A thin cover of new snow

20th March 2023

A thin cover of new snow gave the Cairngorms a fresh wintry feel, before it melted again during the afternoon.  Initially it was bright and sunny, but by late morning a thin shroud of cloud capped the highest summits.  Underfoot conditions are mostly bare ground with ribbons of snow below 900 metres,  patches of soft spring snow mid mountain and a breakable crust at higher levels.

A bright start to the day. Views of Coire an Lochain with Lurchers gully to the right.

An East facing slope above Strath Nethy. These surface instabilities, most likely developed as it turned milder towards the end of last week.

Again looking from the top of Cnap Coire na Spreidhe, more surface instabilities can be seen on the East facing slopes above Strath Nethy.

Snow holes in Ciste Mhearad.

Thaw conditions on the summit of Cairngorm

In the distance the upper buttresses of Coire and Lochain,  the Fiacaill of Sneachda, and in the foreground Fiacaill a Choire Chais.

Comments on this post

  • Dave Cullen
    20th March 2023 7:59 pm

    Could I just check please about today’s snow profile? The “profile table” data indicate partially decomposed new snow sitting on a melt-freeze crust at 5cm depth with a max hardness difference of 4. The “avalanche data” section above indicates a “Fail at 15cm”. Is this correct or should that read “fail at 5cm”?

    • ncairngormsadmin
      21st March 2023 10:46 am

      Hi Dave
      Thanks for your interest.
      To answer your question the snowpack failed at 15cm on the soft wet grains.

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