Easter egg snow hunt

17th April 2022

(Above) The Big Picture. Looking west towards Sron a Ghoire and the Post Face of Coire Ardair (obscured). The remaining snow patches are melting slowly and receding up the hill. Slightly larger ones remain above about 850m on N to SE aspects.


(Above) Part of the Post Face of Coire Ardair. Cloud above 900m for most of the morning. Principal gullies remain complete in Upper Coire Ardair.


(Above) Coire Chriochairein, also partly obscured by cloud.  The wide snowy gully right of centre extends down to 700m.


The 2021/22 winter season ends for us today, folks. All SAIS personnel will meet tomorrow to rake over the ashes, look at the numbers and tie up as many loose ends as possible.

There are big changes afoot next season in the way sportscotland formally engages the SAIS people who actually go out into the mountains, prod the snow and then formulate the avalanche reports and forecasts. The entirely self-employed workforce is going to be migrating over to employee status and become **public servants**, no less!

Amongst many other things, I’m looking forward to statutory tea breaks and access to the keys to the executive toilets at Glenmore Lodge!  Those and other details will be thrashed out over the coming months…without too much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I hope.

So it’s goodbye from me. And a goodbye from him.

Until next winter, then.

**Possible over-simplification**. But you get the drift.

Comments on this post

  • Patrick
    17th April 2022 5:12 pm

    As ever thanks to all the teams for your hard work…these blogs plus forecast are an amazing resource to have..we are lucky to have you!☺️

    • meagaidhadmin
      17th April 2022 6:38 pm

      Our pleasure, Patrick. Delighted you find them useful.

      Best wishes from the SAIS ‘Meggie forecasters.

  • sean collum
    17th April 2022 6:13 pm

    Thank you for all the reports throughout the season, excellent service and much appreciated.

    • meagaidhadmin
      17th April 2022 6:39 pm

      Flattering feedback, Sean. Thank you!

      Have a great summer.

  • Keith Horner
    18th April 2022 8:27 am

    Many thanks for your insightful and informative reporting again this season – much appreciated as ever. Seems like this season was characterised by its considerable variability – periods of significant dirth of snow followed by excessive snowfall, a particularly wild and stormy February and the calm alpine conditions of March and the recent rapid snowpack depletion – what happened to the continental high pressure systems which characterised the winters of our youth? A sign of the time we live in….?
    Hopefully your employed status next season, with the associated issues of timesheets, risk assessments, mandatory pee stops, public holiday allowance and other bureaucratic procedures, will not curtail your particularly informed and entertaining style of reporting.
    Enjoy your summer break .

    • meagaidhadmin
      18th April 2022 5:18 pm

      Ha ha! Enjoyed reading that last bit, Keith!

      March was indeed incredibly dry. Just back from the SAIS end-of-season meeting where, amongst many other things, we looked back at the winter and compared notes across all the 6 areas.

      Torridon seemed to suffer most from lack of snow + there was less rain (startling in itself) but more wind than usual in the NW, too. ‘Low’ hazard category was by far the most common hazard category across all SAIS areas this winter, and on more than a few occasions SAIS Torridon considered issuing a ‘No hazard’ category…mid-season, which is unheard of.

      This variability in the weather we’re seeing (including extreme events) is something we’re going to have to get used to during the winter. It’s a trend the climate scientists identified about our changing climate some 10+ yrs ago, and we’re seeing it in the flesh, so to speak.

      Many thanks for your comment, Keith. You’re always an interesting respondent.

  • Grant Duff
    21st April 2022 10:57 pm

    Thanks to everyone at the Meagaidh patch and beyond for keeping us safely informed and frequently entertained during a sparse snow season.

    Your efforts are truly appreciated and I look forward to seeing how employment status evaluates years of local knowledge, a passion for the land and sweat!

    Enjoy the summer sun and until next season.

    Grant. Kinloch Laggan

    • meagaidhadmin
      24th April 2022 1:09 pm

      Many thanks, Grant. Wishing you a productive and enjoyable summer, too.

      Re. employment status & pay. There’s a benchmarking exercise being carried out right now using pay data for people in similar roles in Canada, Norway and Switzerland. Kinda hoping we’ll be paid like avalanche forecasters in Norway. (We’re allowed to dream, aren’t we!)

      The outcome of the pay review will be revealed in May/June, then there’ll be contracts to negotiate/draw up before signing on the dotted line in the autumn. Quite understandably, none of the current SAIS forecasters I’ve spoken to are prepared to commit to next season…yet.

      The new pay scheme and terms of employment will be key to staff retention, I think.

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