Bright and Cold

7th February 2024

The cloud broke up nicely, leaving a sunny and bright day. This inevitably occurred after the forecasters had left the mountain to start writing the avalanche forecast, so todays images were taken during the cloudier start to the day.

Some light snow showers last night have given the mountains a cosmetically white look, but there has been little change in stability. The older snowpack is rock solid. Some accumulations of shallow windslab were present on North-East to South-East aspects above 1000 metres. These are generally isolated and avoidable.

What little there is, has a propensity for weakness demonstrated by shooting cracks under foot or ski. Any remaining accumulations will be redistributed onto Westerly aspects tomorrow as the wind changes direction. Here any snow will lie predominately on bare ground and present little to no hazard.

Cold conditions look set to continue, with the possibility of some snow on the horizon under Easterly winds. The Avalanche Forecast is Low.


An unusual windscoop in Ciste Mhearad to the East of Cairn Gorm. The old and icy snow pack almost resembled glacial ice in this location. A previous snow surface at the time of substantial thaw (there have been many) is visible just above the forecasters head – a sort of “paleo-snow surface” visible by the blown dust and granite layer.


Scottish skiing – a steady procession of skiers were making their way up the the Ciste Tow and skiing “The Gun Barrel” (pictured). The visibility was reduced here by the fine mist from a nearby snow cannon rather than snow showers.


The same wind scoop visible from a different direction, big enough to present a hazard in poor visibility. Especially if you are carrying some momentum on skis!


Small, shallow and isolated accumulations of windslab were observed today. These were generally quite sensitive due to the presence of a low density layer and graupel lying onto of the older icy snow below.


The northern coires of Cairn Gorm from Loch Morlich.

Comments on this post

  • Helen Webb
    7th February 2024 8:00 pm

    Superb visuals
    we’re blessed to be this part of the planet

Got something to say? Leave a comment

    Latest Northern Cairngorms Avalanche Report
    Significant Mountain Hazards observed today
    RSS Feed
    Keep up to date by subscribing to our RSS feed
Service funded by sportscotland
Forecast data supplied by the Met Office
SAIS Sponsors