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firefly


Posts: 2142
Joined: May 2006
Attention all walkers! 2010 snow patch season
Date Posted: 12.41hrs on Wed 19 May 10
Yes, everyone's favourite summer thread is back for another year's outing!

I'll keep the other thread on southern Scotland/northern England running, but think that next year we'll have just the one thread for all regions of the UK. That way we can keep it all under one roof, as I've noticed a few orphan threads appearing on the subject.

So after this year's phenomenal snowfall, where are we in comparison to the last few years? Well, despite the huge volumes that have fallen on some aspects, the main hollows facing NE have not fared as well as we would've wished. In particular, Ben Nevis' north-east face isn't holding nearly as much as 2009 at this stage, less than in 2008 and probably about the same as 2007 (though I've no clear photographs to back this up 100%). I hate to say it, but unless we get a coolish summer then I don't fancy the chances of snow persisting at all in the west: just not enough snow has fallen from the SW. Aonach Beag seems to have done better than the rest in the west, and I think it represents its best hope.

The only photograph I've seen from Garbh Choire Mor this year was on Sonya Drummond's blog and was taken on 24 April. Chionophile will be able to comment on the depth compared to other years, but I don't think it's anything unusual, though doubtlessly very deep.

What we will undoubtedly see this year is snow persisting in unusual places for a long time. We've already seen snow on the south face of Ben Lomond persisting till mid-May (incredibly rare nowadays), and wreaths hundreds of metres long on Cross Fell at the same time. Again, most unusual. Places like the Laird's Tablecloth on Beinn a' Bhuird will be huge on July 1 when Chionophile and I do the annual survey, as it faces south.

All-in-all, I don't think the survivals this year will be anything out of the ordinary, and possibly fewer than last year!

Ben Nevis - 16 May 2009
Ben Nevis - 18 May 2010

AlTodd


Posts: 350
Joined: Mar 2006
Last Visited: 08:04
28th Apr 2017
Re: Attention all walkers! 2010 snow patch season
Date Posted: 08.29hrs on Thu 20 May 10
I had a ski tour over to Ben Macdui yesterday. Report still to be posted however pictures incl one of Garbh coire here -

[s867.photobucket.com]

Loads of snow still on the plateau and certainly this years longest day ski will be more worthwhile than at any time since 1994. Interestingly the snow is universally covered in what presumably must be volcanic ash deposits which will hasten the speed of melting.

There is far more cover on the plateau east of the Lairig Ghru which tallies with the very localised huge snowfalls experienced around Cairngorm and further east earlier in the winter



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 20.26hrs Fri 21 May 10 by AlTodd.

AlTodd


Posts: 350
Joined: Mar 2006
Last Visited: 08:04
28th Apr 2017
Re: Attention all walkers! 2010 snow patch season
Date Posted: 08.31hrs on Thu 20 May 10
rest of the pics here

[s867.photobucket.com]



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 20.25hrs Fri 21 May 10 by AlTodd.

remote_patrol


Posts: 1002
Joined: Apr 2007
Last Visited: 20:49
16th Aug 2019
Re: Attention all walkers! 2010 snow patch season
Date Posted: 13.01hrs on Thu 20 May 10
spotted some snow on skye last weekend, don't have any good pics i'm afraid, but there was a pretty large patch (~7mx1m, about a foot deep) in coire a'grunda, and smaller patches (<1m) in gullys on sgurr a mhadaidh and sgurr mhic coinneach.

HTH


Posts: 3210
Joined: Nov 2005
Last Visited: 11:13
20th Feb 2018
What's this?What's this?What's this?
Re: Attention all walkers! 2010 snow patch season
Date Posted: 15.51hrs on Thu 20 May 10
firefly Wrote:
What we will undoubtedly see this year is snow persisting in unusual places for a long time. We've already seen snow on the south face of Ben Lomond persisting till mid-May (incredibly rare nowadays), and wreaths hundreds of metres long on Cross Fell at the same time. Again, most unusual. Places like the Laird's Tablecloth on Beinn a' Bhuird will be huge on July 1 when Chionophile and I do the annual survey, as it faces south.


Yes it's the south-facing snow, still visible from quite low lying viewpoints, even in Fife & Angus which has struck me. - Consistent with this winter's wind directions I know, but very different from what I normally see.

I've switched to cycling for the summer, and virtually every cycle run on local roads in Fife & Angus provides good views of large south-facing snowpatches, which I don't recall seeing for many years in late May. Today from road above St. Andrews Bay there is loads of snow visiblle to the north. - But the sun will surely thaw it this summer.

I see the GFS forecast suggests a -10C shift in the t850 next week, with May ending quite cold. That will have some impact on snow holding.?

firefly


Posts: 2142
Joined: May 2006
Re: Attention all walkers! 2010 snow patch season
Date Posted: 20.34hrs on Thu 20 May 10
Thanks, Al. Great picture of GCM. Not a massive depth I don't think, but the cool conditions in the first two weeks of May will have helped matters. Also, if the forecasts for cool weather come to pass then so much the better. Good one of Glas Maol, too, showing the deep wreaths still there.

Interesting observation about the volcanic ash. Was it uniform in distribution, and how thick was it on the snow? It's not immediately apparent from the photographs.

Chionophile


Posts: 692
Joined: Jan 2009
Last Visited: 22:07
24th Jan 2016
Re: Attention all walkers! 2010 snow patch season
Date Posted: 20.59hrs on Thu 20 May 10
Firefly, I agree with your comment about the depth of snow in that photo of Garbh Choire Mor in your first post. The hill in general looks very white and snowy, but if you inspect the bottom of Pinnacles Buttress and Sphinx Ridge it is obvious to me that the snow depth is not great. At the foot of Pinnacles Buttress there is a small boss of rock on the lower left. It lies right above the Pinnacles snow patch. The boss of rock is obvious and quite tall in the photo, so I reckon the snow below is not unusually deep. Likewise, to the right of the foot of Sphinx Ridge there is a steep bit of rock on the left side of the foot of Sphinx Gully. Again, most of it can be seen in the photo, hence the depth of the snow at the Sphinx patch is also not great. The snow will have been melting fast since yesterday morning, with the sudden arrival of heat after a very long cold spring. Yesterday it was 22C at Crathes at 4 pm, today 24C in Glen Dye at noon and 22C at Cairn o Mount with a very warm southeast wind and occasional light rain. It was still 18C at 8.30 pm tonight, warm light wind and clouds looking like rain spreading from the west. But, yes, firefly, the snow in Ear Choire Sneachdach covering the Laird's Tablecloth spans the entire corrie, and Coire nan Clach and Cnap a' Chleirich are very white, as is much of the south side of Ben Avon.

AlTodd


Posts: 350
Joined: Mar 2006
Last Visited: 08:04
28th Apr 2017
Re: Attention all walkers! 2010 snow patch season
Date Posted: 08.27hrs on Fri 21 May 10
The snow across almost the entire plateau had a dirty film of small particles most unlike the usual end of winter dirt that blows in from nearby bare earth

close up Pic here
[s867.photobucket.com]

Scomuir


Posts: 300
Joined: Sep 2004
Re: Attention all walkers! 2010 snow patch season
Date Posted: 09.57hrs on Fri 21 May 10
I've not been out in the hills as much as normal recently, but a few things about the "unusual" conditions we've had this year are worth mentioning.

On the 3rd of May, I went into Cairn Toul/Angels Peak. What stood out for me that there was lots more snow on the NW face of Cairn toul than "normal" for the time of year, compared to the NE face of Angels Peak. Last year when I went into ski the NE face of Angels Peak (albeit mid April), it had a lot more snow on it, and the NW face of Cairn Toul was mostly scree with ribbons of snow. It is the reverse this year.( [www.scomuir.com] ) Unfortunately, I don't have a pic to compare it with, so you'll just have to take my word for it!

On Tuesday night, I went for an after work blast up Lochnagar, and skied the left branch of Black Spout. The unusual thing for me was the dome of snow at the top of the gully on the plateau, surrounded by bare ground. Probably no more than a metre deep now, I am guessing if formed due to the NE winds funnelling snow up and out of the gully during the winter, a bit like a snow cannon? See attached pic. The gully itself has quite dirty snow in it, but that's to be expected - didn't think much of it.

Lastly, with regard to the ash, back in mid April went for a tour around the Loch Avon basin, and my partner took some snow samples, and had them analysed at work. The snow was full of glass particles eye popping smiley

[www.scomuir.com]



Edited 2 times. Last edit at 09.58hrs Fri 21 May 10 by Scomuir.

Attachments: LHBBS_snowdome_180510.jpg (150kB)  
coaster


Posts: 222
Joined: Aug 2007
Last Visited: 23:14
16th Jan 2017
What's this?What's this?What's this?
Re: Attention all walkers! 2010 snow patch season
Date Posted: 18.10hrs on Fri 21 May 10
[b]firefly Wrote:[/b


Aonach Beag seems to have done better than the rest in the west, and I think it represents its best hope.

All-in-all, I don't think the survivals this year will be anything out of the ordinary, and possibly fewer than last year!

Ben Nevis - 16 May 2009
Ben Nevis - 18 May 2010



Good to see this thread back for another season and especially after such an exceptionally unusual winter.It will be interesting to see how it all plays out over the coming months.

2003 was a disaster with Nevis bare by August so let's hope we do not have a repeat!

Firefly, you're backing your 'favourite' patch this year in the west and i wouldn't disagree.

The Scottish climate throws up so many variables so interesting times ahead.......

snowpatch95


Posts: 40
Joined: Jun 2008
Last Visited: 12:30
27th Sep 2010
Re: Attention all walkers! 2010 snow patch season
Date Posted: 21.25hrs on Fri 21 May 10
At the start of December, before the big falls that plastered the Cairngorms, there was already quite a good coverage of snow in all the right places for the time of year.

It is true to say that from Mid December onwards most of the snow came in N/NE winds but it seems the northern area of the Cairngorms has done well in terms of coverage.

I have been up in the Cairngorm area quite a few times in the last month. The amount of snow on the plateau area has been impressive

It will be interesting to see where the snow lies and for how long.

Making a few predictions, I am of the view that snow will last all year at Chiste Mherraid and the Garb Uisage Mor area. Snow will also last into late August on the Head wall area and the northern corries of Braereach will last into at least mid September.



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 21.27hrs Fri 21 May 10 by snowpatch95.

AlanJ


Posts: 61
Joined: Jul 2009
Last Visited: 23:39
15th Aug 2015
Re: Attention all walkers! 2010 snow patch season
Date Posted: 21.19hrs on Mon 24 May 10
I have various Cairngorms snow patch photos taken of (and from) Beinn a'Bhuird & Ben Avon on Sunday (23 May) but computer freezes every time I try to attach...any ideas? They are free to a good home if anyone wants to take them via e-mail and post them.

Maybe they are too early in the year to be of any great value anyway?

DonaldM


Posts: 871
Joined: Jan 2009
Last Visited: 21:58
10th Aug 2019
Re: Attention all walkers! 2010 snow patch season
Date Posted: 22.36hrs on Mon 24 May 10
I can report that there are significant, but diminishing, snow patches on the north side of Garbh Chioch Mhr in Knoydart. Great hills and great approach by kayak.

firefly


Posts: 2142
Joined: May 2006
Re: Attention all walkers! 2010 snow patch season
Date Posted: 06.55hrs on Tue 25 May 10
Alan, email them to me at iainjamescameron@hotmail.com and I'll put them up for you. smiling smiley

firefly


Posts: 2142
Joined: May 2006
Re: Attention all walkers! 2010 snow patch season
Date Posted: 20.41hrs on Wed 26 May 10
A good view of Cairn Toul and Braeriach from the top of Ben Macdui, taken on the 22nd May. Some other good pictures from that trip here. Very impressive cover on the Macdui plateau.

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