Wiki definition :In meteorology, an inversion is a deviation
from the normal change of an atmospheric property with altitude. It almost always refers to a "temperature inversion", i.e., an increase in temperature with height, or to the layer ("inversion layer") within which such an increase occurs......
I think I have been hiking in the hills for around 15 years now and I can almost certainly say that some of my most memorable experiences have occurred when I have been stood on top of a mountain or on a mountain ridge looking down on the cloud below , with blue skies above. It doesn't happen too often but when it does its magical.
A recent twitter post by the film maker Terry Abraham showing some amazing photos of being above the clouds in the Lakes, got me thinking about my "inversion" experiences of which most have occurred this year.....
However my first proper inversion probably happened on top fo Rannoch Moor. When I say "on top" I mean on top of Stob Dearg looking towards Rannoch Moor.
It was fantastic and as the cloud lifted the views down and over Rannoch amazed me. This was my first trip to The Buachaille (and my first experience of a Brocken Spectre too!). The next day the forecast as very similar and I can remember dragging my old man up Beinn Chabhair and we were not to be disappointed as we broken through the cloud the peaks emerged out of the Ocean of cloud one by one coming into view as we got higher. It was a great day and even more so being able to share it with my old man :)
The next inversion which springs to mind came on Hogmanay 2008. I was ascending one of the Corbetts near Balquhidder in misty conditions when I unexpectedly broke through the cloud to bright sunshine!! The freezing conditions soon gave way as I got away from the colder air in the glen below. I ended up spending around two hours on the summit in my T-shirt with the Crainlarlch Munros standing proud above the cloud
Then this summer I had a number of memorable experiences involving inversions. After a scramble up The Fiacaill Ridge I pitched my new Scarp1 tent above the Lairig Ghru near the Northern Corries. On waking at around 04.30 , I peeked out, looking North and was disappointed that there was no inversion. Luckily though I decided I need to "spend a penny" and on doing so I realised that to the south there was cloud flowing through the Lairig Ghru a few hundred metres below me - I was almost too high to see it. I quickly packed up and headed towards the main stay of the Inversion to the south, and from the summit of Britain's second highest peak experienced another great inversion :)
However, topping them all was my experience on the high tops aove Loch Etive at the end of Glen Etive. After a magical evening on the summit of Ben Trilleachan I awoke to clag and mist. I had high hopes of an inversion an even waited for over an hour for the weather to perhaps change. Dejected and down heartened I struck camp and headed for home. Then it happened - the light changed and suddenly the cloud was whisping past me as opposed to be enveloped by thick clag. Ben Starav momentariliy showed itself across the Glen and then the sun showed it self on the horizon - the cloud was lowering!! One of my most memorable mornings in the mountains was happening. The views were awesome and I spent over an hour watching the clouds change and the sunrise over Glen Etive and Glencoe. The light was fantastic.... Luckily I caught most of it on film (see below)..
For how they form and more technical info check wiki:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inversion_(meteorology)
I hope to experience many more inversions but sometimes when the weather opens for these, other factors mean we cannot enjoy them i.e. work!!!!! :( Hope you enjoy the videos and photos...
Some thoughts and reports from my outdoors activties...