Fresh snow for 2023

1st January 2023

It was a pleasant start to 2023 with fresh snow down to glen level overnight. For frequent visitors to the forecasts and blogs, snow was expected, but we got approximately three times the total amount anticipated for the day.

At 9am 9cm had already been measured at the Cairngorm Mountain Base Station, and the snow gates were closed while the road was cleared. Up on the mountain this new snow fell in predominately calm conditions under little wind. This gave a fairly uniform  blanket of cover on all aspects and the absence of wind resulted in very little new windslab development.

Some weaknesses still persist in windslab accumulations from the previous days due to the cold conditions, notably on North to East aspects above 900 metres. These are generally found in steep convex terrain.

Tomorrow is expected to be a fine day, but with moderate winds will result in snow drift and new windslab accumulations, again on North to East aspects above 900 metres.


Fresh snow alongside the snow fences in the ski area. But you might notice that it wasn’t stuck to the signs as in previous days, being much lighter and colder snow than of late. Some would describe it as Scottish Powder.


These climbers were on foot today and where doing a good job of breaking trail for the parties behind. Good karma…


Visibility was poor today, but in a few brief clear spells I was able to observe small clues as to the nature of last nights snowfall. This occurred under calm conditions for the most part, and did not result in the snow drift and windslab development that was anticipated. But there are no absolutes, there are signs of the wind having been at work in the sheltered (lee) side of these boulders on a North-West aspect at 900 metres.


The wind sculpted edge of the Fiacaill a’Choire Chais. Note the skiers heading to Point 1141.


A fresh blanket of soft fresh snow for today. 8cm was recorded at 9am at the Cairngorm Mountain Base Station, three times the total expected for the day. Enough for a few good turns, but beware the rocks are not far below the surface as I found out at my cost today!

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