More avalanches cross the path in Coire Ardair

1st March 2010

(Above) Shot taken from the farmhouse at Aberarder showing the crownwalls of two very large avalanches on the SW flank of Carn Liath. Both were natural events, without triggers. Both broke wide and deep – 400m x 1.5m deep and 100m x 2.5m deep – at 3pm today. The debris crossed the path (and beyond) and was reported to be up to 6m deep with mature trees snapped off where one of them swept through woodland. 4 people on the path had a very lucky escape, running to safety as they heard it release with the noise of what one of them described as a gun going off. Debris said to consist of very large blocks. Should have some more photos for you tomorrow.
(Above) The broad gully just to the right of the rocky outcrop (left of centre) we call Balloon Gully and ‘has a bit of previous’, as the police say. This gully is a couple of hundred metres to the left of the two avalanches that ran today. It is fully loaded with much deeper slab than elsewhere. You can see on the photo where avalanches in the past have punched a hole through the trees. The main path through the corrie runs approximately at the bottom edge of the photo.
(Above) Today’s pit dug around lunchtime before the avalanche activity, approx. 250m to the right of the 400m slide. The layers were profiled for the photo. Alarming ‘whumphing’ noises on approach to the pit site.

The problems lie at the base of the hard slab (the twin layers obvious in the photo). We’ve been banging on about these for a while now and if any of you out there are suffering from ‘risk fatigue’ then today’s events should ‘refresh’ the part of the brain that processes risk.
(Above) Sastrugi immediately above the wider avalanche. It’s been like this for a few days now – only a trace of drifting overnight and during the day – and it’s pretty obvious where the snow has been shifted to.

Comments on this post

Got something to say? Leave a comment

    Latest Creag Meagaidh Avalanche Report
    RSS Feed
    Keep up to date by subscribing to our RSS feed
Service funded by sportscotland
Forecast data supplied by the Met Office
SAIS Sponsors