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Conditions to expect on Ben Macdhui in May

Conditions to expect on Ben Macdhui in May


Postby Highland Panda » Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:18 am

What kind of conditions are you likely to encounter on Ben Macdhui in late May
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Re: Conditions to expect on Ben Macdhui in May

Postby Jokester » Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:42 pm

In May you can expect there to still be some large snow patches at the top, if a particularly bad winter possibly even complete snow down to a certain level though this would be unlikely by the end of May I suspect.
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Re: Conditions to expect on Ben Macdhui in May

Postby jmarkb » Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:30 pm

Jokester wrote:though this would be unlikely by the end of May I suspect.


Yes, unlikely to still have complete snow cover in late May. Could still be large patches on the plateau, could be very little. Probably best to avoid any steep north-facing terrain, such as the Goat Track in Coire an t-Sneachda unless you are actively seeking winter conditions!
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Re: Conditions to expect on Ben Macdhui in May

Postby Highland Panda » Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:36 pm

Thanks

Going to try and avoid any snow, as never been near any and Ben macdhui isn't the place to start
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Re: Conditions to expect on Ben Macdhui in May

Postby jmarkb » Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:04 pm

Highland Panda wrote:Going to try and avoid any snow, as never been near any and Ben macdhui isn't the place to start


You are right to be cautious, but the snow will almost certainly be soft and sugary at that time of year, and crossing some easy angled patches is unlikely to cause any problems.
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Re: Conditions to expect on Ben Macdhui in May

Postby al78 » Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:16 pm

My only experience of Ben Macdui was in the first half of June, and conditions on the claggy summit were snow free, but it felt like an average mid winter day in lowland England.
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Re: Conditions to expect on Ben Macdhui in May

Postby prog99 » Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:23 pm

As others said should be fine. There will almost certainly be a large furrow ploughed through any snow patch.

Save for a good day, brilliant views.
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Re: Conditions to expect on Ben Macdhui in May

Postby Border Reiver » Sat Aug 29, 2020 10:06 am

Best bet is to prepare for anything and have a plan A,B,C etc. A few years back I was on Braeriach in late March in a mini heatwave 17c, and again in mid May of the same year when there was 6" of fresh snow, MacDhui was white from around 3,000ft upwards.
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Re: Conditions to expect on Ben Macdhui in May

Postby Ben More » Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:50 am

On 11 June 2009 I walked over Carn a'Mhalm, Ben Macdui and Derry Cairngorm. There was very little snow lying around, but there were very heavy snow showers, on Ben Macdui, which led to brief white outs. I remember there was a group getting instructions on navigation - ideal conditions for them. Back at Mar Lodge it was reasonably warm.
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Re: Conditions to expect on Ben Macdhui in May

Postby Caberfeidh » Sat Aug 29, 2020 1:55 pm

MacDui can have full snow cover in May, or none at all; you just have to wait and see. Also snow storms can happen any time of year up there on the plateau, you better have the clothing to cope with winter conditions. And a sun hat and sun bloc just in case. Welcome to the Cairngorms.
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Re: Conditions to expect on Ben Macdhui in May

Postby davekeiller » Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:18 pm

Conditions on Ben Macdui in May could be anything.
It's usually well into the spring so the snow cover is likely to be soft, melting patches, but it can still be cold in May so you could encounter hard, frozen snow.
May is typically one of the drier months in Scotland, but that doesn't exclude torrential rain.
It's also typically warming up as summer approaches, but you can still get late season frost.

In short, it's likely you'll get good early summer conditions with some patchy soft snow underfoot but nothing to really worry about, but that doesn't mean you definitely won't get winter conditions.
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Re: Conditions to expect on Ben Macdhui in May

Postby Gareth Harper » Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:09 pm

You can expect anything from wintery conditions to a heat wave. Check the mountain forecast.
https://www.mwis.org.uk/

Four men were lifted off Cairn Toul early this morning. Reports claim that one of the men was hypothermic.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-53964851
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Re: Conditions to expect on Ben Macdhui in May

Postby Marty_JG » Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:53 am

What conditions can I expect on a Scottish mountain in May?
Yes, you can expect conditions.
I mean specific conditions?
Oh yes, you may expect specific conditions.


Gareth Harper wrote:Four men were lifted off Cairn Toul early this morning. Reports claim that one of the men was hypothermic.


They were doing a 24 hour charity walk and were rescued at 3am.

Braemar Mountain Rescue team said "people were often ill-equipped or without the correct skills for the mountain environment and walkers should ensure they are prepared as temperatures become cooler."

I'm wondering if they had a proper 4-man emergency bivi, the ability to make hot drinks and food, etc., but I'm starting to suspect they didn't.
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