Winter forecast to return….again!

6th May 2012

Another wintery forecast for tomorrow, Monday. Starting bright but deteriorating around noon with stronger winds and snowfall – 10cm to15cm according to the Met man. We’ve also a lot of soft fresh snow available for transport lying around on the plateau, which by itself would be enough to create issues in lee areas. Local tradition has it that SE winds on Cairngorm are always stronger than official forecasts; the Met are estimating 25mph, gusting 30/35mph, coming from the ESE, but we shall see.

 (Above) The Cas headwall today. 

A thinnish layer of fresh snow covered everything (including a hard crust) and made skiing the headwall a much more agreeable experience than in recent days. If the wind does blow on Monday this will be a place well worth avoiding….
(For the first time ever Coronation Wall was machine groomed and pisted and was a pretty decent ski.)

(Above) Different story on the other side of the hill. 

This is on the S side of Cairngorm itself and holds better, deeper snow than on the Cas side. The little re-entrant had drifted in and was a great spot for some quick stability tests. Nothing bad is going to happen to you skiing over this sort of minor feature and you will get good stability and snowpack info. Quite slabby here where it’s drifted and deeper.

(Above) Graupel. A layer of large graupel grains lies underneath yesterday’s windslab – it’s soft and supports the weight of what’s above poorly. Very easy shears on this layer in the snow pit (and elsewhere) today.

(Above) From the top of Stag Rocks. 

L to R: Carn Etchachan separated from the Shelter Stone Crag by Castlegates Gully (the top is hidden). Pinnacle Gully, with the Forefinger Pinnacle at the top, is just to the right of the Shelter Stone Crag.

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