Wintry Looking

16th November 2023

Prior to the start of the season on the 14th December, a standby service is provided. Forecasters have been monitoring the weather conditions as well as making field observations in the Northern Cairngorms and Lochaber.

The snow cover of recent days is largely superficial, although the snow line has gradually crept down the hill to achieve a “wintery look” above 800-850 metres. There are some localised deeper deposits on West and North-West facing slopes above 900 metres. The freezing level was around 950 metres today.

Some isolated instabilities may be present around the coire rim, particularly above West through to North-West aspects around 1000 metres. These are often present early in the season in cold temperatures when the snow pack is shallow. It is worth being switched on to this possibility as the relatively cold conditions persist though Friday. Some images from today appear below.

Unfortunately, milder conditions are anticipate for the weekend which are likely to result in significant snow loss.


The Fiacaill Buttress, Coire an t-Sneachda. The cliffs of No.4 Buttress in Coire an Lochain are just visible on the far skyline.


Looking into Coire an t-Sneachda from the Fiacaill a’Choire Chais ridge. Note the deeper snow accumulations in the foreground with the small tell tale wisps of snow that have been transported in the wind. Although this is a small slope it is a good proxy for steeper North-West aspects where there are slightly deeper accumulations.


A lone walker leaving the summit of Cairn Gorm with their dog. Nice day for it!


West and North-West facing slopes close to the Mess of Pottage in Coire an t-Sneachda. Deeper accumulations can be seen in the foreground, along with small cornices around the coire rim.

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