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Enough snow now thanks

OK, it’s just stopped snowing now. It’s at least 12in deep on the pavements etc. Even though it’s been snowing for the last 12 hours non-stop the depth hasn’t really increased. All that’s been happening is the trapped air has been squeezed out as the snow gets denser.

At this point I’d like to suggest that we’ve got more than enough now and no more is needed. In fact we had more than we needed by last Friday! Snow on the hills is great but I’d like it to be clear on the roads with the freezing level about 50m higher than the car park and the snow higher than that. This amount of snow makes getting out to any interesting hills far too much of a challenge! It makes getting to The Pentlands a challenge and I only live 5 miles from them!

It was only -2C when I left for work in the blizzard and gloom but now it’s stopped it looks quite nice out. I saw a small bit of blue sky even. But it’s bad enough here that only 4 out 22 people made it in to the office. Noticeable that all the people who made it in drive Japanese cars (Honda CRV, Subaru Legacy, Mazda 6 & Toyota Prius). The roads are deserted and even the Temples of Mammon (supermarket carparks) on Christmas Eve’s Eve were deserted.

Good luck to anyone who can make it out onto the hills today, especially those in the UK where the snow is unusually severe. Take care.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:
Same here in Biggar Andy! I notice the met office site forecast for Douglas still says it should be sunny, clear sky. Been snowing here steadily all morning and 8/8 cloud cover all the time!
Dug the car out of the drive now so might get out walking tomorrow.
Robert
GM4GUF

Hi Andy and Robert,

We’ve still got a lot of snow in Macclesfield. It started Saturday evening and it continued to snow through Sunday. Monday was a sunny but the snow was still on the ground. Yesterday it started to snow again through the day but it didn’t make the snow any worse to what it was. Today so far is sunny with blue sky but we still have a lot of snow. I hope the snow stays till Christmas day so it is a white Christmas.

Merry Christmas

Jimmy M3EYP

In reply to MM0FMF:

There is certainly plenty of snow in the lake district at the moment. Thomas and I drove up yesterday first thing hoping to do Seat Sandal and Fairfield. These were supposed to have a covering of 20cm of snow according to the mountain forecast.

When we arrived in Grasmere snow was still falling so after a bit of deliberation as to the likely conditions decided to at least go for a walk up the Grasmere-Patterdale bridleway to see how far we could get and try out some new winter gear which included ice axes and crampons.

The depth of snow increased steadily from 6 inches (15 cm) at road level to 2 feet (60cm) above 400 meters. Walking in the soft new snow was rather difficult and quite exhausting. However about half way to the pass at Grisedale tarn the sun came out and views of the surrounding peaks became apparent so we decided to press on and try and at least get to the top of the pass. Strangely the snow appeared to have fallen vertically for once and this meant that there were practically no areas where wind scouring made for easy walking.

In the deep snow we eventually lost the path we were trying to follow and eventually, ever mindful of the need to avoid steep bits, and the danger of avalanches, made our way or or less directly upwards, eventually finding ourselves on the plateau near the top of Seat Sandal. Here the depth of snow was more like 3 feet and even more in hollows and snow drifts.

Walking condition were some of the hardest I’ve ever experienced. Literally we’d climb 10m and have to stop for a rest. We would certainly have been forced to retreat had we not had the ice axes and crampons with us and at times we tested the envelopes of our personal comfort-zones.

On the summit we elected to go for a 2m FM only activation. As we sat in the bothy bag it started to snow again. After lunch and 15 minutes or so on the radio we emerged to find ourselves in a mini-blizzard. Packing up rapidly we retreated down the north face of Seat Sandal and thence down the Dunmail Rise footpath arriving back at the car around 2:30.

If anyone is thinking of venturing up onto the hills then please bear in mind that it takes at least half as long again as normal to get anywhere, particularly where other walkers have not yet worn a path. Added to that navigation is much harder when you can’t even see the outline of the path.

73 and merry christmas from

Rick and Thomas.

In reply to M0RCP:

Rick

Snowshoes are well worth a try. Not a universal panacea but in some condition they make the going very much easier. Mine have built-in crampons:

http://www.yowies.com.au/

I used to stock them but no longer do so and I suspect they may be hard to get hold of here now. The problem is there are few years when you can actually use them!

73

Richard
G3CWI

In reply to G3CWI:

£135 in Needle sports Keswick. I don`t think the SOTA pole restorers will be breaking down their doors to buy a pair.

In reply to M0RCP:

Just a wee bit jealous of you guys there Rick.

On a slightly different note, I noticed earlier that the daytime maximum temperature for Dalwhinnie (in the middle of Scotland for anyone wondering) yesterday was -8.5, that’s MAXIMUM temperature, yes that was as warm as it got :slight_smile: and it was down to almost -16 at night, brrrrr!

Iain, M3WJZ

In reply to M3WJZ:

It’s quite pleasant here now, watery sun through high altitude cloud but still -1C in the sun. Now the snow has stopped and the grit has been churned into the snow by the traffic reports are that traffic for my local Morissons has gridlocked the area, mainly because the carpark access is via a busy roundabout which now has traffic lights on it.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to G1INK:

Steve

As far as I know they don’t actually stock them any longer although they are on the website. No doubt someone will suggest that cling-film, tennis rackets and duct-tape will do just as well.

73

Richard
G3CWI

In reply to G3CWI:

A search on everyone’s favourite search engine, Google, turns up 1.18 million hits for “DIY snowshoes”! :wink:

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:

http://www.survivaltopics.com/images/survival-snowshoe-352.jpg

I have obviously paid far too much!

73

Richard
G3CWI

In reply to G3CWI:

Woot! The SOTAWATCH effect! (c.f. Slashdot effect).

So many of us have tried to access that website that the server is replying with a 500 Internal Server Error.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:

This however seems to work:

http://www.survivaltopics.com/survival/how-to-make-snowshoes/

for now… Just off to collect some twigs and string.

Rick

Hi, what is this talk about snow? Try the Ayrshire coast, quarter inch snow, melted by lunch, then it has rained and hail. Plenty of frost though, only -4 at night.

Come to our green and plesant land.

Neil

Well that’s another 10cms of snow today. I was going to nip out for a quick 2pointer. There’d be no problem getting up the hill the only problem would be the drive there and back. It seemed rather pointless to drive out in bad weather just to climb a hill and that seems to have been a sensible decision as the A9 was closed for some time as was the A701. The hills aren’t going anywhere in a hurry, so after a long and indirect walk through the woods for the Sunday papers I’m sat at home enjoying (another) vodka and lime! Congratulations to anyone who made a successful activation today.

Andy
MM0FMF

Hi All,

The snow in Macclesfield has melted, but we still have some ice. We are expecting more snow this Tuesday and Wednesday.

Happy New Year

Jimmy M3EYP

In reply to M3EYP:

Snow photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mm0fmf/sets/72157623080466672

People who live in Scandanavia or places which get proper snow may wonder what this fuss is about but in the last 40 odd years I can’t remember such a long period of regular and significant snow falls. Some places in the UK do get a fair amount of snow and even though I live around 170m ASL and near 56deg North, this isn’t a place reknowned for it’s snow!

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:

People who live in Scandanavia or places which get proper snow may
wonder what this fuss is about but in the last 40 odd years I can’t

Yes and no. We have some fresh and dry air here now about -20 C, but temperatures around 0 C can be problematic too with snow. Trimming link dipole today outside at -16 C was not so easy either. FT817ND seems to work down to -23 C though the internal battery does not give any practical power for making QSOs. One night I tried sleeping in a tent with temperatures from -23 C at night to -14 C in the morning, but will not do that kind of expedition this year. The coming new year should have also some fresh temperatures. I hope to be active that time from the Pyhä-Luosto fells.

73, Jaakko OH7BF/F5VGL

Hi Andy

Happy New Year - interesting pics of the snow up north, and now we know what the missus looks like! We have had similar in Pickering North Yorks, indeed the BBC camped up here at The Forest & Vale Hotel on the day it started. We didn’t get the extra 100mm though that you talked about yesterday. It rained last night and then it froze. I’ve never known such slippy polished ice condx on the roads. I had to visit a friend this morning and so had to push my bike for a mile to the main A170 before I could risk riding it.

73

Phil

In reply to MM0FMF:

Hi Andy

Having recently moved work location (Oct 09) to Sighthill in Edinburgh the WX has been very interesting commutting from Kirkcaldy everyday. The roads have been pretty good, except for Sighthill Industrial Estate ! the problem has been the other drivers. They either travel too slow and cause hold ups or they are going too fast and creating accidents. Funniest sight of the week was four articulated lorries performing ice dance on the northern approaches to the Forth Road Bridge though it did cause tail-backs to Kelty !

At least Andy the thaw should now allow you to get to the hills again - look forward to hearing from you on the air soon.

73 and great New Year

Glyn GM4CFS