Brutal summit winds during showers.
11th March 2021
(Above) A glimpse up towards the business end of Coire Ardair whilst the weather was in a (brief) benign mood. Frequent snow showers today, heavier later, carried on a turbulent and strong WSW airflow. Snow fell for a time down to car park level but soon melted. Graupel was a bit of a (uncomfortable) feature in amongst the snow showers ensuring I had a not so lightly exfoliated face by the end of the day. I’m considering opening an account on The Instagram and becoming a social media influencer. That way I can pass on
useless health and beauty tips to a receptive public. The selfie video I could have made today, extolling the benefits of ‘au naturel’ Scottish Highlands face exfoliation, might have been compromised a bit though by the grimace I made whilst the graupel was smashing into my face and more or less blinding me…plus having to scream into the camera to be heard above the wind. (These social influencers make quite good money, don’t they?)
(Above) Wall Gully at 950m, a shallow groove carved into the southern flank of Sron Coire a Chriochairein and one of our favoured snow sampling spots. Not such a happy hunting ground for new snow today though as the turbulent winds seemed to be doing as much scouring as depositing of new snow here. The eponymous wall is just visible as a black smudge on the snow skyline near the centre of the photo. The wall descends down to the Coire Ardair path to a point about 2/3rds along its length from Aberarder Farmhouse and is quite easy to spot in most conditions. Have seen skiers descend this when we’ve had good snow cover, it being quite a friendly and direct descent down from the plateau to Coire Ardair.
(Above) Just off the summit of Sron a Coire Chriochairein (991m) & en route to the Min Window – just becoming visible below. Brutal winds over the tops during showers – the photo captures none of the drama though. Bullet hard snow ice with a glazed surface where there isn’t vegetation so crampons a necessity here even at this quite modest inclination.
It was snowing at Creag Meagaidh when I departed from Aberarder Farmhouse this afternoon and the shower activity experienced today is expected to continue overnight and throughout Friday. It’s shower activity again (see yesterday’s blog posting for explanation) so you’ll need to verify exactly how much has fallen out of the sky once you get on the hill and recalibrate, if necessary, the avalanche hazard.
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