Hard and Soft

15th February 2023

After the last two spring-like days, it was back to the reality of cold, windy and snowy weather

The old snowpack had re-frozen overnight and is hard and icy above 900 meters, we were very glad of our crampons today.

There is a dusting of new snow above 1000 metres, which is drifting on the gale force South-Westerly winds.  New windslab accumulations are developing on North to East aspects above 1000 metres.  The accumulations are generally shallow and avoidable, deeper deposits will also be found in steep wind sheltered slopes such as coire rims and gully tops.

Tomorrow will be a generally dry day with strengthening South-Westerly winds. The 800 metre freezing level will rise to around 1000 metres during the day and the old snow is expected to remain firm and icy – don’t forget your crampons!

Spindrift in the Ptarmigan bowl.


An aesthetic spine of new wind blown snow on the lee side of a boulder, East side of Cairngorm.


Hard and icy conditions, even small slopes felt quite intimidating.


Cnap Coire na Spreidhe.

Glide cracks above Cnap Coire na Spreidhe. These crevasse like cracks would have developed in the last significant thaw, now re-frozen. They were approx. 15m from the coire edge. Note the new snow forming on both the lee and windward edge.

Glide cracks.

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