The sustained thaw of recent days has been steadily weakening the ice that had kept it’s wintry grip on Loch Morlich for 94 days and alas the overnight gales coupled with rising water levels eventually fractured the weakened ice and within hours the Loch was open and choppy, once the ice fractured the wind and increasing waves accelerated the break up.
^Loch Morlich remains ice bound at dusk on Thursday.
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^But by late morning the Loch was free from the grasp of winter.
Sad in a way that the Loch did not remain frozen for another week to break the 100 day mark and it will seem slightly strange to look down from the ‘Gorm for the first time in three months and not see the white frozen expanse below.
The bit of good news for snowsports though is that the air temperature was back below freezing at the Summit late afternoon and dew points are below 0c and it’s dry, plus the wind is moderating. Snow should be setting up firm higher up and drying out and crunching up lower down - the thaw for now has relented.
Adam Watson reports that by the afternoon snow had stopped thawing and was firming up about 150-200ft above the car park level at Glenshee and at 2600ft the ground was still frozen where snow free. Frozen ground is as good as a base in that any new snow falling sticks straight away, it might almost be the Spring Equinox, but spring can stay on hold just now, we’re hopefully not yet done with winter 2010.