If you are out and about in Aviemore tomorrow the 8 th Of February Heather is giving talk on Mountain Skills in the Mountain Cafe and it will be a good night the details are below. Even if you do not want a meal you can still get in if you arrive about 1945 for the chat it will be a good night and I am sure you will get some great tales and a reminder on the ways to enjoy the mountains safely..
My pal Ned and Steve have headed out for the Cairngorms today the weather is wet in my village with high winds most of the night. That will have been moving the snow about and care will be needed. They may have a wintry day ahead, with snow forecast and a Considerable Avalanche hazard. I am busy so decided to get sorted out and give today a miss, Ned is up from the South so every day is important I am lucky and can pick and choose and will wait till the weather settles at the weekend where I am hoping to go to the North West.
It is so important to be aware of the weather and the Avalanche hazard before you go out on the hills not just on the day but the previous ones to build up some knowledge of what conditions to expect when you are out.
|Snow is lying on the hills and mountains?Expect the risk of avalanches in many locations.||Read published avalanche reports and consider weather forecasts for wind, precipitation and temperature. Obtain any additional information from other people or organisations on where and what level of hazard exists.||8|
|Windy?Wind above speeds of 15mph will transport snow and form unstable windslab.||Check map and, using wind direction, work out where new snow will probably lie. It will usually form on a range of sheltered or lee slopes. Read avalanche report text carefully to determine the places where new and unstable snow may be accumulating.||18|
|Cold or Warm?Low temperatures over a few days (e.g., freezing levels at 900m and below produces and maintains instabilities in the snowpack, while warm temps and rain at summit levels produce rapid instabilities in the snowpack).||Read avalanche reports regulalry and research snowpack history to identify where avalanche snow instabilities may be. Read weather forecasts daily, noting weather patterns, including wind speed and direction, temperature, precipitation amount and freezing levels.|
It is well worth looking at the SAIS Avalanche report in detail before you go out and in the days before to build a history.
Strong Winds – Heavy Drifting
6th February 2017
A day of poor visibility above 950 metres, very strong winds and severe drifting. There is deposits of windslab above 950 metres, this is very weak. Although limited above 950 metres or so, I would be suspect of any new snow deposits as the windslab overlies a weak soft layer. this is widespread on all Northerly aspects.
The SAIS publish daily reports of observed and forecast, avalanche, snow, and mountain conditions for the 5 most popular mountain areas of Scotland. A must read for all mountaineers in winter.
High winds and heavy snow are not a great combination so until the weather settles a bit take care out in the hills and pick a route that is relevant to the weather conditions and your limitations?