Thaw-Freeze…

1st February 2020

Overnight rain continuing through this morning combined with mild temperatures have significantly reduced the snow cover which has stripped right back to the old patches on mainly North to East aspects above 900 metres. Surface layers were soft and wet with plenty of water running off the hill. However by midday the wind had veered to the North and the precipitation showers had turned to snow above 800 metres. By 15:00 hrs the air temperature at 930 metres had lowered to -1 degrees centigrade. The freezing level is forecast to lower again to 600 metres for the next 24 hour period with light to moderate snowfall occurring during daylight hours. Due to the wind direction most of this will accumulate on bare ground, however care should be taken with Northerly aspects above 900 metres as any new accumulations will be poorly bonded to the refrozen snow-ice beneath.

Braemar Mountain Rescue is hosting the SMR Avalanche Rescue Programme this weekend and the trainers from all over Scotland are having to be very creative in how they present the syllabus as the photos below show. However early feedback is that snow is not necessarily required to learn most of the essential skills and that a positive learning environment is equally important.

Overnight rain has stripped the cover right back to the old patches. Glas Maol (1068m)

Largest areas of snow exist on North to East aspects above 900m: These will become firm and icy as the freezing level lowers to 600m.

Precipitation falling as snow above 800 metres from early afternoon.

Snow free conditions looking South from Meall Odhar.

Using Recco Avalanche Rescue Technology. The yellow detector seen here, works by sending out a signal to the Recco reflector located in mountain clothing and equipment. The signal gets bounced back to the detector indicating the location of the reflector.

Transceiver use – The final fine search is done on hands and knees with the transceiver on the snow surface.

 

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