Inner Coire of Coire Ardair.
21st February 2021
The Scottish Avalanche Information Service issues information to support permitted activity under current Scottish Government guidance.
This blog is intended to provide hazard and mountain condition information to help plan safer mountain trips.
(Above) Looking up towards ‘The Pumpkin’, ‘The Wand’ and ‘Diadem’ in the Inner Coire of Coire Ardair. Note the large cornice line still in place over the top of the entrance to Cinderella. Recent cooler temperatures will be helping to refreeze the surface of this cantilever of snow but the core of it will still be moist or wet from rainfall and mild temperatures over the past few days. Avalanche debris is from yesterday’s avalanche cycle.
(Above) The entrance to ‘Cinderella’ in the Inner Coire. Freezing at 900m today which is approximately at the apex of this talus fan in the centre of the photo. More avalanche debris here, also from yesterday’s cycle.
(Above) Looking out into Coire Ardair itself and beyond from the Inner Coire. The general snow cover at Creag Meagaidh is much more mottled than indicated here in the photo. Still good cover above 800m but there more brown than white at lower altitudes now. Lochan a Choire continues to hold a more or less complete cover of thickish ice.
Met a very fit looking guy running up the main Coire Ardair path when I was exiting this afternoon. He was wearing nothing more than a pair of trainers and some running shorts. Period. I felt some faint warmth at the lower end of the path near juvenile birch trees but I definitely wouldn’t call it springlike today. Anyway, his mission was to get 5km along the main path (quickly!) to the lochan for some cold water swimming and then back out again in short order. Gotta admire his chutzpah, if nothing else. I have friends who extol the virtues of cold water swimming and swear by its benefits. I remain unconvinced!
(Above) Looking across to Bellevue Buttress, the mouth of Raeburn’s Gully and Pinnacle Buttress. You can see the extent of the avalanche debris from yesterday’s events more clearly in this photo left of centre than Saturday’s blog posting.
Quite dynamic changes in the snowpack today. Significant change from overnight wet snow instability to better consolidation in the drier cooler conditions we experienced from the early hours onwards. Crusty at highest elevations, too, though still quite moist or wet below 850m. Still some minor concern about wet snow instability (possible but limited full depth avalanche potential) on the innumerable steep ledges and benches on the Post Face below about 850m. Even though it’s been a bit cooler up high, best not bet your house just yet on the integrity of those large, gnarly cornices we have hanging around.
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