Tuesday 30 March 2010


6.30 a.m. Heavy wet snow is blasting past the windows. The land outside is white, a reversion to the winter. A journey to Aviemore in driving snow, roads wet and slippery, mostly snow free but patches on bends cause the tyres to slide slightly. Aviemore station snow and windswept but the train is on time and the family head off south, perhaps to warmer and sunnier weather. In a cafĂ© I stare out at the steady snow and people walking fast, heads down, hoods up, shoulders hunched. Then home, the roads a little whiter now, the snow a little heavier, the visibility a little less. The snow is drifting in the gusting wind, a foot deep in places by mid-afternoon. Light fire, cut more firewood, decide the weather is best viewed from inside the house. Twelve hours after I first looked out at the blizzard and the snow has not eased for even a second. Still it drives across the land, a hazy white sweep of snow blurring and softening the fields and woods. The forecast is for it to continue overnight, perhaps becoming even heavier. The Met Office has issued a flash warning for severe blizzards and very heavy snow – perhaps 30 centimetres with big drifts. “Roads are liable to become impassable and some interruptions to power supplies are possible.” In the mountains the winds are forecast to reach 80mph. Whilst probably not as severe as now the cold snowy weather will continue for the rest of the week and into the weekend. Easter will be tough in the hills. The winter is not yet over.

Photo info: Strathspey in the snow, just outside my house, March 30, 2010. Canon EOS 450D, Canon 18-55 IS@30mm, 1/640@ f5.6, ISO 100, raw file converted to JPEG in Lightroom 2.6


  1. Reading this I am reminded of some of the descriptive passages in Tove Jansson's books, very evocative and stirring. Felt pretty bleak, family departing, layers upon layers of more snow.
    I hope the winter hurries past soon!

  2. Hi Chris,

    We often get the heaviest falls of snow in March and this year is no exception! After the blizzards of yesterday (Tuesday March 30 2010) I awoke this morning at 0500 hrs to a further overnight fall of well over a foot of new snow.

    I left the vehicle at the end of the drive last night and spent an hour clearing snow around the car before breakfast – just waiting for the farmer with his plough to clear the lane.

    According to Traffic Scotland many of the roads around here are closed and looking at the Traffic cameras I can see that the A95 is bad at Ballindalloch and Grantown. The three mile single track lane that I live on leads on to the A95.

    I think it is going to be a snowshoe day for the long dog walks – but in the forest not on the hill as the wind is really getting up again. And then sit by the fire with a good book – it is great to be retired and I miss work like I miss a bad toothache!

    Forecast today for another foot of snow. The Cairngorms will have snow into summer this year!


    Rob fae Craigellachie

  3. Hi Robert,

    Still snowing here at 12.30pm. There are drifts three feet deep in the garden. Power has been intermittent but never off for more than a few minutes at a time.

    I'll be out on skis or snowshoes - but only when the wind eases!

    I'm not retired but as I work from home and am self-employed I can adjust somewhat to the weather, though this winter has cut into my work time. At present I'm waiting for some test gear to arrive. It won't be today!

  4. Hi Chris,

    Since I posted at 0700 hrs it hasn't stopped snowing. By 1000 hrs there was 20" of new snow (measuring in an area not subject to wind)and in the last couple hours loads more snow and I haven't re-measured…I’ll do that later.

    Away from my home which is pretty sheltered (I planted hundreds of different trees - deciduous mainly but some Scots pine too 20 years ago) there is a lot of drifting and I can imagine what it is like on the hill...avalanche prone to be sure!!! Yes, forays in the forest and then reading by the fire where I am headed now!

    I did go out with the dogs on snowshoes - the snow is very slabby and I fear I'll lose more trees.

    No you wont get any gear delivered today!! I just had a phone call from a courier phoning from the A95 in Aberlour...I said don't even try to get up our lane..you wont make it..tractors only!!

    Just think of all the skiing you will soon be enjoying!!!


    Rob fae Craigellachie