Inner Coire

19th February 2019

(Above) Brief window of visibility today for the classic shot of the Post Face of Coire Ardair. Drizzly, damp day down low with some snow showers above 1000m.


(Above) L to R: Eastern Corner, Raeburn’s Gully and Pinnacle Buttress.


(Above) Looking into Easy Gully en route to the Inner Coire. Group of six or so mountaineers visible in the gully enjoying a little winter sport. The Post Face – to the right – looms over Easy Gully. The entrance to Easy Gully is still quite bouldery.



(Above) The approach slopes to The Window. An enormous amount of rocks and boulders still visible here at this stage of the winter season. This east-facing location just below 950m is normally well banked out with snow.


(Above) Looking up into ‘Cinderella’, a low grade NE-facing gully in the Inner Coire. A cornice line is just visible through the mist above it.


(Above) L to R: ‘The Wand’ and ‘Diadem’, close to the previous shot. Some ice still present here but will it survive the forthcoming thaw? Falling ice and rocks potential hazards in the vicinity of the crags as thaw conditions take hold once more.


(Above) ‘The Pumpkin’ today.


(Above) Looking down to Lochan a Choire from The Window. Soft, fresh, moist snow covers the windward side of the boulders here. There’s a thin general cover of fresh snow in most places above 1000m.


There’s 17mm of rainfall forecast for our area for the 24hr period from midnight onwards. Some snow ahead of that too so there’s going to be a period of poor stability overnight as the snow transitions abruptly to rain and very mild temperatures – freezing level rising quickly to 2000m.

Wet snow instability expected to persist for a time during the day as well. Cornices? Well, cornices – egged on by gravity – are going to do what cornices do best in very wet & mild conditions…. Yeah, gravity sucks. (No really, gravity actually does suck. A revisionist scientist wrote about it on Breitbart News Network so it must be true. Isaac Newton, eat your heart out.)

I digress.

Executive summary: Wednesday will be a poor quality mountain day.




Comments on this post

  • Kate Gilliver
    19th February 2019 9:26 pm

    Thanks for the update and photos. Poor quality mountain day? Poor quality winter all round. Is it too much to hope for a late flurry?

    • meagaidhadmin
      19th February 2019 10:07 pm

      Hi Kate,

      Good to hear from you again. Weather is looking distictly un-wintery right through to the end of February, unfortunately.

      I find the MWIS weather outlook videos pretty good:

  • Stan Wygladala
    19th February 2019 10:46 pm

    Has there ever been a worst winter season? And… Yeti gaiters were delicious.

    • meagaidhadmin
      19th February 2019 11:37 pm

      Worst winter ever? Not sure. I remember a particularly green/brown winter back in the 1990s when I was working in the Northern Cairngorms which was pretty desperate. Must have been even worse in the west as I recall several weeks when we had most of the Fort William-based mountaineering guiding outfits’ minibuses crowding out the Coire Cas car park in their quest to find and make use of our very scarce cold white stuff. (Un)happy days!

      Gaiters. Yes, we’ve been leaving you alone on that issue, Stan! (Actually, kinda hoped you’d be right and we’d be wrong.)

  • Chris Cura
    20th February 2019 8:46 am

    Hi, don’t want to bring false hope, but certain meteorological websites may indicate that the jetstream might lower in 2 weekends time… [I have no relevant training and may well be misinterpreting them- I’m sure many can interpret these better than I can with my knowledge solely gained from internet searches of ‘geopotential height’] … but if this is correct then there may be a sub-zero spell from early March predicted using the 850hPa ….

    I hope.
    I pray.

    • meagaidhadmin
      20th February 2019 8:56 am

      There have been many false prophets and false dawns. However, we’re hoping & praying, too, Chris!

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