Friday, 5 April 2019

SNOW SHOEING IN SPRING

Deep snow and great cloud formations 

Snowshoes today

Glorious afternoon 

Coire an t-Sneachda looking quiet

Fiacaill Coire Sneachda very quiet 

Fiacaill 

Fiacaill Chais

Wonderful late winter

Gullies loaded in strong winds

Easier going on ridges

Snow aretes

Breaking trail

Wind scoured 

Alladin's 

Warmer by afternoon 

No tourers out this way?
We had a good couple of days of heavy snowfall here in the Cairngorms. With a Northerly wind the NE Highlands will always get the best of the snow. The snow gates at Glenmore were closed on Wednesday. We also had snow lying at Aviemore level. Friday looked the best day to get out and indeed it was. With deep snow accumulations it was always going to be a tough time breaking trail. A day to get the snowshoes out. There was just 3 folk behind me as I broke trail over to the foot of the Fiacaill Coire Sneachda ridge. It was hard going even with the snowshoes on. Conditions for these did improve above 800m. It's always a decision whether to take them out in the first place. Does the extra weight make it worth while? I only ever get a handful of days each winter that they make life easier in the Scottish mountains. My original plan was to head  up to Ben Macdui but after half an hour I quickly shelved that plan! It took double the time to get to the bottom of the Fiacaill this morning.  Up on the ridge itself it was much easier going as the strong SE winds had blown it clear. Great fun higher up with some big drifts filling in the awkward section this making it easier. The snow, of course,  is very much unconsolidated. Along the plateau it was mainly wind scoured and big areas of bare ground. The strong 40mph+ winds had eased by mid afternoon and bags more sunshine. I saw no one else until the foot of the Fiacaill Chais ridge. Great snow cover down here and an absolute joy to descend in glorious Spring sunshine.
Winter continues .........

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

APRIL SHOWERS (OF SNOW)

Another fine day for Mountain Hare photography
Coire an Lochain 
The locals outnumbered climbers in the Northern Corries today
Twin Burns area
Mountain Hare still in their winter pelage
April showers
Reindeer enjoying the cold conditions
Enjoying the sun
More winter like than most of February
Graupel

Typical April skies
Wonderful eyes
The temperatures on the tops were well below freezing today. A lovely clear skies morning with no wind in the corries. Nice conditions for more wildlife photography. The ptarmigan are just into their Spring plumage but the Mountain Hare are hanging on with their winter pelage. Getting to know one character in particular recently. Seems quite photogenic and happy with close quarters, another hour of photographing in the sun and sitting on dry ground. There were showers of snow in the afternoon, with graupel thrown in. Staying in winter mode for the rest of this week. A big dump of snow coming tomorrow.

Sunday, 31 March 2019

BEINN EIGHE, TORRIDON

Liathach from Beinn Eighe
Fresh snow on Spidean Coire nan Clach
Still winter in the corries
Coire Mhic Fhearchair & Tripple Buttress of Beinn Eighe
Liathach looking moody
A weekend away in the most spectacular of areas in the Scottish Highlands, Torridon. A weekend is just not enough, try a week. Or more! Beinn Eighe is one of the 'Big 3' classic mountains in the area. It doesn't have the scrambling fun like Liathach and Beinn Alligin but it's complex and huge ridge line makes up for this. It also has some fine views, especially towards the chiseled outline of Liathach to the west.
The temperatures had dropped enough on Friday to leave a sprinkling of fresh snow above 900m or so. A definite winter feel to the day. It was mostly a dry and clear day with just a few very brief snow showers.
Tripple Buttress
Sunshine & snow showers
Sunday dawned completely clear skies and lower temperatures with hardly a breeze on the tops. The cloud quickly rolled in but it was another fine day to be out on the summits with superb views. The sun quickly melted most of the fresh snow from the previous day. The old snow pack in the corries had firmed up an it was great to crampon up Coire an Laoigh for a second time, why not?

Blue skies above Liathach on Saturday
Liathach & Ruadh-Stac Mor
Looking north towards The Fisherfield Forest
The Eastern section of Beinn Eighe
Ruadh-Stac Mor
Winter conditions in The Highlands for all this week. A lot more snow forecast, even to lower levels.
As I always state (every year), winter ain't over until at least mod April.

Thursday, 28 March 2019

MOUNTAIN HARE PHOTOGRAPHY DAY

Having a scratch
A nibble
Dozzing
Alert
Coire an Lochain

Nice afternoon

Strathspey not so sunny
Pondering

Scratching

Yawn or growl?
A lovely day to be out in The Cairngorms. Dry and some great sunny spells this afternoon. There was a stiff wind blowing and although the temperatures were high in the Strath, it felt chilly in the wind.
A fine day for photography once you found some shelter. A great afternoon with the Mountain Hare. One in particular was just happy dozing and scratching and quite happy for close quarters with human beings. Over 1 hour 20 minutes with one wonderful guy.
Winter returns again over the weekend with much colder temperatures and more snowfall on the mountains. The Hare's are still in their winter coat. Me too come the weekend.
With Spring not too far away it's a great time for photography of our wonderful wildlife. Once again my ptarmigan photography workshops are starting to book. If you're interested in joining on one of my photography tours check details on my website.