Variable snow

22nd January 2015

Cracks propagated readily from skis in some locations today.

Cracks propagated readily from skis in some locations today. Slab about 15cm deep here on easy angled ground.

Really variable snow conditions. Vast expanses of stable wind-etched snow in easy angled coires, alongside slabby conditions with lots of instability clues: shallow and deeper instability but tending to be localised. Cleanest, easiest shears were on top of a buried crust.

More less complete cover of snow from 350m upwards in Coire Chomharsain.

More less complete cover of snow from 350m upwards in Coire Chomharsain.

The cover at the moment is¬†really¬†extensive. As I was coming off the hill I managed a 1km continuous traverse low across the eastern face of Sron a Ghoire without deviating at all to gain better snow. I turned just as I got above the woods on the NE shoulder and repeated it: no heather, grass, boulders, burns to be seen, just snow…..everywhere. Scouring with bare patches on plateau areas, of course.

The shot above is of Coire Chomharsain and many of you who have ski toured at ‘Meggie may well have skied left to right across the skyline in the far misty distance when completing the ’round’. The coire is a great little mini-tour all of its own and quite an interesting half day.

Creag Mhor ridge at the entrance to Coire Chomharsain.

Creag Mhor ridge at the entrance to Coire Chomharsain.

The Creag Mhor ridge guards the entrance to Coire Chomharsain (it would be just out of shot to the left of the previous photo). There’s usually quite a tricky burn crossing below the shoulder of the ridge (just in sun nr. bottom of photo) which is now completely bridged and obliterated by deep snow.

The ridge ends up being a bit of rambling & broad affair as it works its way up to the summit of Puist Coire Ardair. There’s a notable gully high on the ridge named after Ewen Todd’s then girlfriend – now wife – Carrie. Ewen is a UIAGM Guide who used to work for the SAIS at Creag Meagaidh and there are many, many stories of his adventures here that have passed into the oral history of the place. ‘Carrie’s Gully’ is an excellent snow sampling location as well as being one of the less well-known snow-holing spots on our patch.

Brief periods of watery sunshine today

Brief periods of watery sunshine today

Ice forming at 500m.

Ice forming at 500m. Augurs well for climbing.

Thin ice on Loch Laggan this morning.

Thin ice on Loch Laggan this morning. (Loch Laggan ‘beach’ just to left of shot).

Plas y Brenin  were at Creag Meagaidh in numbers today - all 5 minibuses.

Plas y Brenin were at Creag Meagaidh in numbers today – all 5 minibuses were from the National Centre.

Comments on this post

  • Grant Duff
    22nd January 2015 7:35 pm

    Sounds like a great day out at work for you. Jealous!!!!

    • meagaidhadmin
      22nd January 2015 8:15 pm

      ….mustn’t grumble!

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