17th January 2022
A dry day in the Northern Cairngorms with moderate winds from the West-North-West, made for an excellent opportunity to visit the plateau and check out the snow distribution.
The reality is that the snow cover is sparse and patchy. At lower elevations just isolated patches remain in sheltered stream beds, or steep banks such as the moraines in Coire an t-Sneachda. These ribbons of snow give way to exposed boulder fields in Coire an t-Sneachda. With remaining patches of snow isolated on steep ground such as coire back walls, gullies and East facing ridge flanks.
Despite the relatively mild temperatures (see below), the snow surface remained widely frozen particularly above 950-1000 metres. This is due to the current high pressure system, humidity and the effect of radiation cooling.
Some figures: 9 degrees Celsius on Cairngorm Summit, 9 degrees Celsius at Inverness Airport, 6.1 degrees Celsius at Cairnwell Summit.
Little change is expected tomorrow and the avalanche hazard will remain low. Other hazards remain, notably that of firm and icy snow in many steep locations. An unchecked slip or fall is likely to be consequential at the moment given the paucity of good run-outs!
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