Simple is best.

5th February 2015

The hasty pit - the best diagnostic tool we have.

The hasty pit: the best and simplest diagnostic tool we have for stability evaluation.

Simple is best; less is more. There are many similar little sayings which convey the same basic message. Stability evaluation is not too difficult as long as you’re looking in the right place at the right time and have sufficient experience to make valid interpretations. It’s certainly not rocket science. The hasty pit is one of the best diagnostic tests in our ‘tool kit’. The one in the photo above took maybe a minute (tops) and revealed a weak layer I had been chasing all morning. There was a very easy failure beneath about 35cms of slab which allowed the propagation of the shooting crack from my foot which is so obvious in the photo. Tests elsewhere at different altitudes and aspects revealed little similar info but the sweet spot was on steep and sheltered South and South East aspects.

Hasty pit: in context

Hasty pit: in context. The test was carried out at 650m.

Carrie's Gully - below the far left skyline.

Carrie’s Gully – below the left of centre skyline.

A tour of Coire Chomharsain, picking up all aspects as well as steep and less steep ground. The ‘official’ snowpit, as logged on the SAIS website, was carried out well to the right of Carrie’s Gully. Have to say, it was a nice wee ski today though snow conditions varied quite a lot.

Inversion conditions today.

Inversion conditions today but misty at all levels at times during the morning.

Comments on this post

  • Grant Duff
    5th February 2015 9:41 pm

    Carrie’s Gully looks fantastic, thanks for your studious information again.

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