Friday, 9 March 2018


Late afternoon, Fiacaill Coire Sneacda
Coire an t-Sneachda (Note the Crown Wall from the avalanche)
Ben Macdui, Cairn Toul & Sgor an Lochan Uaine
Fabulous light on the Fiacaill
Beinn Mheadhoin & Shelterstone
Loch Morlich from The Fiacaill

Lovely cornices above Jacob's Ladder
High altitude Shrew looking for his snow hole
Cairn Gorm from Alladin's Couloir
More cornices
A fine sunset at 1141m

Buttress & Ridge

We've enjoyed some fine weather over the last few days here in the Cairngorms. Nice to get good views and sunshine after last weeks miserable low cloud cover. It was showery and a tad windy this morning but it was forecast for a big improvement later in the day. With so many weather forecasts available nowadays and being more and more accurate you can really plan you time in the mountains better. The Met Office forecast for the Northern Cairngorms was for sunshine and blue skies and lighter winds after 4pm. That is exactly what we got! So I set off for some photography with this time slot in mind. Brilliant snow cover all the way to 600m at the moment. Below 900m it is consolidating well and some wind scoured areas so easy walking. I headed up to the foot of the Fiacaill Coire Sneacda, by this time it was 2pm and the last of the short snow showers had finished. Forecast was spot on! 30% chance of a shower and sunshine around this time! It was brilliant hard snow along the lower section of the ridge and easy cramponing whilst taking in the views. The Crown Wall of the recent avalanche in Coire an t-Sneacda was very clear in the afternoon sunshine. There was also a large natural avalanche at the same period over in Coire an Lochain too. Check out the SAIS blog from a couple of days ago for details. Of course ridges are always the safest places to be in any avalanche risk. The only folk I saw today was a group of mountain rescue guys from the RAF who were training on the ridge and just heading down. The rest of the afternoon I had the place to myself. With fine light it was just a brilliant time for some photography. Just as I was capturing the sunset from the 1141m summit, a wee shrew was scurrying about looking for his snow hole. I'm always amazed how such a tiny animal can survive up at at these altitudes in winter. A stroll down the Cais ridge in superb hard windslab snow to end a fab day. Time your day around the weather, when it comes!

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