Off on a winter skills day in the Cairngorms the forecast is wild so we will have to see what happens. What is winter skills, a big question? Our plan with Ray was to help some of the club to gain experience of winter walking. We will depending on the weather talk about: Preparation before we go use of the Avalanche and weather forecast and conditions, route choice/finding,avalanche awareness, personal gear, group gear, walking with an ice, crampons and cutting steps, ice axe breaking,navigation, group welfare and many others. Like anything it depends on the weather.
We have a bus meet leaving at 0715 from Forres, so an early start. We will just have to see what happens, maybe a low level wander but at least we will get out.
The search on Ben Nevis continues in wild weather yesterday and I have just heard Lochaber are out again for 2 climbers missing near the summit. I do not envy them at all and hope the mountain gods look after them! It was wild enough at sea – level. Anyway we will see how far the bus gets, plenty of money for the cafe with me!
Weather and avalanche info today
Mountain Summary: Based on forecast chart for noon 21 February, 2016 Headline for Cairngorms NP and Monadhliath Upland gales. Snow & hail showers, mainly west
Westerly 40 to 50mph, gusts 60mph in exposure. Generally winds progressively stronger northwards across region. Close to freezing from lower slopes up; terrain widely frozen. -4C; but where directly exposed to wind, will feel like -20C. Bursts of sunshine, and very good visibility, especially Deeside. But expect appalling or near zero visibility in snow and cloud. 50% Cloud base likely to change quickly, temporarily below 700m near precipitation. But intermittently above 1000m west of A9, and 1150m toward Deeside. Frequently covering higher areas Occasional snow and hail showers, at times frequent over several hours near/west of A9, most widespread afternoon. Fewest showers Deeside. Temporary whiteout. Snow showers Considerable buffeting and occasional sudden squalls. Severe wind chill
THE AVALANCHE HAZARD WILL BE CONSIDERABLE
Forecast Snow Stability & Avalanche Hazard
Unstable windslab will become more widespread especially on North-East to South-East aspects above 800 metres. Here avalanches are likely particularly in steep terrain such as gullies, approach slopes and corrie rims. Northerly and Southerly aspects will be affected due to cross loading. Above 500 metres unstable windslab will continue to develop in manysteep lee areas. Wind exposed slopes will be mostly scoured. Cornices will be unstable. The avalanche hazard will be Considerable
Forecast Weather Influences
Snowfall continuing above 300 metres throughout the forecast period. Winds will be strong to gale force Westerly. The freezing level will lower to 400 metres.