It is still winter on the hills!

Yesterday I had to visit Glenmore Lodge near Aviemore  to have a chat with Mark Diggins who heads the Scottish Avalanche Information Service as we are working on a historical program on Scottish Avalanches from 1980 up to the present date. Mark was up on the hill till late afternoon updating the Avalanche information for the Cairngorms. I had some time and managed a short wet dreich walk up to Ryvoan and met some of the grafters in the  Mountaineering Council Of Scotland out for a walk up the wee Buachaille (the Corbett Meall a’ Bhuachaille a great viewpoint for the Cairngorms). It was great to catch up and to see them out enjoying the hill despite the weather.   I was pretty wet when I got back to Glenmore Lodge and I still  tender as my  bruised ribs after my chest infection  are keeping me off the high hills. Yet it was good to be out and the path up to Ryvoan and Bynack Mor that was badly damaged by the heavy winter rain has been repaired and is in great condition. Well done all concerned. The path was busy with so many out enjoying the walk despite the weather. It was cold but an enjoyable short walk in a bonnie area.

Heather and Neil Mountaineering Council Of Scotland Stalwarts.

Heather and Neil Mountaineering Council Of Scotland Stalwarts.

I was amazed how Mark said there was fresh snow and poor visibility when he did his report for today and more cold weather and snow on the way. They have done another incredible job this winter in passing out the information on the conditions on the hills and the Blogs make great reading a must for all winter lovers.


Well done all in SAIS great people who do a grand job.

Well done all in SAIS great people who do a grand job.

At Glenmore what a marvellous facility it is now and worth a visit just to see it . I then caught up and had a chat with George Mac The Mountain Leadership man in the next office another old pal. I then managed a look in Aviemore for some summer boots but the price scared me, (maybe I should try crowd – funding and then off to see Ray and Myrtle Sefton in Aviemore old pals and hill companions. Ray Sefton was my Team Leader for many years and taught me so much. Myrtle is also a great hill companion and we had some incredible days out on the hills it was great to catch up and get a cup of tea and the offer of a meal. I had to decline as its my diet day and headed home. It was a good drive back and the hills started to clear how I miss them but I will soon be back. The Dava Moor was snow-less and the Moray Firth view from the moor is always inspiring, how lucky am I to live in such a place and be so near so many wonder wild places.

Ryvoan March

So if your out and about be aware that winter is still about and ice axe and warm clothing and good navigation is still essential. There is still lots of snow about so be careful and enjoy these wild, wonderful places.

Avalanche Report for Northern Cairngorms

Issued 05/04/2016

FOR PERIOD 18:00 Tue 05/04/2016 TO 18:00 Wed 06/04/2016

Forecast Snow Stability & Avalanche Hazard

In most areas the old snow pack will improve in stability and will be generally stable. However new deposits of unstable snow will accumulate on wind sheltered mainly North-East to Easterly aspects above 1000 metres with steep and convex terrain in gully exits, corrie rims and the lee of ridge crests most affected. Cornices on these aspects will be unstable. Glide cracks will continue to develop on East aspects due to snow creep. The avalanche hazard will be Considerable

Forecast Weather Influences

Freezing levels will gradually lower from 1000 metres in the evening to 800 metres by the end of the forecast period. Dry overnight with snowfall developing in the early hours and continuing throughout the day. Winds will be moderate to strong South-West to Westerly.

Cold windy and showery. The sudden showers of hail and snow (except lowest slopes) and here and there, thunder. N Scotland, more varied, in some areas a lull in the wind and precipitation, but a following deterioration may well be sudden.


Windy, snow showers developing together with areas of low cloud.


Westerly, 25 and 35mph. Risk 45mph later afternoon for a few hours.


Anticipate onset of considerable buffeting and wind chill on higher areas.


Snow showers; may set in for a couple of hours

Occasional snow after dawn, will change to a few showers by mid-morning. Into the afternoon, showers heavier and may in some areas give almost constant precipitation for a couple of hours resulting in risk of whiteout. Mostly rain lowest slopes.


Intermittently extensive

Will vary; most cloud confined above 750m and for a few hours middle of day above 1000m Cairngorms NP. Base will drop in precipitation to 650m, locally 550m.




Patches of sun, mainly morning. Visibility excellent, but suddenly appalling where in cloud & snow.


-2 to 0C. Will feel as cold as minus 14 Celsius directly in the wind.


700 to 950m.


All mountain areas of Britain from Thursday 7th April 2016

Areas of low pressure will continue to be centred over Britain until early next week and then mostly south of Britain. As a result temperatures will remain below freezing point on higher areas, most constantly Scottish Highlands, where fresh snow may well accumulate. Precipitation, occurring most days, will be mostly showery in character.


About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Avalanche info, Enviroment, Equipment, Friends, Gear, Mountain Biking, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Views Mountaineering, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to It is still winter on the hills!

  1. Cheers Heavy! Good to meet up again – and no-one would guess your chest infection or bruised ribs from the pace you were setting! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Heavy great to see you again. Been to long 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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