Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These Conditions Reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Lots and lots of snow has been falling on the hills over the last few days. We've also had continuous strong SW winds so the snow has been blown into gullies and sheltered slopes. Yesterday the temperature rose and the snow turned to rain at all levels triggering avalanches as it did so. Rain and higher temperatures made the snow wet so it will freeze and stabilise tomorrow when the temperature drops again.

This kind of stormy weather with lots of snow, wind to pack it in to gullies and wash it down faces, and rapidly fluctuating temperatures, is great for building ice on Ben Nevis. Have a look at the SAIS Blog for pictures of the avalanche debris and how the ice is forming in Coire na Ciste. The Cascade and White Line areas are starting to look good already.

The current run of stormy weather is only likely to change on Christmas Day as the high pressure over Europe fills and slides off to the south. This means we have a few more days of ice building weather to come along with the challenging conditions for climbing. Let's hope for lots of ice and calmer weather after Christmas. Now that would be a nice present from Santa!

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