…and a few seconds later….
18th January 2020
(Above) …and a few second later. Maybe the sun did enough work on the snow to loosen its bonds? As mentioned above, pretty minor activity in the scheme of things but does demonstrate that the snow lacks cohesion in its near surface layers. A low value avalanche ‘clue’ but as you’ll see later indicative of some instability.
(Above) Drifting and scouring above 750m over on the Sron a Ghoire side of Coire Ardair. Drifting didn’t let up at all on Saturday leading to new windslab development on lee slopes and scouring on those exposed to the wind. We had overnight snowfall down to the A86 so the wind had quite a lot of raw material available to push around the mountains in our neck of the woods.
(Above) A minor incised terrain feature at 850m over on Sron Ghoire, filling in on its lee side. Vast expanses of crusty and/or hard snow-ice on wind exposed areas at plateau level. The crust was unsupportive…again…today below 900m, but maybe firmer up high? I was foot-soldiering in Coire Chriochairein and found it best to aim for the exposed vegetation. Not as tiring and less need to resort to my (extensive…and growing) collection of verbal expletives after each footstep breaks through the surface into the deep cruddy snow beneath!
(Above) Cornice-triggered Size 1 avalanche on a steep SE aspect in Coire Chriochairein this morning. The winds swirled around and scoured the bottom end of this coire but continued to load windslab into the upper reaches of the scarp slopes and gullies seen in this photo. Skyline here is at circa 950m.
(Above) A number of ski tracks on the Coire Ardair path on Saturday. Had a brief conversation with a pair of fairly local ski tourers (from Moy, nr Inverness) who, if I’m not mistaken, are these two picking their way up the steep approach to the Min Window from Coire Ardair. Hope they found some good snow. (If it is you, then do chime in on the Comments section. Be interested to hear how your day turned out.) Crusty down low and there are precious few ribbons of drifted snow for skinning ascents to the plateau, one of which these two found.
Comments on this post
Got something to say? Leave a comment