A busy day in the Cairngorms

11th February 2024

A cool day with light winds, and good visibility.  Many people were out and about making the most of the good weather.  Underfoot conditions are a mix of bare ground, large expanses of water ice, rim ice and snow fields.  Where wind scoured, the old snow is very firm, and some of the steeper slopes have serious run outs into boulder fields below.

The summit of Cairngorm.

A group of ski tourers prepare for their descent down the South side of Cairngorm.

Looking East across the summit of Cairngorm.

Ski tourers head down the West side of Cairngorm.

Looking across the plateau towards Coire an t-Sneachda.

Snow conditions look lean from this angle, but the largest expanse of snow is below on this North-West facing slope.

A mountain rescue group practice avalanche rescue. The most recent windslab accumulations can be seen on the steep roll over of the Cas head wall.

Looking up the West side of Cairngorm, large expanses of water ice have formed at the bottom of this slope above the Cas Head Wall. This was avoidable but crampons were an advantage.

Views of the Shelter Stone Etchachan and Beinn Mheadhoin from the summit of Bynack More.  Thanks to Heather for the photo.

Comments on this post

  • Karen and Alan Fuller
    12th February 2024 6:32 am

    Hi we travel to Scotland most years but it still takes my breath away it’s so stunning
    We travel up from Worcestershire.

    • ncairngormsadmin
      12th February 2024 4:03 pm

      Thank you, its a stunningly wild landscape.

  • Iain Gallagher
    14th February 2024 10:30 am

    It’s shocking how much winter has changed in The Gorms over my six decades and how much less snow there is now on the Plateau at this time of year. Very different from when I did my WML Assessment with GL in March 1995. In Summer, the plateau used to be gravel interspersed with alpine plants – now its becoming grassy up there. The bottoms of Coire Domhain & Raibert look like swamps now; they never used to look like that. Climate change is screaming in our faces guys!

    • ncairngormsadmin
      14th February 2024 4:20 pm

      Hi Iain
      thanks for your interesting observations. Sometimes very pretty bright green mossy springs appear on the plateau when conditions are lean. Currently the plateau has areas of thick blue water ice. This happened over a week ago when the Cairngorms were subject to heavy rain followed by very cold temperatures.

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