Flapping skins

21st March 2018

….the sort of ski tour today where your skins flap wildly in the wind when struggling to put them on or take them off your skis. ‘Breezy’ then. Much milder everywhere with a very strong and steady WSW airflow. Some early light snowfall turned quickly to light rain during the morning.


(Above) Coire a Bheinn was the destination, accessed from the narrow road which runs up past Spey Dam towards the Upper Spey.  Schlepped the skis to 500m, thenceforth it was head down into the wind towards Coire a Bheinn. Good snow for skinning and skiing, which was a bit of a bonus. But maybe didn’t quite make up for the shocking headwind and rain. (Scottish ski touring: a many splendoured thing. Sometimes.)


(Above) This picture in no way conveys the wobbliness of the cameraman fighting to steady the camera whilst in the teeth of the wind. I was prone on the snow, too! Recent avalanche here. There’s a crownwall just left of centre of the shot. 30m wide by 15cm or so deep with debris running out 80m into Coire a Bheinn. This is a steep NNW aspect at 800m. The avalanche released on a previously very cold layer in pre-existing windslab. This was the localised, soft cold snow commented on in yesterday’s blog which slid with the onset of much milder weather today.


(Above) Cornices will become wetter and more prone to collapse as the thaw and wet weather continues overnight.

Stability expected to improve quickly in all locations during the morning as cooler, drier conditions become established.



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