Grim up ‘Meggie on Friday

15th March 2019

(Above) Caption unnecessary.

I’ve often thought it would be useful to develop an Index of Mountain Misery (IMM) and classify mountain days accordingly.

Factors might include (in no particular order):-

A. ‘Brake light’ face – how red one’s face gets after ‘exfoliation’ by blowing snow, graupel or rain. (There’s probably already an app for this somewhere out there on the interweb. I have a Nokia 3310 brick, will it work with that? Perhaps someone can let me know?)

B. Post holing snow. The amount that’s crept up inside your gaiters (and into the top of your boots making your feet wet and cold). Measured in grams…but needs to be be carried out quickly back at the car park.

C. Underpants factor. ‘Soaked to the underpants’. An oldie but a goldie! Measured in cc. (Gloves for hygiene when wringing them dry.)

D. Mr Magoo. The number of minutes you’re able to wear goggles in appalling weather before they get so misted up they become an objective danger (hindering navigation, observation of where the edge of cornices are, stumbling into rocks, burns…yadda, yadda). Younger readers of the blog may need to Google ‘Mr Magoo’ for clarification.

E. Femur traps. The holes covered by snow that your leg suddenly and unexpectedly disappears down up to your crotch and you swear one day will snap your femur(s). A simple number count required for the day.

F. Feel the burn! Similar to femur traps but with added wetness. That wet boot misery when you disappear into a completely snow covered burn. Likelihood increased by the Magoo factor.

There will be many, many more.

Contributions from our knowledgeable blog followers welcome!

Need to work on a scoring system of course, but I swear I was well to the right on the ‘bell curve’ in each of all of the above getting up into the Inner Coire today.


(Above) A glimpse of Lochan a Choire from the Inner Coire through a moisture flecked lens. Given the conditions, not much to see. Obviously.


(Above) Snatched a quick shot towards Sron a Ghoire during a cloud break whilst metaphorically licking my wounds back at the car park.

We have snow lying down to 600m on favoured lee slopes and above 700m on windward aspects. Quite a lot of snow has blown on to lee areas above 850m (see the report) and stability is expected to remain poor here even after the predicted wind shift tomorrow morning.

Comments on this post

  • John Lowther
    15th March 2019 10:29 pm

    Additional to IMM must also be OAN (observers avalanche notes). Combine to be I’M MOANing.

    G. Observers note pad soaked, covered in verglas and unusable

    H. Pencil lead snapped from impacts through various stumbling falls through said boulders and bogs!

    I. Batteries failing on thermometer after making said Impressive and arduos journey rendering this piece of valuable equipment useless.

    J. Magnifying glass now fogged, water logged and filling with spindrift so fast, now dropped through fumbled frustration with above mentioned wooden and cold fingers and lost in the bottom of said pit site.

    K. Measuring ruler in same state as said Pencil – snapped and in many useless pieces

    Could go on, but hats off and respect!

    • meagaidhadmin
      15th March 2019 10:59 pm

      I’M MOANing – Outstanding. Love it.

      All excellent additions, John! A case of been there and ‘bought the T-shirt’, I’m sure.

      Have to say though that G to K pale into significance compared to A to F, at least that was the way it seemed today!

      (Long time, no see, John.)

  • Sophie Grace Chappell
    15th March 2019 11:23 pm

    The midriff draught factor. No matter how carefully you tuck everything in, wearing a harness on your bottom and a rucksack on your back is going to create clothing gaps at waist height. So you stop and tuck it all in again. And 30 paces later it’s back out again.
    Are the gaps genuinely bigger and more obstinate the stronger the wind is? Or does it just feel that way?
    I suppose I could get an all-in-one suit, but I don’t want people thinking I’m a skier.

    • meagaidhadmin
      15th March 2019 11:43 pm

      Yes, I’m convinced wind is a factor!

      I agree the one piece suit wouldn’t be a great look on a crag. (But then…fashion in the mountaineering world is a fickle thing, so why not?)

      What about wind that occasionally blows up a crag/gully, meaning you get spindrift flying up your kilt jacket instead of piling down onto your head as per usual. An unusual twist on the regular masochistic Scottish winter mountaineering experience!

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