13th January 2016
(Above) 700m in Coire Ardair. Careful choice of approach required at the moment with thigh deep drifts in places making travel on foot tiring. Some are unavoidable but you can make OK progress if you ‘scope out’ the wind-scoured areas.
(Above) 900m. Plateau cover has improved in all locations. Skis would have been great on the Carn Liath plateau but really only appropriate for access. Only saw one person today and he was labouring on foot through deeper snow approaching the Min Window from the summit of Carn Liath.
(Above) Sniff! Apologies for the sound effect but it goes to show how quiet it was in the absence of wind at 900+m today. Panorama of part of Coire a Chriochairein and the crags above Lochan a Choire at the far end of Coire Ardair.
(Above) A still from the video. Location of today’s formal snow pit high in what we call Wall Gully, on the eastern edge of Coire Chriochairein at 930m. An east aspect in order to check the stuff that drifted in on recent westerlies. Our snowpits often provide useful and interesting info on the snowpack but it forms just part of the overall snow and stability assessment that you’ll read in the report/forecast on the SAIS website. If you look carefully you can see the remains of the broken wall – from which the gully gets its moniker – which leads directly to the snowpit. Fabulous spot, though it was a bit of a graunch getting there today due to drifted snow.
(Above) Home time. Looking across Coire Ardair towards Coire nan Gamhna – just left of centre on the far skyline. No real warmth in the sun today. Even colder in the refrigerated shade of anything facing north. These low temperatures are preserving instability in many places above 900m at the moment, though it’s tending to be localised.
(Above) Got to be potential for least 2 or 3 Geography lessons in this shot: river meanders and braiding, morphology of river features – river bluffs etc….Classic glacial drumlins through which the river is forging its course….Lapse rates linked to precip rates. Fill yer boots geography-meisters!
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