Christmas with a 200m snow slope to the summit. The snow is now well consolidated, there is now only snow in gullies and above about 700m. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

PLENTY SNOW


Despite the warm spell there was plenty of snow on the North corrie of Ben Ghlas today, up to one metre in places and starting to consolidate with the freeze thaw temps.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

ALPINE CHRISTMAS?


The weeather looks very settled over the next few days with a big high pressure influence over the Highlands. With snow on the tops and clear skies forecast for the Perthshire hills it should be Alpine like on the mountains over Christmas. We are running winter skills and guided hillwalking days right through the Christmas and New Year period. Bookings can be made on: 077 2000 1326.


Monday, 15 December 2008

WINTER STILL IN THE LAKES







We still have snow on the hills despite the rise in temperatures today. The Highlands seem to be looking good still while here in The Lake District today there was still snow on the tops, above 600m. It was a good day for winter navigation on the hills today, with a cloudbase down to 500m. We were on the hills to the East of Troutbeck, some depth of snow still in places and the snow was becoming consolidated with the freeze/thaw cycles. Great hills for navigation, we didn't see a sole all day. Looks like a rise in temperatures through the rest of the week and some very windy days to come, with snowfall on the highest tops.
The Scottish Avalanche Info Service has started this week, check out: http://www.sais.gov.uk/ for daily avalanche reports through out the winter season.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

CLEAR SKIES AND WINTER LAKELAND HILLS







A stunning winters day again in the Lakes. Skiddaw was very busy today. Beautiful clear views, great snow with ice in places on north facing aspects.

Friday, 5 December 2008

WILD AND WINTERY STILL


Yesterday was a day of very wintery, wild and stormy weather here in the Lakes, with roads becoming very icy. Today was a great day for navigation on the hills 'back of Skidda'. On Knott and Great Calva it was a day of map and compass in the low cloud and snow showers. No one on the hills here today.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

BLENCATHRA







A beautiful day in the Lakes today. Clear skies and a good covering of snow on Blencathra.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

WINTER DOWN SOUTH




Its been full on winter conditions, even down here in The Lake District. I was on St. Sunday Crag and Fairfield today in constant snow showers and strong Northerly winds. Not a sole to be seen on the fells today, it felt more like the Highlands.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

THE ARCTIC TIMES







It was another beautiful, clear, crisp and cold day here in the Highlands. Anita, Peter and I were out on a wee hill East of Schieallion - Meall Tairneachan. The snow was at all levels and we were treated with wonderful views all round. Yet another wonderful sunset. Winter conditions are set to continue for the next few days at least.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

FORGOT TO PACK THE SUNGLASSES







It was an absolute stonker of an afternoon here in the Highlands after two days of stormy, snowy conditions. There was a full cover of snow down to 300m as I traversed from Meall Greigh to Meall Garbh on the Lawers range. I had another lazy noon start just timed right as the high cloud drifted off the tops leaving blue skies and bright sunshine. There wasn't a breath of wind on the summits so it was bliss strolling along the tops and a beautiful lowereing sun on the final summit looking across to An Stuc. Lots of windslab forming on Southern aspects, the snow cover is substantial. Doesn't get much better than today on the hills.



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Tuesday, 25 November 2008

CAM CHREAG




It was another fine day on the hills. I was in the Cam Chreag corrie on Tarmachan and went up one of the gullies. The temperature rose in the afternoon sun, which was very pleasent but late afternoon there was some cloud on the tops. Looks like mild temperatures and some rain next couple of days, then cooler over the weekend so shaping up to be good wintery conditions again.


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Monday, 24 November 2008

SNOWY SLOPES & SUNSETS









It was a fabulous afternoon here in the Highlands. I had a late start to catch the best of the weather, taking in one of the wonderful wee gullies in Tarmachan's Eastern corrie. There were pockets of windslab on top of ice and frozen turf. Strong, very cold Northerly winds on the top. A beutiful sunset on the way down, the sun sinking inbetween Ben More and Stob Binnein. Magic. Another cold and dry day is forcast for tomorrow before a milder spell on Wednesday.


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Saturday, 22 November 2008

NICE ICE, CREAG LOISGTE




It was another very cold day with sub zero temperatures on the hill. I found some wonderful ice up in the Creag Loigste area on Ben Lawers. The grade 1 gully was a great place to be, quiet and feeling remote plus sheltered from the Northerly winds again. Excellent water ice up the runell and frozen turf. More snow on the way tomorrow and staying cold, excellent.


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Friday, 21 November 2008

THE NORTH WIND DO BLOW AND.................




There were constant snow showers today all the way down to 300m. I was well sheltered from the NW winds in the Cam Chreag corrie of Tarmachan. Gullies were filling up nicely with snow. It was a steady 30mph wind on the tops, just enough for a healthy glow at the end of the day. With graupel, frozen ground and the final steep path to Tarmachan's summit well iced up, winter is definately here.
More snow and high winds on the Northerly airflow is forecast over the next few days, take care out there. Tarmachan Mountaineerings' winter skills courses are now up and running
http://www.tarmachan-mountaineering.org.uk/ and I am receiving bookings.


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Sunday, 16 November 2008

BRRRRR







It was a beautifully sunny day today but a biting NE light wind on the tops. There is just a few patches of snow around and a dusting of new snow above 900m on Ben Lawers. What snow there is is well frozen. Very pleasent on the descent in glorious blue skies.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

SNOW HANGING ON




It was a bit wild on the tops today with 50mph+ Westerly winds. The weather forecast didn't quite manage what we got, it was mostly cloudy and drizzly showers much of the day. I found a stretch of snow sttill in Beinn Ghlas's Northern corrie. There was over half a metre of snow in places which should be there for the rest of the winter.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

ANOTHER WINTERS DAY







Still cold wintery weather here in the Highlands. Ian, Bill and I were on Meall Corranaich today, we went up the shallow gully from Coire Odhar which finishes directly at the summit. The ground wasn't frozen despite the sub zero temps. Some deep accumulations of snow in places as we descended. There was a very cold Northerly, moderate wind feeling like mid winter on the tops.