Some snow & less bare ground!

14th January 2020

(Above) The Creag Meagaidh NNR car park by the A86 at 255m this morning during the only bright(ish) interlude all day. Highland Council snowplough drivers often use the ‘Meggie car park to turn around and in so doing do some token snow clearance. Didn’t really need clearing as the snow was only a few cms deep here and getting a little melty as the temperature rose somewhat.


(Above) The main Coire Ardair footpath at around 600m today. 10 to 15cms of drifted snow here. Seemed to be more snow at lower levels than in some of the usual snow accumulation zones at higher altitudes, no doubt due to the very strong winds doing more scouring and less deposition. Skis for access (only) would have been a good option today and will be again on Wednesday, though you’ll have to carry them to around 400m. No base to the present snow cover, so general skiing conditions remain poor. Visibility was limited all day due to mist and frequent light snow showers.


(Above) Very little contrast today so few, if any, decent photo opportunities. A view up into Coire Ardair whilst I was descending from the Carn Liath plateau via Balloon Gully. (See photo below for context.)


(Above) Balloon Gully today, the re-entrant carved into the side wall of Coire Ardair. 870m where the band of snow peters out near the top of the shot. Some of the woodland visible in the previous photo shown here. Not only is Balloon Gully a useful snow sampling site it also forms a good corridor for less steep egress off the wide expanses of the Carn Liath plateau. (Health Warning! Care needed here because it’s still relatively steep and can hold a lot of unwelcome unstable snow at certain times.) There’d been some scouring here today but very sheltered lee slopes are holding deeper and more widespread accumulations of snow.


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