Highlands & Islands

Avalanche forecaster's images show Cairngorms whiteout

Dog in whiteout conditions in Northern Cairngorms
Image caption Stanley is transformed into a snow dog by spindrift, wind-blown snow, during whiteout conditions

An avalanche forecaster has captured the full force of a whiteout in the Cairngorms in a series of photographs of his dog disappearing under snow.

Stanley was unharmed after being buried under spindrift, wind-blown snow, over a period of 15 minutes in the Northern Cairngorms.

A whiteout occurs in snow-covered terrain where the sky and the ground appear to merge.

The condition can be caused by low cloud or heavy snow.

Whiteouts can be potentially dangerous for walkers and climbers out on Scotland's hills and mountains as they greatly reduce visibility.

The images of Stanley were captured during an avalanche risk assessment on 3 January for the Sportscotland Avalanche Information Service (SAIS).

The organisation provides forecasts for the Northern and Southern Cairngorms, Creag Meagaidh, Glencoe and Lochber.

For the first time this winter, SAIS is trialling avalanche risk forecasts for Torridon in Wester Ross.

The service has recorded 42 avalanches in Scotland so far this season.

Dogs regularly join their SAIS and ski patrol member owners on jobs in Scotland's hills.

They have included a border collie cross from Canada called Chester and Glenshee Ski Patrol dog Bode.

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