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firefly


Posts: 1818
Joined: May 2006
Re: Attention all walkers! 2011 snow patch season
Date Posted: 08.16hrs on Wed 23 Nov 11
...and if you're not sharp-eyed, attached is a close-up.

Attachments: Nevis close-up - 22.11.11.JPG (33kB)  
DrHosking


Posts: 408
Joined: Jul 2004
Last Visited: 15:05
30th Oct 2014
Re: Attention all walkers! 2011 snow patch season
Date Posted: 10.22hrs on Wed 23 Nov 11
Firefly, any news on Aonach Beag patch? Anyonw had a look this week?

firefly


Posts: 1818
Joined: May 2006
Re: Attention all walkers! 2011 snow patch season
Date Posted: 12.39hrs on Wed 23 Nov 11
Afraid not. Hasn't been visited now for quite some time. I must say that I fear the worst now. Its low altitude is a real albatross round its neck at this time of the year, and it didn't receive the cover of snow in October that the Observatory Gully wreaths did. Make no mistake, that is what saved snow from vanishing altogether this year on Ben Nevis.

There is chat amongst some of us on here by email about when Aonach Beag will get a visit. As soon as there are any developments, you'll read them here first!

firefly


Posts: 1818
Joined: May 2006
Re: Attention all walkers! 2011 snow patch season
Date Posted: 23.49hrs on Fri 25 Nov 11
The snow that fell last night in Lochaber looks to have come in on a very strong westerly wind. As I type it's -2.4 degrees at the top of Aonach Mor and the wind is gusting to over 70mph. On top of this the rain radar is showing heavy precipitation piling in from a WSW direction. In other words, perfect snow gathering conditions for the Aonachs and Ben Nevis.

I'd be very surprised if the snow that fell last night and is falling currently turns out not to be lasting snow at Aonach Beag (lasting snow on Ben Nevis arrived in mid-October). However, the million dollar question is did Aonach Beag make it? I suspect the answer is no, but we shall see...

coaster


Posts: 217
Joined: Aug 2007
Last Visited: 20:10
28th Oct 2014
What's this?What's this?What's this?
Re: Attention all walkers! 2011 snow patch season
Date Posted: 15.01hrs on Sun 27 Nov 11
I set out for Aonach Beag this morning at 0630 in very windy conditions with a few showers.I cycled up to the forestry road end between Aonach Mor and CMD at around 400m then headed up the west side of the mountain parallel with the chairlift.The
showers were wintry above 600m with extremely high winds as each of these showers passed through.The summit plateau walk over to the drop in point was a little blowy to say the least! Yesterdays torrential rain and high temps had wiped out almost all of the snow making the drop in nice and easy.Down at the patch site there was a fair bit of drifting snow with a little bit left from Fridays blizzards.After 20mins digging and prodding the whole area i can confirm that this patch has,as expected,gone.In October the patch site received a partial cover with most of the drifting a few metres away from the patch but today it was getting a 'direct hit' from all this spindrift.What if these events had been reversed,would the snow possibly have survived this year? Probably not.
It was a longer day than i anticipated and i will never take the gondola for granted again.
I have posted a few pics but they are much the same as the ones taken in October.
A lean year indeed with 2 survivals.Its a shame November was so remarkably mild as this patch had a good chance in an average year.

Attachments: AB 27th Nov.jpg (219kB)   AB2.jpg (222kB)   AB from above.jpg (127kB)  
firefly


Posts: 1818
Joined: May 2006
Re: Attention all walkers! 2011 snow patch season
Date Posted: 18.10hrs on Sun 27 Nov 11
Well done, coaster! I'm glad that a final trip was made. Sad that the AB snow has finally gone, but at least we've two survivals.

So... that's it for 2011 it would appear folks. Two snow-patches have survived until lasting winter snow. One at Garbh Choire Mor, Braeriach (known as Sphinx), and one at Observatory Gully, Ben Nevis. Lasting snow arrived at both sites on 18 October, when an incursion of cold air brought snow and drifting. Had this snow not arrived it is highly likely that all snow would have vanished.

Lots of people have contributed this year, yet again, but special praise has to go to Dakishman, RJ and coaster. Their repeated visits and meticulous note-taking has ensured that we have an incredibly accurate set of dates for melting of the different patches on the Cairngorms and Nevis range hills. I was fortunate enough to be on the hill with all of them in 2011, and tonight I'll be raising a well-filled glass of Highland Park 30 year old to them and everyone on WH for another roller-coaster season!

It's time for this firefly to go into hibernation! Until 2012...



h11lly


Posts: 2042
Joined: Dec 2002
Last Visited: 12:04
30th Oct 2014
What's this?What's this?What's this?
Re: Attention all walkers! 2011 snow patch season
Date Posted: 19.20hrs on Sun 27 Nov 11
Can I also say a huge thanks to all contributing to this thread. It's been fascinating to follow it and I have to say I too was quite sad to hear that Coaster's epic trip yesterday didn't find remaining snow.

Firefly, you don't have to hibernate... Huge patches of snow are good to see... and slide on winking smiley

Helen

WelshWizard


Posts: 215
Joined: Feb 2009
Last Visited: 19:08
29th Oct 2014
Re: Attention all walkers! 2011 snow patch season
Date Posted: 20.36hrs on Sun 27 Nov 11
Firefly, following my questions about average lasting snow arrival dates its interesting that you say it arrived on the 18/10, a stat like that almost betrays the reality of this crazy warm month we are just coming to and of.


Bidean3772


Posts: 37
Joined: Jul 2009
Last Visited: 13:06
23rd Oct 2013
Re: Attention all walkers! 2011 snow patch season
Date Posted: 08.14hrs on Mon 28 Nov 11
Sad news about Aonach Beag not making it until lasting snows. In reality this snow patch would have outlasted both Observatory gully and Sphinx if they had not received lasting snow in Mid October. Sphinx had no more than a week left in it when visited in early October when lasting snow came shortly afterwards. Aonach Beag was still going strong when John Pottie was there on the 07/11/11 so probaly melted mid to late November.This shows this snow patch considering its low height and late arrival of lasting new snow to be the most resiliant in Scotland. Well done to Coaster for that final trip and to the rest of the team.

DrHosking


Posts: 408
Joined: Jul 2004
Last Visited: 15:05
30th Oct 2014
Re: Attention all walkers! 2011 snow patch season
Date Posted: 10.29hrs on Mon 28 Nov 11
Great effort by all the snow patch team, this is my favourite thread and increadibly informative and addictive! Thanks to everyone who have contributed, only wish I get the chance to give a helping hand in the future. Heres to a bumper2012 season. Personally I think given the mild Spring and Autumns weve dont pretty well to get any survivials, especitally with the lateness of sustaining snow in the west.

Hustler


Posts: 713
Joined: Oct 2006
Last Visited: 13:02
30th Oct 2014
Re: Attention all walkers! 2011 snow patch season
Date Posted: 12.15hrs on Mon 28 Nov 11
I love the irony of coaster digging up all that new snow drifted onto the site of the old patch.. To see if the old patch is still under there!

Top effort chaps.

firefly


Posts: 1818
Joined: May 2006
Re: Attention all walkers! 2011 snow patch season
Date Posted: 08.47hrs on Mon 5 Dec 11
Just as an addendum to this thread, below is the reason why Aonach Beag failed to survive. Ouch!

 


EDIT: can someone fix this link?! The img tags don't seem to be working from the iPad.



Edited 3 times. Last edit at 09.12hrs Mon 5 Dec 11 by alan.

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