29th December 2023

A widespread crust covers the Cairngorms on all aspects and elevations. In fact, it appears that this is present in some form or another over all the forecast areas.

This made for problematic travel on skis today, while progress on foot was also tiring in some places. The snow is still soft below, fine if you stay on the surface but somewhat tedious if you break through. As far as snow stability is concerned, this crust strengthens the snowpack considerably despite the soft snow below. The most likely explanation is the presence of freezing rain last night.

Looking ahead snow is anticipated above 900 metres tomorrow afternoon, although amounts are expected to be small in the Northern Cairngorms area. The greatest amounts are likely in the Southern Cairngorms area, and it is also worth checking the Southern Cairngorms forecast if heading out on a bigger trip, or one which takes in the southern periphery of the Northern Cairngorms area.

Despite the relatively pleasant conditions today, a return to storm force winds is anticipated for tomorrow. Buckle up, normal service will resume…

The firm and icy snow surface will be consequential in the event of a fall, or if blown in an unanticipated direction. The avalanche hazard will be low.


A widespread rain crust has developed at all elevations, most likely due to freezing rain last night.


A busy day despite the gloom. Plenty of skiers taking a short break in the lee of the Ptarmigan top station today.


Looking north from Glenmore. Coire an t-Sneachda just visible on the left, with Coire an Lochain in the cloud on the right. The central ridge, the Fiacaill Coire an t-Sneachda illustrates the wind direction in previous days. Wind scoured on the west facing side with fresh accumulations of snow on the east side of the ridge.


Looking towards the ‘Goat Track’ in Coire an t-Sneachda. Still generally thin cover!


Looking towards Alladdin’s Buttress. Slightly grey rather than white, but good to see some icy streaks to the right of the harder mixed climbs which take the slabs and diedres of the otherwise flawless and homogenous granite.


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