In search of snow in upper Coire Choille Rais
5th January 2020
Not quite but almost getting to the stage where the day’s mission is not to establish snow stability, but just find some snow – any snow. It’s a rare resource at the moment and continues to diminish. Coire Choille Rais was as good as any place to launch this quest today. It’s one of my favourite locations on our patch and even on a mild, cruddy weather day like today there’s usually something of interest to see. Usually! Not so today, unfortunately.
(Above) The lochan (
or should that be tarn?) at the head of Coire Choille Rais. It’s at exactly 810m. I was lucky to snatch this shot during a momentary clearing of the mist. Yes, some snow! Result! What snow there is is all on the North-facing wall of the coire. Visibility didn’t improve at all during my excursion, actually it got quite a lot worse. Then it rained.
(Above) The wee burn that drains out of Lochan (disputed noun) Coire Choille Rais holds a small snow patch on one of its banks, with one or two remnants down to about 750m visible in the distance. Walk in/out is a bit of a bog-fest at the moment due to the amount of recent rainfall. When it’s properly wintry with full snow cover it’s an easy half day ski tour with some cruisy low angled downhill on the return leg to the forest. Definitely recommended but be absolutely certain of conditions/cover before you embark on it otherwise you’ll be shouldering your skis and hopping about from peat hag to sphagnum moss bog and cursing my suggestion. Timing is everything!
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