Cold and drifting snow

31st January 2021

Covid -19
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This blog is intended to provide hazard and mountain condition information to help plan safer mountain trips.
Today was a very cold day with drifting snow. The cold temperatures are causing a large temperature gradient in the snowpack, instabilities within windslab remain.

Snow drifting on a moderate South-South-East wind in Coire an t- Schneacda. There is a lot of soft snow on the plateau areas, there is significant drifting with even moderate wind speeds.

A view into coire an t-Sneachda in a lull in the winds.

Today we also went to lower altitude to check if weakness that is fairly widespread above 850m in North Cairngorms is present elsewhere – video illustrates that it is at lower altitudes, especially where windslab has been deposited over a thin crust – steep slopes 35 deg or so and convex in shape would be most likely as a potential trigger locations.  SW – NW aspects. Field observation on a SW aspects at 750m altitude.

Comments on this post

  • Richard Savill
    31st January 2021 5:13 pm

    Great video, thanks for taking the time to do it. Would you expect to see that weakness at even lower levels as well, considering how low down the snow goes at the minute? Or is it especially weak at higher altitudes thanks to the greater temperature gradient?

    • ncairngormsadmin
      1st February 2021 7:37 am

      Thanks for your comment. Currently underlying the windslab mostly above 700m or so around a thin crust- we will see what happens next as situation is dynamic

  • Iwatt
    1st February 2021 11:29 am

    Great video, good to see risks graphically illustrated making understanding much easier.
    Thank you

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