Very icy and still this morning with freezing at sea-level. The day turned out to be a ‘stunner’ with plenty of cold winter sunshine and blue skies. One group were out on Stob Ban digging snow shelters and they found plenty of deep snow to excavate. This same snow proved heavy going on the East Ridge of the mountain. It certainly appears that although the ice climbing conditions on Ben Nevis and elsewhere are in good shape, the general approaches are deep in unconsolidated snow. The answer here is to start thirty minutes after everyone else and use a well-broken trail!
The Northern Cairngorms avalanche report brought a tear to my eye this evening. It ‘Comments’ that observations were difficult due to poor visibility:))) Who wrote that? I thought these guys were capable of reading snow structure in any conditions? Maybe the fact that they have no snow is the real message, and that is why it is hard to observe!! Just in case they have forgotten what it looks like I have attached a picture of some white stuff from the Outdoor Capital of the UK. Taken today below Stob Ban.
Thanks to Dan, for his post, seems like the north to north-east airstream is starting to work it’s magic in the east! Sounds like nothing changes with the snow-ploughs though on their 9-5 shift:-)
The comments refer to any visible avalanches seen that day, and since the inception of SAIS they have used that term when visibility is bad and they cannot actually see if there has been any visible fresh avalanches that day, it is nothing to do with the observations of the snow structure at the pit site and its more to do with viewed avalanche activity.
Anyway, I am sure you are just trying to wind us up! You must have powerful binoculars if you see the Ben from that desk of yours!!!
Attached is a photo of a nice new route we did today (23rd Jan) in the wonderful Cairngorms! Lots of old avalanche debris walked through on the approach!
Take care, hope life is cool with you guys over there, glad you have snow, must be a bit of a novelty. I guided over that way a couple of weeks ago and was impressed by the blanketed out crags.