Wintry on the High Tops

25th December 2022

Happy Christmas from the Torridon team.

The summits of the northern Fannaichs – at the NE end of our forecast area, remain very wintry. Little snow exists below 400m, is patchy between 400 and 800m with most old snow remaining above this. A ‘heavy’ dusting of new snow today generally above 700m. The old snow will be very firm at summit levels.

(Above) The N to NE aspects of the northern Fannaich mountains of (L to R) Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich, Sgurr Mor, Carn na Criche and Meall a’Chrasgaidh.

(Above) What’s the most important feature in this photo of the summit of Meall Leacachain (618m)? Well, Santa of course….. Next? The binoculars! We use binoculars when weather and conditions are appropriate to make observations from a distance. Having a general picture of snowpack conditions is important when we forecast. I packed bins today because between showers from this vantage point, I would see into the main Fannaichs, in particular, the summit of Sgurr nan Clach Geala where I know, under the right conditions, huge cornices form around the summit rim. But alas…….

(Above) But I could see, using the binoculars, that there is currently no evidence of new cornice growth. However, cornices will begin to form above steep Easterly aspects at higher elevations as snow showers continue overnight and through tomorrow with a fresh to strong West airflow.

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