Mountain porn

20th January 2018

Welcome to the Creag Meagaidh peep show. Like the very finest burlesque performances the early glimpses tantalise, tease and arouse, just a little.  So it isn’t all over in a heated rush, full exposure always comes later. Enjoy.

(Above) A group of three ski-tourers, in the mist, ascending the easy angled face of Sron a Ghoire this morning. Was grey and misty down low at times.

 

(Above) Flat, white light during the ski ascent towards Carn Liath. For a change following other people’s skinning tracks. Thank you! There is a God after all!

Some hillwalkers about, too. Least effort – in theory – for them to follow the ski tracks. Doesn’t always pan out that way:

 

(Above) Into the wild blue yonder above the cloud inversion. Looking west towards (L to R) Sron a Ghoire, the Post Face of Coire Ardair & Coire Chriochairein. Stellar day up high.

 

(Above) The East and South East face of Sron a Ghoire. The three ski-tourers in the first photo can just be seen on the far left of shot near the shadow. (Click the photo, then right click it and select ‘Open image in new tab’, select the tab and zoom in.) I think they were doing laps and enjoying some great snow conditions on easy angled ground. There was a Size 1 cornice-triggered avalanche over on the right hand side.

 

(Above) Detailed shot of the cornice-triggered avalanche. The crownwall doesn’t show up well in the shot but was clear through the binos. Quite small – Size 1 – and occurred overnight or very early this morning. This is quite steep ground. The ski-tourers further left made a good choice for their mountain activities on a day when there was instability in places on these aspects. Choosing lower angled ground, below 750m, where the snow wasn’t as deep gave them some good, safe and enjoyable sport.

 

(Above) Looking across Sron a Ghoire to the Post Face of Coire Ardair, with the exit ramps of the 3 ‘Post’ routes illuminated.

 

(Above) Coire Chriochairein from the Carn Liath plateau. Large cornices in places on East and South East aspects. Some cornice debris visible, too.

 

(Above) En route to Carn Liath. Wee cornices above the rocky micro summits of Na Cnapanan at 625m.

 

(Above) Showing a bit of leg. Looking back at our own tracks. Ventured away from the trench ploughed by others. No complaints today.

 

(Above) Feather boa discarded. Looking South West. The smoky peaks beyond the SE flank of Sron a Ghoire and the Creag Mhor ridge – near skylines.

 

(Above) The first or last tree of Coire Chrannaig. The wide, shallow coire where we keep our secret stash of snow for great descents off Carn Liath.

 

(Above) Back down into the mist. Aberarder Farmhouse backlit by afternoon sun. T’was a perfect day.

 

(Above) Creag Meagaidh car park. No surprise it was busy today.

 

 

Comments on this post

  • Will Close-Ash
    20th January 2018 10:17 pm

    We made some of those postholes!

    • meagaidhadmin
      20th January 2018 11:38 pm

      Strenuous stuff. Trust you were rewarded with stunning views. Good effort, Will!

  • James
    22nd January 2018 1:47 pm

    Amazing photos – love Meagiadh! I’ve had my eye on a ski of the large gully on Coire Chriochairein (following the border of sun and shade in your photo), but it’s always struck me as hard to get it in condition and not when it’s hugely corniced / avalanchy / etc. Clearly been a funnel for activity this weekend!

    • meagaidhadmin
      22nd January 2018 10:07 pm

      Many thanks for your comment, James.

      The gully you’re alluding to is what we call Lifa Gully.
      Named after the old-school polypropylene Helly Hansen next-to-the-skin layer, the one that soaks up all the sweat required to get there. It also clings on to body odour no matter how many times it’s washed! I digress.

      It can be a very good ski in the right conditions and it’s possible to access it quite safely by following the broad shoulder immediately to its right (looking up) which gets you 3/4 of the way up it. Quite easy angled apart from the final upper quarter. The gully does avalanche a lot + other avalanche slide paths track into the mid to bottom sections, too. There’s normally a few massive cornices hanging around as well. Doesn’t sound promising then. But, get the timing right and it’s great fun. Get it wrong and….well, you know the rest of the script. I’ve seen ski-mountaineers drop into the top of it from the plateau rim in late spring once all the cornices have slumped and it’s just been a cruise on corn snow. Timing, of course, is everything.

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