The cookie crumbles.

9th February 2018

Avalanches and sunshine go together (like a tincture of hemlock mixed with tonic water, I hear you say) beautifully for the photographer!

A fair amount of new snow avalanche activity in our area this morning mainly on East to South East aspects above 750m or so. There’s probably more debris in Coire Ardair and its environs but I wasn’t able to check it out today.


(Above) Coire Dubh this morning. Debris from a cornice-triggered dry slab avalanche. Size 1 event. SE aspect at around 880m. 30m wide, running out 100m. The main period of snowfall was overnight and into the early hours on W later NW winds. Very little shower activity during daylight hours in our area. (BTW. Not my Land Rover ‘Defender’ but I not-so-secretly covet one.)


(Above) Coire nan Gall, next door to Coire Dubh. More recent avalanche action here, too. Longer run-out but also cornice triggered and on the same SE aspect.


(Above) Magnificently white Coire Chomharsain on the other side of the low near horizon, viewed from the main ‘Meggie car park. Best snow cover today was above 500m on lee slopes….and, not entirely coincidentally, where the avalanche dragon had come out to play as well.


(Above) Sron a Ghoire – the eastern-most sub-peak. Look carefully for the partially buried crownwall extending L to R near the skyline. Natural dry slab event at 780m, East aspect. (Click on the photo, then right click it and open the photo in a new tab. You’ll then be able to zoom in.) Crownwall is 150m wide. Partially drifted over debris also visible. I suspect this lot fell down at around 6am and subsequent snowfall/drifting almost covered up the crownwall & debris. There’s an annotated version of this image on the ‘Avalanche Maps’ page found at the front end of the main SAIS website.


(Above) A second dry slab avalanche this time on Sron a Ghoire’s NE ridge and very close to the one above. SE aspect at 750m and approx 100m wide and cornice-triggered.


(Above) Looking across the debris of the second avalanche on Sron a Ghoire – the one at 750m. Today’s formal observations took place adjacent to the crownwall.

Looks sunny and wonderful, which it was, but was also quite wintry, too. See below:


(Above) A look west down Loch Laggan this afternoon. A passing shower cloud partly obscuring some of the Grey Corries’ peaks.

If the weather turns out as per forecast there may be more avalanche activity on steep NW through N to East-facing locations on Saturday – check the SAIS ‘Meggie web page for specifics.

Days/weeks without avalanche activity then an avalanche cycle lasting two days, maybe longer. ‘Tis the nature of the phenomenon and the way the cookie crumbles.

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