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Current snow situation in west coast/skye and Crampon advice

Current snow situation in west coast/skye and Crampon advice


Postby Ajp425 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:59 pm

Hello,
First of all I would like to say a massive thankyou to everyone that contributes towards making Walk Highlands such an invaluable and comprehensive resource for anyone planning an adventure in Scotland. It has been an adventure in itself reading through all of the walk reports fining those that suit my Wife and I with our upcoming trip.

We are visiting Loch Lomond, Glen Coe, Nevis and Skye (Cuillins, west coast and the north) and have a good 12 days of full day walks planned, we are both avid walkers and absolutely cannot wait. I am however concerned about at what elevation snow is still prominant in
Loch Lomond (loch achray area, Ben Venue)
Glen Coe (Creag Meagdaidh Circuit)
Nevis
The Cuillins (I would very much apreciate any reccomendations on any walks that take in the beauty of cuilins but arn't too sketchy. My Wife will leave me if I lead her to any ridges or ledges that are too exposed, especially in the snow)

I would much rather be over prepared than under prepared and I'm toying with the idea of hiring crampons.

Any advice would be massively apreciated. Thank you in advance!
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Re: Current snow situation in west coast/skye and Crampon ad

Postby jmarkb » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:45 pm

You don't say when your trip is starting, but full winter conditions have returned to the hills over the last few days. There is fresh snow down to around 400m in most areas and a high avalanche risk - see https://www.sais.gov.uk/ - worth reading the blog posts as well as the official forecast to get an idea of current conditions.

Meagaidh, Nevis and the Cuillin are all serious undertakings in winter. If you are not equipped for winter conditions and/or unsure of your winter navigation and avalanche risk assessment skills, I would strongly suggest looking at some options on lower hills.
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Re: Current snow situation in west coast/skye and Crampon ad

Postby Ajp425 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:33 pm

What a twerp my apologies!
Our trip is planned from April 13th - 25th.
I last went up Nevis end of April a few years back and the snow was waist deep in places for the last ~250m of elevation but I had crampons and ice axe (as well as a map,compass, gps so as to not lose my bearings) and there was a total white out as we made our descent for around 15/20minutes. That happening is what is making me cautious about conditions/safety. It was extremely fun but I saw too many unprepared people in hoodies and Nike air maxes getting very cold and stuck very quickly!
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Re: Current snow situation in west coast/skye and Crampon ad

Postby jmarkb » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:51 pm

Ajp425 wrote:Our trip is planned from April 13th - 25th.


Ah, OK!

It's impossible to say what conditions will be like in a month's time, but you are right to treat the higher hills with respect. Full winter conditions may still prevail, or you might get spring-like conditions with sunshine and patchy soft snow. It's probably best to come with a variety of options in mind, so you have sensible alternatives to choose from depending on the snow and weather conditions you encounter.
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Re: Current snow situation in west coast/skye and Crampon ad

Postby DizzyVizion » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:09 pm

Torridon is bare at the moment compared to most places. Snow was soft and started at 600 metres. Crampons on about 700 or so metres. Extremely high winds (60-70 mph gusts) with frequent whiteout. Made the traverse over the Horns of Alligin really exciting.
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Re: Current snow situation in west coast/skye and Crampon ad

Postby davekeiller » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:32 pm

I would expect that the Loch Lomond area will *probably* be fairly clear of snow by mid April. Generally, the other areas hold at least some snow into May, but this has been an unusual winter and I wouldn't like to make predictions more than a few days in advance.
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Re: Current snow situation in west coast/skye and Crampon ad

Postby Caberfeidh » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:35 am

April has as much or more snow than any other winter month, and it is still winter up in the hills in April. Walks along glens still take in the beauty of the hills without the risks and dangers. The roads are very dangerous just now, never mind the hills.

Kingshouse view#2hdr.jpg
Buchaille Etive Mor two days ago


Kingshouse view#1.jpg
The same view a few minutes later
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