13th January 2016
(Above) No complaints about the weather. A day for Creag Meagaidh to strut its stuff for the camera.
(Above) 700m in Coire Ardair. Careful choice of approach required at the moment with thigh deep drifts in places making travel on foot tiring. Some are unavoidable but you can make OK progress if you ‘scope out’ the wind-scoured areas.
(Above) Pretty typical snow distribution on the side of Coire Ardair at 750m.
(Above)Â 900m. Plateau cover has improved in all locations. Skis would have been great on the Carn Liath plateau but really only appropriate for access. Only saw one person today and he was labouring on foot through deeper snow approaching the Min Window from the summit of Carn Liath.
(Above) Sniff! Apologies for the sound effect but it goes to show how quiet it was in the absence of wind at 900+m today. Panorama of part of Coire a Chriochairein and the crags above Lochan a Choire at the far end of Coire Ardair.
(Above) A still from the video. Location of today’s formal snow pit high in what we call Wall Gully, on the eastern edge of Coire Chriochairein at 930m. An east aspect in order to check the stuff that drifted in on recent westerlies. Our snowpits often provide useful and interesting info on the snowpack but it forms just part of the overall snow and stability assessment that you’ll read in the report/forecast on the SAIS website. If you look carefully you can see the remains of the broken wall – from which the gully gets its moniker – which leads directly to the snowpit. Fabulous spot, though it was a bit of a graunch getting there today due to drifted snow.
(Above) Home time. Looking across Coire Ardair towards Coire nan Gamhna – just left of centre on the far skyline. No real warmth in the sun today. Even colder in the refrigerated shade of anything facing north. These low temperatures are preserving instability in many places above 900m at the moment, though it’s tending to be localised.
(Above) Got to be potential for least 2 or 3 Geography lessons in this shot: river meanders and braiding, morphology of river features – river bluffs etc….Classic glacial drumlins through which the river is forging its course….Lapse rates linked to precip rates. Fill yer boots geography-meisters!
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13th January 2016 7:47 pm
Magnificent photos of a truly stunning part of Scotland. Although feel you may have underplayed the effort you have put in to reach ‘Wall gully’. Fantastic blog Tom, Great “Sniff” video clip and I commend your efforts and thank you for sharing!
13th January 2016 8:04 pm
Back in the day I learnt the location of Wall Gully from The Master himself!
Access was difficult but…thank God for small mercies!…KM ploughed a furrow up there yesterday so I followed that until it was covered over by drifted snow. Kudos to Keith!
14th January 2016 5:22 pm
Nice to see where the snow pit is. A great effort again with the photos. Thanks