Snow reports and latest news from the trails
Ski hire from HNOC
Snow Report from Clashindarroch
Courtesy of HNSC
Saturday 7th March 2020
Snow Report from Clash
With warmer temperatures today, the snow has softened but there are much more extensive thin or bare stretches on all trails. There is still good cover on the Range and Little Range, with sufficient snow to ski out to the Biathlon Way/Classic Start junction and along most of Classic Start itself.
The options for Sunday's HNSC Open Championships are severely constrained. A decision is awaited. If the event does go ahead, the only feasible route will be about 1km in length.
Clashindarroch snow report from Timberline
There has been relatively little loss of snow cover since last weekend, but the depth and quality on the trails themselves has suffered due to overnight frost, wear and tear, and lack of new snow. From the main entrance on Biathlon Way and beyond, along the Main Drag, the surfaces today were either “concrete” or ice, with any downhill gradients, however slight, being very fast. Untracked snow at the sides gave some respite. The same would apply to many of the busier trails, which makes the much better snow on the Haute Route somewhat challenging to get to. There is full cover and full depth on the Range. Beyond the thin and polished downhill at Telemark Twist (where the discretionary option is to inch down the rushy right-hand verge), the Main Drag has a short bare patch followed by thin and scratchy ice for a couple of hundred yards before slightly better cover appears. The descent at the start of Normans Way has a couple of bare patches and is effectively not skiable. Short Cut is thin but OK in ascent. It is likely that Leids Leap and Deer Track are even harder and faster in descent than they had become by last Sunday afternoon. Range Way is thin and would be difficult to descend under control at present. Milder temperatures are forecast for Saturday but we will have to wait and see what effect this has, especially if it rains as well. One fairly sure prediction is that the thin surfaces around the Hytti area will wear out fairly soon.
Sunday is the back-up date for the HNSC Open Championships. There will be an inspection on Saturday to see if it will be feasible to hold this event, which would necessarily be along a severely abbreviated course if it does go ahead.
4th March 2020
Clashindarroch snow report
The overnight frost had held good snow cover in most areas. Uphill skiing was possible in almost all areas, with icy snow or ice in the bottom of compacted lanes. Pole tips could however be used successfully in all areas. Softened snow existed in sunny areas and hills not heavily snowploughed including the sides of tracks. Conditions were fast and downhills were to be treated with care as ice or hard packed icy snow were prevalent on all lower runs. Competent skills required for small gradients.
The entrance to the Hytti was very icy and hard. Great care should be taken on descent. Car park is bare with patches of hard snow and ice.
Still extensive snow cover for lots of skiing. Beware of fast downhills.
Clashindarroch snow report from Timberline
Snow cover is almost as good as on Sunday. Some downhills are fast and somewhat icy, e.g. Deer Track, Range Way, Telemark Twist. The Haute Route is in great condition, and Highland Fling appears to offer a smooth descent on good snow (I was going up). Descending Leids Leap is for the experts. The Main Drag (between Telemark Twist and Highland Fling) is thinning out but still useable.
1st March 2020
Clashindarroch snow report from Timberline
A brilliant day, enjoyed by a big crowd. Car park had at least 40 vehicles by midday.
An overnight frost and a dusting of fresh snow, replenished again at midday, improved conditions for Sunday. There was good skiing almost everywhere, though Range Way and Short Cut are wearing thin. By mid-afternoon the popular trails were smooth and much faster as temperatures dropped. Skiers on Leids Leap should beware of maintenance vehicle tracks on the mid and lower sections of the route, but the middle of trail is smooth and skiable for those who can cope with speed! It should remain cold for the week ahead, giving continued skiing opportunities, but more snow is needed to forestall a slow decline in conditions.
29th February 2020:
Clashindarroch snow report from Timberline
The early hours of Saturday brought a minor setback in the shape of rain and a brief rise in temperatures, which took the shine off the open hill and brought some loss of quality to the snow in the forest. However, by the time the first skiers arrived the temperature had dropped to plus 2, and by mid-afternoon the sky was blue, the tramlines were glazed and the snow was crisping nicely, ensuring there’ll be plenty of skiing available on Sunday. A couple of trail notes: Short Cut has thinned out considerably, needing care in descent. On Leids Leap the steep corners are smooth, thin and will probably be icy. An odd snow shower overnight wouldn’t go amiss.
The compacted snow in the car park turned to slush on Saturday. If there’s a frost, this could turn into rutted ice, but access to the front car park should be fine, just needing a little care. Thank you to the 4x4 drivers who parked in the back section on Saturday.
Thursday 27th February 2020, saw a couple of centimetres of fresh snow on top of the existing good cover. The main trails have cut tracks at the side and are in good shape. Lesser used trails such as Secret Passage can be a bit sticky due to the lack of a frozen base under the soft snow. It looks as if the weekend will bring a little rain and a little snow, but with plenty of good skiing on offer. There has been some drifting on the open hill above the forest, but the indications from a brief struggle on the slope beside Snowgoose are that the Timberline snowfield has not yet consolidated sufficiently to be skiable.
26th Feb 2020
Tracks have been cut on the main 8.6km loop. Tracks haven't been cut on Short Cut or Wildcat because the snow is a bit thin at the top of these trails but the snow has been compacted with the snowmobile on both of them. Excellent skiing on all trails.
Clashindarroch snow report from Timberline,
24th February 2020: At 1315hrs, the snow depth in the car park had reached 6cm, with snow falling at the rate of 2cm per hour. Temperature zero, and the snow was damp, with no sign of drifting. Trail conditions too sticky to ski! (wax wizards excepted). But in due course, conditions can only become better than any we've seen since last season, at least. As of lunchtime, the roads and car park had moderate snow, but travel conditions are of course subject to change.
A feast from the east...
Clashindarroch snow report from Timberline, 21st February 2020:
Very mild today, except where exposed to the wind. The remaining snow on the Range and Little Range has broken up into patches. Patches of ice survive on the way in from the road, and the ground has stayed semi-frozen. The effect should be that any new snow arriving when it turns cold again should stay. The question is, will there be enough to ski on? There's a helpful report from Telepine, with photos, on the Winterhighland Forum at
Clashindarroch snow report from Timberline, 17th February 2020:
No change since yesterday. Possible fresh dusting of snow on the Buck overnight with snowline at about 1800ft (well above Clashindarroch). In the forest the short surviving stretch of snow at La Glace is holding up well, but realistically we need more snow before one can say there's skiing at the Clash again. With a cool week forecast, let's hope for this.
Clashindarroch snow report from Timberline, 16th February:
The trails were whitened overnight by a centimetre of fresh snow, but this was only enough to cover up the residual thin and icy patches left over from last week's modest snowfall. The new dusting will certainly have improved the Range, 30% of which already had reasonable surviving cover. With a generally cool forecast for the week ahead, and some modest amounts of snow included, there is some scope for optimism.
Clashindarroch Snow Report 9am Saturday 15th February
Snow icy and hard, should soften soon. Cover thin. Stadium area has better cover. Deer Track just passable. Weather at 9am drizzle, winds picking up.
Clashindarroch snow report from Timberline, 14th February: A rise in temperature in the early hours brought a change to high winds, showers of rain and sleet, and sunny intervals. This morning there was still sufficient depth on trails near the Range, although by lunchtime the snow had softened and become slower. These conditions are likely to last into Saturday unless (a) there’s an overnight frost, which could speed things up, or (b) more rain or snow, with unpredictable results. More distant trails were generally not in good shape today, suffering from weather conditions and wear and tear, with some sections too thin to ski and parts of the Haute Route bare due to scouring by the wind.
Clashindarroch snow report from Timberline, 13th February: The weather was settled and cold on Thursday, followed by temperatures well below freezing before midnight, enabling the snow cover to continue as reported on Wednesday; with somewhat better skiing due to the more popular trails becoming well tracked by skiers. There's ample snow on the Range, and good skiing on the "home trails" Biathlon Way, Classic Start, Range Way and Deer Track. Elsewhere on the system, some of the trails are scratchy; and on the Haute Route there are a number of scoured sections where one has to take to windblown snow in the ditch. With unsettled weather on the way, along with rain forecast for this morning, followed by some snow each day into next week, "subject to change" is probably an appropriate comment for the next few days.
Wednesday 12th February 2020
After several false starts, today was the first day of the season at Clashindarroch, as far as “proper snow” is concerned. Happily, this avoids beating the record set in 2014 and 2016 for the latest recorded start, which was 13th February in both years. New snow did indeed arrive overnight, with the undisturbed depth in the car park increased to 13cm. On the trails this was very unevenly distributed, due to the effects of wind and tree canopy. Some parts are still scratchy, for example Telemark Twist and the descent at the start of Normans Way. Leids Leap is scratchy and scary on the steep stony section, but nice further down. The Haute Route has several wind scoured sections at awkward places, but most can be bypassed in drifted snow in the ditch. On Herringbone Hill, care is needed as there is deep gullying, mainly on the right hand side looking downhill. The trail is passable but narrower than before. Generally the snow was slow today, but with the freeze overnight it’s likely to be considerably faster on Thursday. The car park will be rutted and icy on Thursday unless the snowplough pays a visit.
Tuesday 11th February
Nice to have something to report again, but it's a bit of a mixed bag.
Clashindarroch snow report from Timberline 11 February: Some snow has finally struggled far enough eastwards to land at Clashindarroch, about 7cm as of today. This was the depth in the car park, but it was unevenly distributed on the trails, thin in parts lower down and subject to drifting and scouring higher up. There was sufficient snow for sliding in and around the Hytti area, and on Classic Start and Deer Track. In fact, Deer Track would have been worth going up just for the sake of the smooth run back down again. Unusually, the same cannot be said for Short Cut, where it was necessary to take to the moss at the side in places. Out along Telemark Twist and the Main Drag it soon became too thin and sticky to be worthwhile. So, things are a bit patchy so far, but with more snow expected over the next 12 hours we could be looking at the first decent conditions of the season quite soon.
Fingers crossed, then. Still going to be windy but easing off somewhat during Wednesday. Road conditions uncertain for the morning because there may be drifting.
Clashindarroch snow report, 28 January 2020 from Timberline:
The overnight snowfall amounted to 5cm on the lower trails, 6cm at the foot of Leids Leap (suggesting 1 or 2 more higher up). Although it is powder and will remain so until the temperature rises above zero, the skiing can only be classed as marginal, being a mix of slow, sticky and scratchy. Not a day for one's best skis. Having said that, the cover is fairly evenly distributed, and when the sun shines and the snow is flaking lazily down off the trees it is a reminder of how bonny the forest can be in the winter. The A941 had slight snow this morning.
Tuesday 17th December from Timberline:
The lower trails have up to 4cm of snow, sticky in places and scratchy in parts; probably much the same on the higher trails. Temperature during the day was plus 1 to plus 2, with a fine drizzle which may have turned to rain later. If there is an overnight freeze, the trails and car park will become very icy.
Friday 15th November:
Skiing not really advisable
Clashindarroch snow report from Timberline. With an overnight frost but no significant further snow, there was an icy crust, making uphills challenging and downhills alarming. Snow depths at midday were the same as on Thursday, i.e. 2-3cm, but 4cm on the Main Drag near the foot of Short Cut. In places there was little or no cover. Skiing was possible from 100 meters in from the entrance. The Range had full cover. Temperature reached plus 5. There is slush (or ice) in the car park, and on occasional stretches of the A941, which also has melt water which may freeze overnight. Overall, conditions are marginal and less than comfortable due to the icy crust.
Clash Snow Report Monday 11th March:
5 - 10 cm of snow has fallen overnight on the trails.
Lower Trails are "Good"
Upper Trails are "Variable"
Clash Snow report Wednesday 20th Feb:
The warm weather has stripped most of the snow from the trails. The Range has 5% cover, the Little Range 10%. On the Haute Route, there are just over 100 metres of skiable snow in the usual place north of the phone mast -- a testament to the microclimate of "La Glace de Clash". This suggests there may be one or two similar lengths further along the Haute Route. Their survival for much longer is unlikely. We can only hope for a return to normality not too much later in the season!
Saturday 16th February
After walking in as far as the Hut, it is still possible to ski a length of 400 metres or so -- linking the Range, the Little Range, Biathlon Way, then left on Classic Start as far as the junction with Rollercoaster -- where the snow runs out. The snow this morning was firm, despite temperatures of plus 9 and springlike weather. There is 25% cover on the Range (about 10cm deep), 100% on the Little Range (about 15cm deep), while on the rest of the route the trail is generally wide but narrows to about 150mm in places. The big ramp from the Little Range down to the Range is skiable, but look out for the hard bump at the bottom! So it looks like there should still be sufficient snow, in reasonable condition, for serious practice, or just good fun, through Sunday. Although there is not enough for longer, continuous touring, those who don't mind some walking should find similar lengths of worthwhile skiing on the highest stretch of the Haute Route (from Barns of Haddoch northwards) and at "La Glace de Clash" which is on the Haute Route between the phone mast and the top of Short Cut -- although the top part of the steep descent north of the phone mast is probably bare for a short distance. It is quite remarkable that the snow has lasted this long, with daytime temperatures around plus 9 since Tuesday. The attached photo was taken late this morning.
Monday 11th February 2019
1-2cm of fresh snow on the lower trails, & up to 5cm on the upper trails, has covered the boilerplate conditions of yesterday giving some really nice skiing.
Clashindarroch Snow Report Saturday 9th February 2019
"Abundant snow" is still the appropriate description for Clashindarroch, though the snow lower down in Aberdeenshire has been disappearing fast. The trails have lost little if any snow despite recent milder conditions. There are tramlines to follow on most routes. The Haute Route today was crisp and firm. Lower trails had the occasional slushy tramline but the depth, compaction and temperature of the successive layers is helping to preserve the skiing. Off-trail adventuring has ample depth but the snow is not as firm as it might be, i.e. you may struggle in places! For Sunday, there is a top-up of new snow forecast for the afternoon. The car park will be icy, or slushy, wet, or all three at the same time.
Clash trails report Friday 8th February
Dancing on ice was the theme for the car park today, but a gloriously deep and kind layer of snow met skiers at the gate and this continued, with compacted trails bordered by forgiving soft snow on the verges. Despite rain showers the snow was holding up well. Off-trail the snow will probably be soft and rather heavy going, calling for regular swapping of trailbreaking duties.
So, the outlook for the weekend is for the abundant skiing to continue. It should not get too mild on Saturday, and a topping-up of snow is currently predicted for Sunday afternoon.
Clash Report 7th February 2019
The trails have been groomed double-width around the main Highland Fling-Haute Root loop. It is possible to skate but the track is groomed a bit narrower than I would usually like for skating in few short sections.
The temperatures were too warm & the snow still too soft & deep to venture over to Herringbone Hill but the tracks are well skied in this direction.
Still a great depth of snow in the forest and you can ski pretty much wherever you want.
A reminder about the Secret Clash tour on Saturday. Meet 10 am at Biathlon Range. Bring a packed lunch. Looking at the weather for Saturday we are more likely to be exploring in the shelter of the trees rather than the higher open moors. If you plan to come please let me know so I will leave without you or just turn up.
Although it has been milder today (plus 3-4), the superb snowpack is undiminished; 30cm on compacted trails, and 40-50cm of soft snow on the verges (very useful, that!). The tramlines were slick and a slight overnight frost ensured rapid acceleration. Short Cut is transforming itself into a sloping terrain park, with the bumps and dips magnified by dumps of snow coming off the trees, interspersed with potentially icy patches
Clash Report 6th February 2019where trees have been dripping. There was a huge amount of snow on the trees along the Haute Route, which will probably be shed when it gets windy. There seems to be every prospect of the snowpack enduring, but the main feature in the forecast for the coming weekend will be high winds, along with some additional snowfall.
The snowpack on the open hill is somewhat variable. Areas exposed to the wind are relatively firm, and there may have been slight thaw/freeze effects where they are in the sun. Some areas are developing a thin breakable crust. In the shade, the snow has not consolidated and is hard work.
Clash Report Tues 5th Feb.
2-5cm of snow fell on Monday covering the groomed trails. But with firm, groomed snow just beneath this fresh cover the skiing was good. The trails would benefit from another groom and if conditions allow we will try to do this in time for the weekend but I can't guarantee that will happen.
Clash snow report for Friday 1st February:
Well, the forecast proved right. It started snowing around 11 am and got progressively heavier. By 2.30pm there was 5cm of fresh snow in the car park and snowfall was continuing, with a further instalment forecast overnight. The A941 was fully white this afternoon and will be "interesting" on Saturday unless the plough comes through.
The car park this morning had been modified by traffic into a mini-mogul field. With all the new snow on top of that, it will be challenging on Saturday -- take a shovel for each passenger! The car park does sometimes get ploughed but this arrangement is separate from the ploughing of the A941 and only happens occasionally. Thank you to the 4x4 drivers who ventured into what Peter Thorn calls the "further reaches" of the car park today, allowing 2WD cars to use the more accessible front part. In the "further reaches" the hard-standing is beside the fence on the right as you go in.
Clash Trails report, Thur 31st Jan.
The trails have all been groomed and the skiing is excellent. A lot of people out skiing today.
I expect/hope the trails will be busy this weekend. Please park considerately, don't block the entrance and it really helps that those of you with 4-wheel drive vehicles park in the deeper reaches of the car park.
Snow report Wednesday 30th January:
A bluebird day at the Clash – minus 5 at the car park mid-morning, squeaky snow on the Haute Route, clear blue sky, white pillows of hills to the west – definitely the best day of the season so far. Another centimetre or two of powder landed overnight to add to the already excellent quality of the snow. Back down to earth, the downhill at the start of Normans Way still requires a shuffle down the left-hand verge to avoid the stones; but no serious issues reported from elsewhere. The snow cover on the trails is generally very good, and the skiers' tramlines even make it easy to double-pole up some of gentler gradients (as well as down them, of course). The Timberline snowfield still has to consolidate properly. It has a 20cm layer of snow on top of the heather, with some limited drifting giving extra depth in places. And the icing on the cake is that the great conditions seem set to last through the weekend and beyond, with maybe a further topping-up of snow on Saturday.
Monday 28th January
In contrast to Sunday’s miserable weather, conditions today were near perfect, with 5cm of powder overlying a frozen base consisting of the 10-day old thin base plus a thick layer of wet snow which froze on Sunday evening before the powder arrived. The result was effortless gliding on up to 14cm depth on the lower trails and up to 17cm on the Haute Route (see photo). As usual, tree canopy left the trail uncomfortably thin at the top of Telemark Twist (escape by using the edge of right-hand verge) and on the descent at the start of Norman’s Way (shuffle down the narrow left-hand verge – unconventional pole manoeuvres allowed!). The A941 from Rhynie has been ploughed and treated but the residual slush and ice have probably re-frozen by now.
And it's looking cold through to next Monday!
Photo: Haute Route from Mutiny Bend.
Snow report for Friday 25th January:
The temperature rose abruptly overnight, as forecast, resulting in some loss of snow -- to the extent that the thin stretches have become noticeably longer -- but surviving lengths of worthwhile skiing could still be found today. Range Way had become as much green as white, but the Range itself retained its full cover. Detailed trail reports for today are probably irrelevant in view of the forecast. Generally, although thin, the base was well frozen until Thursday night, likewise the ground underneath, so there is a fair chance that much of this will last to give a foundation for the next snowfall. There's a lot of precipitation forecast for the weekend, turning to snow, so although conditions could be unpleasant, there will hopefully be something to be thankful for in due course. This should also mean a good dump of snow on the open hill.
Clash Report 17th January 2019
The overnight snowfall has deposited 5-8cm of good skiable snow at the Clash -- a wee bit thinner in places, as usual, and a wee bit more on parts of the Haute Route, which is a pleasure to ski. Care needed on the upper part of Telemark Twist and the descent at the start of Normans Way. There is ample snow at the Range. A beautiful winter day today with sun, snow on the trees, temperatures at or below freezing, and no wind. It looks as if the snow will stay. It would be nice if we were to get a shower now and again to keep it from getting too icy. The A941 from Rhynie has been ploughed but is icy.
Clash Report 28th October 2018
, gently steaming in full sun and perfectly still air. Although the trails softened in the midday sun, they were crisping up again by mid-afternoon. Anyone negotiating the green and white patchiness of Range Way should look out for the sudden acceleration where it emerges onto frozen snow at the junction with Biathlon Way! The Range had continuous cover.HaddochMore snow arrived overnight, giving 3-5cm depth generally on most trails, but with small gaps in the usual places. A frozen crust allowed good skiing, especially on the Haute Route. There was a topping of 9cm of snow on the rocks at Barns of
Haute Route from Mutiny Bend, Clashindarroch 28/01/2019
Credit CH Miller HNSC