Before & after

27th April 2013

 (Above) Photo taken of part of the cornice line and E and SE facing scarp slopes in Coire a Chriochairein at 11.50am…..
(Above) ….same place at 11.55am as I approached the bottom of the gully. 

 Huge cornice collapse which stepped down onto the windslab below creating a crownwall approx 90m across & 2m deep in places. A lot of deep slab remains in similar locations. It looks like the cornice broke 3m or more back from the edge. The snow on these aspects pick up a lot of radiant heat from the sun which in all probability initiated this release. Interestingly, shortly after the shot was taken I noticed spindrift being blown off the edge of the plateau areas.

(Above) Plenty of new cornices around over steep E to S aspects – some large.
(Above) Two ski-mountaineers (one on teles, the other on an alpine set up, I think) booting up Easy Gully.
  Fine judgment required in locations like this today and I think these two individuals got it absolutely right.
(Above) Approx 930m on a shaded North aspect.  

Their high point avoiding the big gnarly bay of windslab which often lurks at the top of Easy Gully. They spent quite some time working out whether to go higher or not. (This was shortly after there’d been avalanche activity on sun-exposed SE aspects).
 (Above) One at a time. (Probably grinning from ear to ear as they enjoyed untracked snow!)
 (Above) A fabulous descent for a pair of steep skiers finely attuned to the conditions. 
Excellent decision-making in avalanche terrain. So easy to ‘push it’ and end up in trouble – not an issue for these two today.
(If you two guys in the photo see this and fancy copies of the uncropped originals – there are a few more – then get in touch with the SAIS Co-ordinator and leave your contact details. I‘ll burn some copies to a CD and post it out to you.)
 (Above) The Highlander Mountain Marathon took place today at Creag Meagaidh and on surrounding hills. Saw several pairs of competitors scampering across the neve on the N side of Sron a Ghoire at about 900m. Seemed a pretty demanding course ending in Laggan, I think, but was a beautiful day for it. You can just make out the well-trod line competitors took going L to R on the photo above.
(Above) Still an Alpine feel, and look, in the sunshine but some nasty-looking weather coming through in the next 24hrs with snow, rain, more snow and much stronger winds.
Next avalanche reports for all 5 areas will be next Friday, Saturday and Sunday (to cover the Sat/Sun/Mon Bank Holiday)

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