Glencoe & Webcams

A site visit on a fine July Friday to Glencoe (how pleasant to be able to say that after some of the weather earlier this summer) and a hoof with a pile of computer kit in the Sun to the Glencoe SSC Hut at 2800ft, in order to get the webcam which looks out to Buachaille Etive Mor back on-line. On fine days Ben Nevis is visible on this cam and it’s a great cam to keep an eye on for cracking sunsets in the Summer.

Sun Set from the Glencoe SSC Hut

Sun Set from the Glencoe SSC Hut

Lots of people walking on the hill and riding the chairlift, it’s been a good busy summer week at Glencoe with the fine weather.

Winterhighland now manages 12 physical webcams (the Glencoe Access Chair camera provides five views in total) and some new additions are in the pipeline ahead of winter 2012. A big thank you to those who have directly supported Winterhighland in establishing and maintaining a network of cameras, including forum members who have ‘Winterhighland Snowflakes’ as a public thank you. See www.winterhighland.info/support for more information on helping Winterhighland further improve our camera network.

Also a big thank you to the guys at Glencoe for their help and support, plus to the Scottish Ski Club (www.scotski.org.uk) for hosting some of our cameras both at Glencoe and CairnGorm Mountain. Also thanks to the club sparky for installing the additional power sockets in the ‘Coe hut!!

Improved Webcam Pages

The Webcam pages for the Glencoe, CairnGorm, Loch Morlich and Aviemore Winterhighland Webcams has had a small upgrade that makes it much easier to view the older images.

A ‘lightbox’ pop up has been added that enables viewers to toggle through 6 images from the last hour and/or the last 15 hourly images from each camera. So if you’ve just got in from work to see dusk on the camera you can view an hourly snapshot of the whole day with ease.

Viewing today's images from the Glencoe Summit Cam.

Viewing today

Glencoe Summit Webcam

After a trial with a laptop for a camera server a couple of weeks ago it was decided to install a permanent webcam at the top of the Main Basin T-bar, just short of the Summit of Meall a’ Bhuiridh itself. The trial being followed by the ‘big snowstorm’ and resultant road issues  on the planned installation day, meant a longer delay in installing a permanent camera than planned, but this was undertaken today (Friday).

Summit Webcam at Glencoe

Summit Webcam at Glencoe

The Live Image can be viewed at http://www.winterhighland.info/cams/glencoe .

I’d also like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Nigel and the entire fantastic team at the Crianlarich Hotel where I spent Thursday night for their hospitality and friendly service. Their Skier Special provides simply amazing value, £25b&b per night for a single or £40 for a twin/double and if you stay 3 nights you get a 4th on the hotel.

Fantastic breakfasts, will keep you going all day, from the traditional full fry up, to smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, to healthier options of fruit juice, fresh fruit etc. Excellent evening meals too, served in the bar or informal lounge with two massive wood burners at either end. Also have a drying room (much need after Thursday afternoon lugging stuff up the hill in preparation for Friday…)

See www.crianlarich-hotel.co.uk .

GPRS Issues affecting our CairnGorm and Glencoe on mountain cameras

There continues to be intermittent but regular service interruptions to Vodafone’s data service in some rural parts of the Highlands. Glencoe staff report regular occurrences where connections are possible but no data throughput is available – this has caused several spells of down time to the cameras, but not always at the same time. It appears that some of the cameras might be able to intermittently pick up more distant masts.

There is also a recurring issue with the Meall a’ Bhuachaille mast above Glenmore that serves CairnGorm. The root of this problem is thought to be weather related but the word from Vodafone is that engineering staff have not been able to carry out work on some of the high level rural masts due to access issues and depth of snow cover.

CairnGorm Webcams & AWS

Unfortunately there is a data link issue with the Winterhighland SSC Hut webcams and both the Sheiling and SSC Hut weather stations. The GPRS router dropped out after earlier connection issues that are likely to have been down to the sheer level of usage of the mobile network in the area today.

This has happened before during very busy periods in Aviemore and on the mountain, there is only a finite amount of capacity on the Meall a’ Bhuachaille mast and voice calls and sms services take priority over data if the need arises. The system auto reboots overnight and will hopefully come back up on it’s own, should the problem persist a site visit will be undertaken on Saturday (oh the pain I hear you say) to attempt a manual restart of the camera system.

Glencoe Webcam Update

Was doing some work on Wed afternoon on the Glencoe Webcams and network. The SSC Hut computer is back online, but was brought back up too late to take any photos (as it was dark), but should be taking images from first light Thursday (fingers crossed!).

The Access 2200ft Camera is being re-configured to work with a different network configuration and it’s hoped to have it back on the mountain and updating within the next couple of weeks, all being well sooner.

Loch Morlich Cam & AWS

Currently at Loch Morlich Water Sports to complete the re-installation of the AWS and level the webcam, so fortunately we can see not the mountains this lunchtime!

The thermometer and hydrometer are now housed in a radiation screen which should solve the issue of sudden and unrealistic spikes in temperature when the sun comes out at certain times of day.

The webcam has been levelled (easier when there is something to see!) and is now also uploading a short video clip every 15minutes. This clip will be useful for gauging the conditions on the Loch as well as over the mountain tops, where scudding clouds give a clear indication of very high wind speeds.

If you find the existing Winterhighland webcams useful and can afford to do so, perhaps  you would like to consider a donation or voluntary  subscription to help secure continued expansion  and operation of Winterhighland’s  webcam and weather station network?

www.winterhighland.info/support

SSC webcams back to winter view

A late evening post from the Scottish Ski Club Hut on CairnGorm Mountain where the Winterhighland webcams have been repositioned to their Winter position, offering views up the White Lady and over the Funicular to the M1 Poma, plus the hut cam looking over the balcony which is fantastic in winter for gauging new snow falls.

Several parts of the weather station have been upgraded, this has allowed the sensors to be hard wired to the AWS console, instead of relying on a radio signal. The principle advantage of this is that the AWS records wind speeds much more frequently and the reception of data is less prone to radio intereference.

The SSC hut is relatively sheltered by the ‘Gorms standards, and the positioning of the anemometer is not a good indication of wind speeds on the mountain as a whole. However the location was chosen to get an indication of how wind affects the hollow at the foot of the White Lady and in future this will help assess how much less exposed this small part of the mountain is, how that affects snow lie and reliability of the lower White Lady and help in assessing the potential snow making may have to restore the reliability of the lower 1/4r of the White Lady which circumstantially seems to have suffered severely from the Funicular.

It is planned to install two more Automatic Weather Stations to further increase climate data from CairnGorm, one will be mid altitude on the lower slopes and the second mid-way up the middle slopes. These will give truer wind speeds for the middle and lower slopes respectively and provide more useful info for assessing conditions.

Finally for now, a third camera is operating in the SSC Hut, giving a view across the Fiacaill area of Coire Cas.  Last year the cameras went back live for winter on 1st October after the power was switched off to the Ski Club hut during the early autumn for major repairs to the home road and culverts around the Kassbohrer garage – a couple of days later there was snow to be seen. Hopefully the first dusting will appear on the cams before long.

It’s dark, time to head off the hill. :)

SSC Hut Webcams – Comms Problem

Winterhighland’s Webcam and AWS system at the Scottish Ski Club Hut has been down since late on Monday (5th Jan) due to a communications failure. The exact nature of the problem can not be determiend remotely and a site visit is planned for Thursday 8th Jan.

Providing the issue is not a hardware issue with the router or network equipment it should be possible to restore the webcam and aws feed at some point on Thursday.

In the meantime here’s the final images from Monday afternoon which captured the pefect if chilly weather very nicely:

First Snow of the Winter !!

October has marked it’s arrival with the first Snows of the upcoming winter, as a Northerly Plunge sends temperatures diving. Thursday saw the first reasonable covering of snow on the higher tops of the Cairngorms, and there’s also a smattering on the tops in the West.

It all add’s to the excitement and anticipation at the season ahead, but don’t get too carried away just yet – winter proper is officially 11 weeks away yet, that said it’s another sign of the seasons unstoppable march back to winter.

The past two seasons started the last weekend of November (2006/07) and first weekend of December (2007/08) on CairnGorm Mountain with lasting snow, though cover became more limited in the run up and around Christmas both years.

You can now watch how things are shaping up this autumn with our mid-mountain webcams and live weather real-time weather station on CairnGorm Mountain which are now back online following completion of the reinstatement works to flood damage on the hill road (which necessitated the switch off of the power supply for safety). Our cams and AWS are situated in the Scottish Ski Club Hut at 2500ft near the foot of the White Lady.

CairnGorm Mountain has also installed an automatic weather station and two new webcams for the new season, these can be viewed at www.cairngormmountain.com/web-cam and the AWS is located just under 1000ft above the SSC one at the Tunnel Mouth.

The First Snow at the Mid-Station:

First Snow

See also Pix from the Slopes for a couple of photos from up top on Thursday 2nd October.