Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Another day at the office...

On yet another stunning day we headed down to Kinlochleven and the classic ridge traverse of Na Gruagaichean in the Mamores. There were a number of teams out enjoying the brilliant conditions in this normally quiet area. The freezing level was down by the loch and we climbed towards Sgor Eilde Beag under blue skies with just a gentle breeze blowing. We had a couple of hours of heavy snow around lunchtime but it soon cleared for the narrow and exposed North East ridge of Na Gruagaichean. From the summit the new soft powder snow allowed us to lose 500m by a quick glissade to the south west. Today I was working for Adventure Peaks.

With a high avalanche risk on West to North to East slopes we stayed on the ridges today approaching from the south. The existing snowpack was well frozen with a good icy crust. There were still some definite layers but it felt well bonded. The snow overnight and throughout the middle of the day has fallen with little or no wind. There are now some deep accumulations of powder on all aspects but we didn't witness any avalanche activity. Any wind in the next 24 hours will rapidly move this new snow around.