Deceptively white.

23rd December 2020

The Scottish Avalanche Information Service issues information to support permitted activity under current Scottish Government guidance.  Please be aware of travel restrictions within Scotland and respect local communities by referring to Scottish Government guidance and how to participate safely by referring to Mountaineering Scotland guidance



(Above) The lightly frosted crags of the Post Face of Coire Ardair.  A dusting of snow above 750m today making the mountains on our patch look deceptively white.


(Above) The NNE facing crags of the Inner Coire above Coire Ardair. (Just an hour or two of thaw would have the crags looking quite black again.)


(Above) The Window, a high bealach (or, col) above the Inner Coire and a popular waypoint when en route to Creag Meagaidh summit and its surrounding plateau. Best avoid the boulders, as the pair in the photo have done, when transiting to/from this popular bealach! During a ‘normal’ winter (if it’s possible to say that during this period of accelerating climate change) the boulders are covered by many metres of snow. It’s still early season so the coverage you see at this stage is not unusual.


(Above) Looking back to upper Coire Ardair and Lochan a Choire from the Inner Coire.  Quite gloomy at times today with the cloud base at around 1100m but I got the feeling there was a lot of blue sky about 200m above that altitude.


(Above) A view of The Pinnacle, an imposing giant piece of mica schist Toblerone, acting as a rocky sentinel for Easy Gully.


Stronger N to NW winds could see some redistribution of snow on to SE to S aspects overnight. Not expecting a lot of new windslab, more likely are some localised accumulations of windslab high on SE to S facing lee slopes.

(The small blemish in the top left of each photo came about after a small snow crystal entered the camera body during a lens change and melted on the sensor. A bit of an occupational hazard, to say the least, but an easy enough fix in the warmth of the kitchen at home.)


Comments on this post

  • Dan Arnold
    23rd December 2020 8:52 pm

    Attempted Cinderella today but crux in middle wasn’t passable. Think we saw you heading down from the window! Nice day all the same!

    • meagaidhadmin
      23rd December 2020 9:11 pm

      As you say, Dan, not such a bad day. ‘Cinderella’ looked well above grade (to say the least!) today. Normally it’s well banked out and an easy romp through the narrow section in the middle. Nothing at all in any sort of winter condition at ‘Meggie at the moment. Look carefully at the second photo and you’ll find yourself just visible there.

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