Winter returns…

2nd February 2020

It was a definite return to winter conditions today with moderate snowfall from late morning. The old snow has a very strong crust and localised soft windslab is starting to develop. The winds are due to become much stronger tomorrow so we are expecting some redistribution of existing deposits as well as drifting of the new snow that is forecast to arrive.

I got the opportunity today to watch Scottish Mountain Rescue teams completing their avalanche training programme which culminated in them putting all the skills learnt during the course into a multiple casualty burial scenario. Hope I never need them but good to know they’ve been putting the training in! Some photos below:

Soft windslab failure in a shallow burn line. Very localised distribution.

A return to winter conditions: Gloves, goggles and crampons on.

Moderate snowfall throughout the day – but limited distribution – lots of grass showing through in this photo.

A buried casualty has just been uncovered: Digging continues, oxygen and mattress prepared.The chap in the red jacket and yellow helmet is the Braemar Team doctor who is assessing the casualty handling skills of the rescuers – Care needs to be taken to preserve any possible air pocket around the casualty’s face and to check if they have a patent airway.

The amount of equipment required is substantial and it all has to moved from the roadside to the incident – fit people!

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