Today it is windy and cold at sea level and in the mountains it will be a full on winter’s day. Many will be out enjoying the winter this is the weekend or their time off on the mountains.
Preparation is the key to a good day on the hills not just the days that you are going out but also before to build a history of what has happend in the mountains over the last few days. Do you do this? As I mentioned yesterday it is so important to gain this knowledge. It is easy now with the internet and media available.
“Today in the Cairngorms there will be Westerly gales or severe gales across the hills. These will bring frequent snow showers to the Scottish Highlands. Progressively southward, precipitation will be increasingly constant and increasingly rain to higher tops. Everywhere precipitation focussed western mountains. British Mountain Summary: Based on forecast chart for noon 20 February, 2016 Headline for Cairngorms NP and Monadhliath Severe upland gales; snow showers. From the MWIS Website.”
This weekend weather is wild and the Avalanche forecast is for today in the Cairngorms from the SAIS Forecast – www.sais.gov.uk/
Forecast Snow Stability & Avalanche Hazard – Cairngorms
Widespread unstable windslab will build on Northerly through East to South-Easterly aspects above 800 metres, where avalanches are likely. North-West and Southerly aspects will also be affected due to cross loading. Gullies, approach slopes and corrie rims will be most affected. Unstable cornices will also form above these aspects. Above 500 metres localised unstable deposits will be in many steep wind protected places. Many slopes are wind scoured. The avalanche hazard will be Considerable
Read their blogs and get advice on hill conditions. Plan your day using all the tools that are available but as ever be flexible with your plans. That climb or hill will always be there ! There is some great advice on my friends website CrankitupGear Glencoe Davy Gunn who is an Avalanche expert and well worth a booking a course with him or others into travelling safely in the winter – preparation is the key. Well worth the money and time.
From Davy Gunn – “Just look at the mountains and watch it dump and blow. It’s going somewhere. Worth a bit of talking with your friends and having a think before committing to anything over 30 deg on loaded aspects such as crag aprons or decent routes and having a think about what’s below you in terms of terrain traps and rocky ground. Even micro terrain can slide and have macro consequences”
“As the wind continues over the coming days and changes direction, along with local topographic wind effects expect hot point areas of very high localised risk as well as the prevailing wind leeward slopes.” Davy Gunn
“Without a thaw to summit level expect these instabilities to become deeper and with big consequences and long runouts. It’s only a question of load – you and your mates are the load. How many will it take?”
“Lots of wind and snow over the next few days. Are you going to be the trigger?” Thanks to Davy Gunn for the use of his information.
Tomorrow weather permitting we are holding a winter skills day for our Moray Mountaineering Club in the Cairngorms, the weather looks grim and we will tailor it to the needs of the 6 who are attending. It will be very new for some and a refresher for others hopefully we will all gain something from the day. When was the last time you did a refresher? You can always learn no matter how experienced you think you are!
There are still 2 young people missing on Ben Nevis since last week and the Police and Lochaber are appealing for more information. If you can help please get in touch. Please be careful and take care in these wild conditions as Davy Gunn says ”
“Lots of wind and snow over the next few days. Are you going to be the trigger?”