Start of the season
8th December 2022
It’s that time of the year again. You realise all the time you thought you had before the holidays, all the plans of getting the shopping done early and cards written and mailed off early (yes, I’m old fashioned and still enjoy doing that) are suddenly gone. “Holy Frosty the Snowman! It’s winter, and the avalanche service are back!”. That’s right, the first day of the season for us here in Lochaber, and our colleagues in North Cairngorms. The other forecast areas will be starting up towards the end of next week.
Well, after a mild and wet autumn in Lochaber, it finally turned cold around last weekend, and guess what, it stopped precipitating. The past few days must have been the longest dry period here for what feels like months. Although a bit of snow would be nice, I should not complain too much, dry and cold it a lot better that mild and wet (or even mild and dry). The old and very patchy snowpack which exists (mainly above 900m) is frozen rock solid. There is a dusting of fresh, as much rime as snow really, which makes things look a quite white at higher levels. However, is is mostly cosmetic, and would be gone in a few hours of mild weather. However, in cold conditions (particularly with the absence of much insulating snow cover) the ground is freezing. This is no bad thing which for when the snow does arrive, but it does mean that areas of water ice that need avoiding are forming in places normally covered in snow
With the cold and generally dry conditions forecast to continue here in Lochaber, little change in mountain conditions are expected in the next few days. However, as normal we will keep you up to date on snow and avalanche conditions through the season on the blogs. It is great to have some feedback on what we are posting, so any comments or interesting observations you have feel free to post in the comment section below.
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