Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thawing and consolidation

The snow is thawing quickly at lower levels and consolodating up high. From the snow pack i exmined at 600m yesterday their is evidence of melt-freeze snow grains where previously i would have expected faceted sugar snow. The snow pack will gain strengh as a result BUT there will be a period of instability whilst water perculates down the pack and possibly causes shearing of weak layers within it.
I was out on Sgurr An Fhidhler yesterday and was at times bodily lifted off the belay stance and dropped back down as the wind grew bored of paying with us. This grew progresivly worse as the day went on and by the end it sounded like a 747 was taking off right next to us. For once the MWIS weather forecast underestimated the wind. However, any day out with views such as these and not another soul for miles around has got to be worth it.
The weather will progressively deteriorate from now till the weekend but it is looking to get colder on Tuesday so it my be that conditions from Tuesday onwards get even better as water if freed up to then freeze into more ice.

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