Variations on a theme

14th January 2018

The past few days the weather has felt like variations on a theme, with the theme being windy. Strong Southerly winds were whipping up the snow to give some good facial exfoliation on Ben Nevis today. Fortunately it stayed dry during the time I was on the hill.

The windy theme looks like continuing for a few days to come. However, it will become a wetter with a brief thaw and rain to summit level this evening followed by snow to low levels over the next few days. In the short term this will produce some unpleasant and potentially hazardous mountain conditions, but in the long term will improve both the climbing and skiing conditions.

Carn Dearg Buttress. Ice visible on some of the routes.

Looking up into Coire na Ciste. Buttresses looking quite rimed up.

Looking up Observatory Gully. Although the cliffs are looking quite white, there is not yet much ice formed (as ice build up on this part of the mountain requires freeze thaw cycles rather than just cold weather).

Struggling against the strong and gusty Southerly wind.

Cloud level dropping as I headed back down the hill.

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