Passage of Least Resistance

25th January 2021

Covid -19
The Scottish Avalanche Information Service issues information to support permitted activity under current Scottish Government guidance.
Please be aware of current mandatory travel restrictions in Local Authority areas within Scotland and respect local communities by referring to Scottish Government guidance and safe route choices for exercise. For further guidance please refer to the following information for hillwalkers and climbers and snowsports on ski and board.
This blog is intended to provide hazard and mountain condition information to help plan safer mountain trips.
(Above) The approach to the bealach below Sron a Ghoire. Skis definitely the best option for efficient travel away from the beaten path today at Creag Meagaidh. Wading through the breakable crust (foreground) and then into windslab, as in the photo above, is best reserved for the unsound of mind and strong of leg. Easier travel for all at plateau level though.
(Above) Easy passage on skis.
(Above) NE ridge of Sron a Ghoire temporarly illuminated by sunlight, complimented by a blue sky backdrop. A momentary aberration today, I assure you!
Current snowpack is quite interesting. We have slowly diminishing deeper (cold-induced) weaknesses high on NE to SE aspects…that were still reactive today…but bridged over by developing, stronger and denser snow. Sitting on top of it all was some new snow instability (same aspects), the result of recent drifting and windslab build up. For added spice, there’s some quite large and droopy cornices hanging over that lot in quite a few places.
(Above) Looking out from the NE ridge of Sron a Ghoire towards Carn Liath and lower Coire Ardair. The main path up Coire Ardair can just be distinguished in the lower half of the photo, and judging by what I saw there yesterday it definitely offers passage of least resistance for those resorting to Shanks’s pony up and down Coire Ardair.


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