Beinn Bhrotain

24th March 2024

There was plenty of time today to consider what to write in the blog, given the long approach to Beinn Bhrotain from the Linn of Dee. In fact, it was more of a multi activity approach, taking place on bike, foot and ski.

Inevitably, I started thinking about the relative proportions of this activity, and whether it was really worth taking skis? Distance wise it was probably 70% on the mountain bike, 20% on ski and 10% on foot. Which coincidently happens to match the 70:20:10 framework, the popular theoretical model of leadership learning and development. That is probably where any similarity ended…

More importantly, the Westerly and North-Westerly winds of the last 48 hours or so have resulted in some deep accumulations of windslab in sheltered locations above 950 metres, while windward slopes are extensively scoured.

This windslab will persist tomorrow and contains weaknesses. I observed two windslab avalanches today which most likely released on Friday 22nd or Saturday 23rd. Both were on East aspects on convexities which had seen recently overloading of new windslab. Solar radiation will have warmed the snow surface today, and with cooler conditions overnight the upper snowpack will start to consolidate. However, weaknesses are likely to remain at depth for the next 24 hours at least.

Further snow fall and isolated windslab development is expected tomorrow on North-West and North aspects above 950 metres. Stability is generally favourable south of the River Dee. The greatest snow amounts (and corresponding greater hazard) lie to the north in the main Cairngorm massif.


In the glen’s it looks very much like spring. Looking north into the main Cairngorm massif quickly revealed a snowier picture. This is Carn Fiaclach Beag, Carn Fiaclach and Carn Cloich-mhuilinn seen from White Bridge. Beinn Bhrotain lies behind.


Looking into the Lairig Ghru with The Devil’s Point on the left and the slopes of Carn á Mhaim to the right.


The granite slabs of the Allt Garbh. A covering of damp snow was present down to 600 metres this morning.

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