Friday, February 13, 2009

NW conditions update

The ice lines on Liatach such as Poachers and Umbrella falls etc have had ascents recently and the conditions are retorted as good.
There is a healthy amount of snow in the NW but no where near as much as in the Cairngorms where a party trying to get into the Dubh Loch (near Lochnagar) a few days ago gave up les than a km from the car park.
I was again on An teallach yesterday. We left the car park just after 6am where it was -3 and snowing. By 9am at 950m it was above freezing and raining heavily. The snow was /is undergoing a period of consolidation (which is needed) and instability at the moment. We witnessed several spontaneous avalanches release, one going right past the spur we were on. We turned around and walked back to the road, noting a loss of snow at valley level in the 6 hours since we left the car.
Instead we went for a look at the 'Corrie Shealach gorge' (Sorry Donald i don't know how to spell this!). This is a low level ice fall venue, have a look at the video.
The thaw will continue for a few days, the snow loss will be more in the NW and West so for the next few days the Cairngorms will be the best option where it will be cooler. The ice should be uber fat when the freeze comes (if it doesn't wait too long).

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