Tel: +44(0)77 2000 1326 | Email: info@tarmachan-mountaineering.org.uk

STUNNING BLUE SKIES DAY

2019/01/19 18:47

Jessica on the Fiacaill 


Richard on the Fiacaill 

Fiacaill Coire Sneachda 

Excellent bullet ice at the Flat Iron 

Coire an t-Sneachda 

Fiacaill Buttress 

Happy folk

Ice

Flat Iron 

Last fun bit

Sun on top

Fingers 

Cairn Gorm 

Fabulous light

Busy today 
A stunning day to be out in the Cairngorms. No wind, blue skies from dawn to dusk, sub zero temperatures and nice company. Richard and Jessica out on a 2 day bespoke course this weekend.  We walked into Coire an t-Sneachda and got going on some brilliant bullet hard ice at the Flat Iron.  Quick to learn and confident on ice, we headed up onto the Fiacaill Coire Sneachda ridge. Still a lot of rocky ground interspersed with snow/icy sections. Wonderful crossing along the ridge and soon into a sun drenched plateau.  Reasonable snow cover on the tops. Busy up here today, lots of folk climbing and winter skills groups.  Beautiful afternoon with stunning clarity. Fannaichs and Glen Affric hills crystal clear skies.

STUNNING BLUE SKIES DAY


COLD & WINDY WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY

2019/01/18 19:33



Plenty of snow blowing off the plateau



Climbers in Coire an Lochain

Ptarmigan sheltering in the wind blown snow

Good spot out of the wind
Fiacaill Coire Sneachda
Another sheltered spot

This spot wasn't
Alert!

Coire an Lochain

Fiacaill

Wildlife photography winter gear

Freezing over again
Sub zero temperatures continued again today. Minus 4 C at Coire an Lochain. Feeling much colder with a stiff SE wind blowing over the plateau and down into the coire. Lots of wind blown snow flying about and this obviously building up wind slab. Another fine wildlife photography day, walking into the wind you will have a better chance of capturing the mountain hare on camera. If it's too windy then they may well be snuggled up behind a deep hollow! Or even buried in snow. Nice and quiet in he corrie and over half an hour with another wee group of ptarmigan who were definitely not in the mood for being too active. Any wildlife in winter conditions will always try and conserve their energy. Winter the finest time to capture our wonderful wildlife, for many reasons.
A busy period (as always) for me coming up. Basically non stop for the rest of winter. I still have a few random dates left in my diary. Hurry while stocks last :) Details on my website:

WINTER SKILLS COURSES AND GUIDING

WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS

COLD & WINDY WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY


PROPER WINTER FINALLY ARRIVES

2019/01/17 20:16

Even the ptarmigan can't get up the snow

Dull conditions for photography

Red Grouse

Nice group of ptarmigan feeding today

Snow in my feathers

Loving this white stuff
Meall a' Bhuachaille

Coire an Lochain

Low cloud for much of the day

Burns freezing up again

Good navigation skills required today
It seems like proper winter conditions has finally arrived. We had another 'warm' day on Tuesday followed by much colder conditions yesterday with fresh snowfall down to Aviemore level. With temperatures down to minus 4 at 900m today and a reasonable covering of snow it really felt like mid January. This time things look set to stay that way. Forecasts are for a bit of snow top up in the coming days and getting even colder into next week. Now that's how we like it.
The wonderful Cairngorm wildlife we're loving their normal blanket of snow covered terrain too. Winds died and the cloud slowly lifted has the day wore on. A bit dull for photography but atmospheric.

PROPER WINTER FINALLY ARRIVES


STUNNING BLUE SKIES DAY

2019/01/14 17:01

Fresh snow on the Fiacaill Coire Sneachda ridge 

Cairn Gorm & Coire an t-Sneachda 

Blue skies morning 

Fiacaill Buttress 

No one on the ridge

Fiacaill Buttress & Sneachda 

Afternoon cloud 

Looking more winter like 

Pic-nic spot

A nice day is always welcome 

Fingers 


Quiet in the coire 
I can't recall the last time we had snow on the trees in Glenmore.  The temperatures dropped overnight and fresh snowfall to around 400m. This morning was a cracker,  blue skies and light winds.  There was only a few cm's of snow but it don't half look more wintry in the Northern Cairngorms.  I had a blast over the Fiacaill Coire Sneachda ridge today. Saw no one along it and not many climbers in Coire an t-Sneachda . Summit temperatures were around minus 5 C. It certainly was more like January . Timed to perfection today as the cloud rolled in and winds increased early afternoon as I walked back across the plateau.
More snow and more cold to come.

STUNNING BLUE SKIES DAY


STEEP GROUND & SNOW BELAYS

2019/01/13 19:49

Axe & Bucket


Bollards 

Abseil


Stomper

Rock belay

Fabulous snow and ice
 Second day out with Cameron & Tom. Today we focused on security on steep ground. A day of high winds was forecasted but we found excellent shelter as well as brilliant snow and ice on the East side of the Cas ridge. It was only around 30mph here so very comfortable. No one seen all day. The temperatures were lower and it felt like proper winter. Later in the afternoon it started snowing above 750m.
A great couple of days with these guys.
Looking like full winter conditions most days next week. Welcome back winter.

STEEP GROUND & SNOW BELAYS


THE GREAT SLAB, COIRE AN LOCHAIN

2019/01/12 18:20

Tom & Cameron enjoying the coire

Fab cramponing again

Solitude in the Snow


Looking up to the cliffs

Front pointing

Plenty of fun snow

This guy loves this spot

The Couloir 

Murkey

Down
More steep please
Friends Tom & Cameron out with me this weekend on a 2 day winter course. As always Tarmachan Mountaineering offers bespoke and tailored courses. The guys already have some basic winter experience.  Today we built on this and did a good deal of steep ground in Coire an Lochain.  We started off with some step cutting then donned the crampons and did a nice circuit of the 'Tour de Grandes Slab', the big granite feature in the middle of Coire an Lochain.  The snow around here was fabulous . A bit softer and slightly less intimidating than recent days but still required respect, it's a long way down to boulders! After lunch we traversed out on good solid snow ledges to the plateau.  All day we were well sheltered in the coire. On the plateau it was only around 35mph winds, much less than forecasted. We finished off the day with some fun sliding on the big patches on Cairn Lochan's Western flanks. Apart from a couple of skills groups we saw no one else all day. A Cure and friendly Mountain Hare was settled in the boulders about 6ft from us as we chatted noisily!  He's found his spot and he wasn't going to be disturbed! Brilliant . Top day out and good banter.

THE GREAT SLAB, COIRE AN LOCHAIN


STEEP GROUND, SNOW SHELTERS & SOLITUDE

2019/01/10 18:57

Brilliant snow at Feithe Buidhe Slabs 

Marnix & Eva enjoying the winter conditions 

Point Five Gully 

Snow shelter break 

Navigation time

Loving the solitude of Feithe Buidhe 

Loch Avon & Shelter Stone Crag

Ice holding on

Feithe Buidhe & Hell's Lum 
 Another big change in ground conditions again today. Within 24 hours we lost the cold temperatures, fresh snow, rimed crags and cloudless skies. All is never lost and you can always find fun in the snow, especially with Tarmachan Mountaineering! We know the Northern Cairngorms so well and where the best of the lean snow can be found. Today return clients Marnix & Eva were back out with me for a day of winter mountaineering . Last year we had plenty of snow and ice. This time we made use of the best places.  We kicked off with a fun time on Point Five Gully.  There's a couple of small broken sections,  otherwise it's complete. After gaining the plateau we headed over to Coire Domhain and a quick snow shelter for a break. Then a descent into the beautiful Loch Avon basin. Over on the Feithe Buidhe Slabs there are still good amounts of deep snow and most of it well frozen despite the jump in temperatures. Higher up it was freezing point so really good. Nice steep sections here, usually it's a bit more banned out by mid January.  We walked across the plateau in a few snow showers and stiff breeze. Definitely winter like! Eva did the navigation across the high  ground and back to civilisation. Top day and we saw no one after the lochans in Sneachda.

STEEP GROUND, SNOW SHELTERS & SOLITUDE


LOOKING A LOT MORE LIKE JANUARY

2019/01/09 17:10


The Couloir busy today
Great day for the ptarmigan
Fiacaill  Coire Sneachda busy
Plenty of croaking from the ptarmigan

Wildlife day

Snow cover improving by the day

More like it
Folk above The Vent
The final croak
There was some overnight snow fall to a lower level last night in The Cairngorms. Probably the best place to be if you want snow and cold temperatures just now. It was a glorious morning and early afternoon today. No wind, cold and bright skies. Lots of folk out climbing on the cliffs of Coire an Lochain. The Couloir in Coire an Lochain looked like a popular choice too. I lost count of the hordes of folk on the Fiacaill Coire Sneachda. I was up there yesterday and not a soul seen. Fair weather mountaineers eh? :)
Great day for wildlife photography in the corries this morning. Not a sound from the wind and the ptarmigan were in good croaking mode. I spent a good hour with these guys. Brilliant.
Some light snowfall over the next few days to top up the snow levels and volume. I was actually up to my ankles in fresh snow in some areas today. Can't remember the last time that happened!

LOOKING A LOT MORE LIKE JANUARY


A BIT MORE WINTER LIKE

2019/01/08 17:59

Fiacaill Coire Sneachda 

Plenty of rime

Best of any views today 

Quiet along the ridge 

Fiacaill Buttress 

Cairngorm plateau
A fresh dusting of snow and high winds last couple of days. The Cairngorms looking a bit more like Winter today. Plenty of rime ice along the Fiacaill Coire Sneachda ridge which was deserted. The plateau was also well rimed up. Plenty of folk out in Coire an t-Sneachda but no one along the Fiacaill and hardly anyone seen on the Cairngorm plateau,  although visibility was poor so maybe it was! Minus 2 C on the tops with a 40mph wind. It certainly felt more like January.  More snow would be very welcome .

A BIT MORE WINTER LIKE


BENIGN CONDITIONS AGAIN

2019/01/05 19:38

Douglas enjoying the fabulous conditions 

Steep & icy

More ice

Another glorious cloudscapes day 

Brilliant snow conditions again

Breaking out into clear skies (again)

Breariach

The Great Slab

Loving the Inversions

Quiet hillside
 Benign conditions continued today in The Cairngorms.  Another day of light winds, hard neve and a temperature inversion.
Douglas out on a 1 day Intro to winter hillwalking. We went to Coire an Lochain again as this is probably the best area for snow at the moment. Plenty of scope for differing terrain and steepness in impressive surroundings. It's also quieter than it's neighbouring coire
Just like yesterday, we enjoyed fabulous neve, excellent for gaining good crampon technique. No room for sloppy footwork just now, some serious run outs below the snow.
Apparently we may get some fresh snowfall next week, how welcome will that be?

BENIGN CONDITIONS AGAIN


TEMPERATURE INVERSION AGAIN

2019/01/04 20:24

Breaking through the Inversion 

Ice

More ice

Cairn Lochan Inversion

Fiacaill Coire Sneachda above the Inversion 

And another one

Great photos day

Fabulous neve

Cairn Lochan 

Sneachda above the Inversion 

Heading down from 1141m

Broken Spectres here we come

Cairn Gorm & Sneachda 

Beautiful sunset

Snow was good too
Two days on the trot and the Cairngorms gets temperature inversions. Very nice. Today's was even more stunning than yesterday's.
Jamie was out with me on a 1 day into to winter.  He couldn't have hoped for a more stunning day. We walked into a low cloud Coire an Lochain this morning.  We started off with some step cutting at the snowfields around the Great Slab area. Quickly it was terrain for cramponing. Once Jamie was confident with crampons we traversed out onto the plateau . All the way along this traverse we could feel the warmth and it became brightened by the minute. Soon we broke out above the cloud top and into clear skies. Wonderful.  For Jamie this was his first experience of a temperature Inversion and we got a Broken Spectre. The snow in the coire was perfect neve. Up on the plateau it was rime ice but clear of snow. Temperature in the coire was around freezing point, up on the tops it was +8 C by afternoon. The views of the sea of clouds below the summits was absolutely beautiful.  We spent the last couple of hours on Navigation before heading reluctantly back into a gloomy and cloudy Coire Cas. What a day to be out on the tops.

TEMPERATURE INVERSION AGAIN


CAIRN GORM TEMPERATURE INVERSION

2019/01/03 17:05

Cairn Toul above the inversion
Mountain Hare, post roll in the snow
Broken Spectre and Inversion

Cairn Gorm summit
Braeriach and Cairn Lochan just poking out
Sgor an Lochain Uaine above a sea of cloud
Feathered rime 
Mr. Broken, The only skier today

Good Mountain Hare terrain
Another cold morning in the NE Highlands. Braemar reaching minus 10 C this morning. Up on the high Cairngorm summits there was a temperature inversion this morning. Coire Sneachda and Coire an Lochain were in a sea of cloud whilst the high summits poked into glorious sunshine. I made a good choice this morning to get into the sun for some wildlife photography. Cairn Gorm was busy so I wandered out to the east in search of solitude and mountain hares rolling in the snow! Another fine day to be out in the mountains. Light winds, sunshine and great views. What's not to like? Once again all the old snow is solid and well frozen. Some fresh stuff would be welcome.

CAIRN GORM TEMPERATURE INVERSION


SUB ZERO AND BLUE SKIES DAY

2019/01/02 18:14

Heading up to the Fiacaill 

bomber snow

Rime ice on the ridges

Some old snow on the Fiacaill 

Low temperatures,  ice forming 

Most snow in the Goat Track /Point Five area

In the sunshine 

Beautiful delicate feathered rime 

Best view in the Cairngorms 

Coire an Lochain 

Serious run outs, sharp crampons 
Hell's Lum area
Third and final day with Amanda and Laura. Beautiful weather day to end their course . Clear skies, low temperatures and no winds. It was minus 5 C on the tops today. Just like yesterday, the old remaining snow pack is rock solid. Crampons essential. We headed into a busy Coire Sneachda,  the fair weather folk out or is it start of winter skills courses? So we escaped the crowds and from the coire linked up the snow patches to gain the Fiacaill Coire Sneachda ridge. We had the rest of the day to ourselves.  The ridge has very little snow on it but it was rimed and it was one of those days were you decide to take off or leave on the crampons. Lovely rime on the plateau. For lunch we went over to the finest view point in the Cairngorms. Then back across plateau to descend into Coire an Lochain. Fabulous day and great end to the course.  The ladies are off on a big expedition to a 6000m peak near Stok Kangri in July. Good luck and have a great adventure. The Scottish mountains in winter are a fine training ground for big mountains around the world. In 2020 they're planning a Patagonian trip, guided by yours truely, thanks! 😀

SUB ZERO AND BLUE SKIES DAY


NEW YEAR, COLD TEMPERATURES

2019/01/01 17:43

Fab neve

Crampons essential 

Coire an Lochain quiet

The ladies on Cairn Lochan 

Cliffs with rime

Coire an t-Sneachda 

Rime

Coire an Lochain 

Minus 4 on the tops

Ice forming

Coire an Lochain 
A very happy New Year,  especially as the normal winter temperatures returned today. Much colder with minus 4 C on the summits. There had been a small dusting of snow above 800m and rime ice above 900m. Any old snow is completely solid, fantastic cramponing but with serious run outs onto very rocky and steep ground.  Today Amanda and Laura were out on day 2 of their bespoke course. We rescheduled today from yesterday. There was high winds of 80mph+.  When you book a course with Tarmachan Mountaineering we always try and schedule around the best weather and snow conditions while we are available.  Don't get this with your 'run of the mill winter skills courses' :)
The ladies built on day one's skills and some great technique along with bags of confidence. Very quiet on the hills today. As we like it :)

NEW YEAR, COLD TEMPERATURES


OVER 200 MOUNTAIN DAYS IN 2018, HAPPY NEW YEAR

2018/12/31 16:05

2018 draws to an end. Another brilliant year in the mountains. I've put together a wee video of some of the 200+ mountain days I've enjoyed this year. Thanks to all and clients and friends who joined me on the hills but most of all to my amazing wife, Karen.
Looking forward to seeing folk out with me in 2019. Without you guys Tarmachan Mountaineering would not exist.
Best wishes, have a safe and happy New Year in the mountains.

OVER 200 MOUNTAIN DAYS IN 2018, HAPPY NEW YEAR


1 / 2  >  >> 

Copyright © 2019 Tarmachan Mountaineering. All rights reserved
Website by Coire Creative