Thursday, 25 February 2010
Cold is the snow that sweeps Glencoe...
Despite the forecast for 'snow flurries', we are now over thirty hours into an increasingly severe blizzard. It started as gusting winds and snow showers yesterday before dawn, but by now the wind is consistently galeforce and gusting at around 50mph. Around 3 - 4 inches of damp snow have fallen in terms of level fall, but the drifts are much deeper and it has only actually been settling here for around 24 hours.
Up in the mountains conditions are savage. Yesterday was a terrible day for avalanches. There were several reported slides on Ben Nevis, and one mountaineer was airlifted out with severe injuries; it is not entirely clear whether he was actually avalanched, or simply the victim of a fall. Closer to home, an avalanche on Buachaille Etive Mor resulted in an epic search and rescue operation that lasted well after dark, although tragically two climbers lost their lives in the accident.
We are currently snowed in at the pub, the snowgate is down and staff and customers alike are stranded here! Needless to say, the advice from all quarters is not to venture out into the mountains until the snowpack stabilises again.