The western end of our patch
14th January 2016
(Above) Had a scout around the western end of our patch today aiming for An Cearcallach and the coire to its east – a popular ski touring descent when the snow cover’s good. The photo is of the approach from Moy Lodge looking back to the reservoir end of Loch Laggan.
(Above) The shoulder of An Cearcallach with a herd of red deer on the move. The obvious snowy groove on the shoulder was the site of a massive full depth avalanche last winter – 5m high crown wall with debris running down towards where the deer are in the photo.
(Above) Seeing more of this now. Surface instability due to prolonged very cold temperatures. Clear signs of facetting in near surface and mid-pack layers. The near surface stuff is no real problem….until it gets buried by additional snow, and once buried it can persist for some time then suddenly release.
(Above) Fine prospect of Beinn a Chaorainn, 1052m. A big ‘whaleback’ when viewed from the west,…. and an utter beast of a mountain on the east side which normally carries a huge amount of snow. Thin snow cover here at the moment due to the lack of snow and westerly winds. The thin cover and steep temperature gradients do not augur well for stability if it stays cold, snows and the usual westerly airstream resumes. Watch this space.
(Above) NW winds picked up in the late morning inducing a little drifting. Stronger winds expected on Friday. There’s a lot of snow lying around on plateau areas which will be available for re-distribution if wind speeds exceed a critical threshold.
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