Thursday, 23 June 2016

June Snow In The Cairngorms

View across Coire Domhain to Ben Macdui

Snow lasts longer in the Cairngorms than many people think and in June there are often extensive patches remaining, patches big enough in fact to perhaps still merit the term snowfields. On the trip described in my post for June 20 I passed by much of this snow and crossed some of it. The continuing existence of this snow gives the mountains a wilder air. It's reminder of the winter gone and of winters to come. Summer is only a brief visitor here.

How long will this snow last? It's very hard to tell. Some was soft and visibly thawing. That will go first. Some was hard and packed into thick dense slabs. That'll take time to go. The weather matters too of course. A very hot summer and the snow will melt quicker than in a cool one. Most of the remaining snow is on eastly facing slopes as can be seen in the picture above. This protects it from much direct sunlight and from warm wet south-westerly winds.

I'm strictly a curious and interested observer when it comes to summer snow patches. I like to see what's there and how long it lasts but I don't measure it or keep detailed records. Iain Cameron does and anyone interested in summer snow should follow him  - +theiaincameron - for fascinating insights, information and photography.

In the meantime here are some pictures of the remaining snow on and around the Cairngorm Plateau on June 18th and 19th.

Snow-wreath at the head of Coire Cas

One of several snowfields crossed by the path to Ben Macdui  
Thawing snow patch along a feeder stream of the Feith Buidhe


Extensive snowfields round the upper corrie of the Garbh Uisge Mor




















Snow on the upper slabs above the Loch Avon basin






Looking down the snowfields to Loch Avon

Walkers on the way to Ben Macdui


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