Monday, January 18, 2010

Sgurr Ruadh and Glen Sheil

I was climbing on Sgurr Ruadh yesterday. We had periods of heavy rain on the walk in which later turned to snow. The snow on the crag was heavy and wet but the turf was still frozen. I was amazed to see how much snow has gone in the past week. Indeed i saw old snow shoe prints on the path. No need for these now!
Today i was in Glen Sheil and there is substantially more snow the more inland you go from the west coast. The turf was excellent but the snow was again heavy and wet and only just frozen.
Old avalanche debris noted from the recent warm period. There may be still a danger from full depth avalanches as the water lubricates the base. I saw evidence that there had been some avalanches on a smooth grass base.
However the silver linning is that some interesting mid and high mountain ice is forming up as the snow melt runs off.
The Cairngorm ski road was shut again today and has been shut for the last few days, but i would hazard a guess that we're not missing anything exciting just yet. If it thaws then re-freezes you could do White magic as an ice route perhaps!

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