Fade to grey
10th February 2017
(Above) Welcome to my monochrome world. A photo from the Coire Ardair footpath looking across the (somewhat raddled) birch on the shoulder of Sron a Ghoire, with The Window in the far distance. 1050m cloudbase all morning.
(Above) The outlook from a gully just to the east of the top of Bellevue Buttress. The shoulder of the Post Face (opening pitches of Staghorn Gully recognisable) and the entrance to the Inner Coire, both clearly visible. Was very quiet and pretty much wind-free. Could hear clearly the voices of hillwalkers down by Lochain a Choire some 300m below me and 1km away. The ripply shadows on the lochan are actually the developing ice floes.
(Above) Top of the skyline 1050m – Â a NNW aspect. One of the gullies near Puist Coire Ardair where the formal element of the snow observations were carried out today. Didn’t quite ‘top out’ but had a good poke around in the entrance to the short, steep gully. Interesting facetting noted in the snowpack here giving rise to easy shears and localised instability. Instability is more widespread on steep NW and NE aspects. Also of note was the widespread early facetting in the rest of the general (and shallow) snow cover on all aspects and at all altitudes. It’s been really cold for a few days so the facetting isn’t surprising. At the moment it’s no big deal since the weakening snow layer supports only a thin surface layer which amounts to little or no hazard. If this weakening layer gets buried under a heavy overburden of drifted snow (windslab) then it’s likely to present more significant problems. If the wind speeds breach a critical threshold on Saturday there will be drifting and snow transport into these areas and care will be required wherever there’s new build up – in all likelihood South West to West aspects. See the report for details.
(Above) Skies cleared from the east later in the afternoon to bring some welcome light to the landscape and colour to the sky. Coire Chriochairein pictured. Note the extensive (butÂ relatively thin) general snow cover in most locations.
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