Drifting snow

22nd February 2023

It is quite a different picture when compared to yesterday, with a return to winter and new snow lying down to 600m this morning. The Cairngorms were shrouded in cloud all day, not giving much opportunity for photographs.

It may not have looked like much snow had fallen at lower altitudes. However, with significant drifting at higher elevations, accumulations are gaining depth. Unstable wind slab is building on North-East through East to South aspects above 900m.

Where the wind has eroded the new snow to expose the old snowpack, this is firm and icy.

Looking down towards Loch Morlich. Only a superficial dusting of new snow at this level. Meall a’Bhuachaille catching the sun on the right-hand side of the photo, looking a lot more wintery than yesterday.


This was about the best view into the Northern Coires, with poor visibility above 900m.


Drifting snow. It wasn’t snowing at this point and the snow on the pink case had gathered in the time it took to get the camera out, all blowing in from the North-West. Notice the volume of new snow (around 30cm) on top of the old snow, in this wind sheltered location.


Sign of instability within the new windslab.


This team were pleased with the return to winter and the poor visibility that hung over the Cairngorms today. It was a good opportunity to put their new winter navigation skills into context.

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