Picture postcard pretty.
27th February 2017
(Above) Looking west along Loch Laggan this morning with Stob a Choire Mheadhoin on the right in cloud; A86 trunk road visible extreme right of shot. Beautiful day! Very cold in the shade but warmer on sun-exposed aspects. Fresh snow at all levels first thing, with about 4cm on the main Coire Ardair path.
(Above) Binnean Shuas with a covering of snow. A hill best known for the summer rock climbing on its southern face. Some fine mature old coniferous trees on Ardverikie Estate fringing Loch Laggan. (FAO tree lovers: They are non-native species, but that doesn’t stop them being fine old trees!)
(Above) Coire Chriochairein. Some evidence of old avalanche activity, probably overnight last Friday/Saturday during rainfall and mild temps. Old debris just visible below the cornice line which is throwing some shadow in the photo. Snow on the lower slopes of this coire melted back up to about 600m later in the day.
(Above) Detailed shot of the Post Face: right to left – North Post, Centre Post and South Post (Last Post is almost non-existent.) A party of winter hill walkers in the foreground of this shot en route to the Inner Coire, The Window and beyond.
(Above) Part of the NE-facing crags of the Inner Coire of Coire Ardair. Looking up to The Pumpkin, with The Wand and Diadem to the right of shot. Note the exposed rocks and boulders on the crag apron in the bottom third of the photo. This area is normally a wide, easy-angled smooth slope of deep snow and is looking a bit lean to say the least; the approach to The Window is little better.
This is a NE aspect and was very cold here in the shade today. I recorded a snow surface temperature of -5.3 degrees C. at noon which has induced a steep temperature gradient through the near-surface layers of the snowpack. Remaining very cold overnight so instability expected to be preserved in these steep and heavily shaded locations, especially above about 900m.
Do read the avalanche report carefully and cross-refer to the ‘Avalanche Hazard & Travel Advice’ table that’s easily accessible on the SAIS website. We spend quite a lot of time thinking about the interplay between our written report and the hazard scale, so please take time to consider both together.
(Above) Left to right: Bellevue Buttress, Raeburn’s Gully hidden, Pinnacle Buttress with the top end of Easy Gully in the top right of shot. An Alpine-like flavour to the scenery today. More old avalanche debris was present in Easy Gully, again from the recent meltdown.
(Above) Late edit to the blog posting. A photo of Easy Gully taken on Monday showing the lobe of old, chunky avalanche debris. (Hope this helps, James.) Apologies for the overly dark photo but I had to play with the contrast and mid-tones in post-production in order for the avalanche debris to be more visible.
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