Nightmare dressed like a daydream.
12th February 2018
It’s been snowing and blowing. A lot. Pillows of windslab prevalent on most moderately inclined lee slopes as low as 700m; very poor stability, too. The forecast is for stronger winds and more snow in the morning. No improvement expected in stability. Actually, it’s looking like instability will become more widespread. (I swithered for some time on whether I issued a ‘Considerable’ or ‘High’ avalanche hazard category for our area tomorrow).
(Above) The ‘upside’ is that there’s pretty good cover for access by skis down low, though trail-breaking was tiring in the deeper stuff. Saw the ski tracks of two ski-tourers ascending the slopes of Na Cnapanan. Perhaps they were doing ‘the round’. Wonder how far they got?
(Above) Balloon Gully, carved into the side of Coire Ardair. Size 1 cornice-triggered dry slab avalanche here this morning. No surprise given the conditions. (Generalised small loose snow avalanche activity higher up the gully). Cornices are a feature – some are large, gnarly and collapse-prone.
(Above) E and SE aspects in Coire Chriochairein. L to R; cornice and natural dry slab debris. The avalanche on the right hand side of the shot is on moderately angled ground with the crownwall a third of the way down the broad, open gully. Very large fragile cornices still in place.
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