10th February 2023

The view from my snow profile location was practically Dickensian. The dark laden sky, an absence of snow and gloves that were soaking wet in seconds, certainly did not create an optimum working environment.

The mountains were subject to a slow thaw as the freezing level rose above the summits early in the day. Unpleasant as it was, this will slowly consolidate and stabilise the existing snowpack. So an alternative perspective would be that this is a good thing, creating a stable base for further snow fall to come.

That said, there are some lingering weaknesses in the moist windslab. These will persist on North-East to South-East aspects above 1000 metres, and will be confined to steep locations such as coire rims, scarp slopes and ridge flanks. These weakness are likely to diminish in time as the layers are destroyed and the snowpack becomes more homogeneous.

Depending on your view point (or perspective) the distribution of the remaining snowpack looks very different as the two images below highlight. The greatest snow cover remains in the high north facing coires and plateau areas. As I was walking out I was thinking of the of The Guardian’s 1986 ‘Points of View’ advert where a skinhead appears to be wrestling a man’s briefcase from his hands, but an alternative view gives a very different impression.

Hopefully winter isn’t being wrestled away from us. I am trying to take a broader view… [Video is embedded below].


Perspectives. I was looking east today from my snow profile site across to Cairn Gorm, the view being less than positive for most of us winter sports enthusiasts. Here the west facing slopes have been subject to scouring in the wind and rain of recent days, making them pretty much devoid of snow. Compare and contrast with yesterdays image taken from the flanks of Cairn Gorm looking east…


Yesterdays image looking east gives an altogether snowier looking scene. Even after the dusting of superficial snow has been lost. Perspective is everything…


Cairngorm Granite – Miadan Creag an Leth-choin.


Looking into Coire an Lochain, the snowline is even slowly creeping up towards the base of ‘The Great Slab’ which lies under the crag aprons in the centre of the image.

Comments on this post

  • Kevin
    13th February 2023 9:57 am

    An interesting perspective 🙂 and the blog is always an pleasant little vignette into the outdoors.
    Your continued work is so valuable to those of us that are remote from the hills during the week and always planning the next weekend. Without the reports and assessments, which I realise how much effort goes into them, we wouldn’t have half the insights into whether routes are safe or viable. Thanks for all the hard work on our behalf, it is appreciated.
    Long may your gloves stay dry.

    • ncairngormsadmin
      18th February 2023 4:07 pm

      Thanks for all your great comments Kevin

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