Terrain Traps

3rd January 2021

Covid -19
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(Above) The general view of things at Creag Meagaidh. Sron a Ghoire on the left with drifting in high sheltered gully areas. The main crags of Coire Ardair and the Post Face, in centre shot

(Above) NE Gullies of Sron a Ghoire. Some triggered avalanche activity yesterday on these gully flanks. These seemingly innocous locations can often create terrain traps with their relatively low angle gully beds and short steeper sided flanks, catching as they do cross-loaded accumulations. The avalanche run paths can often be short, such as yesterday’s – only 10 metres. In this case the volume of sliding snow was small but sites like them have sadly provided some of Scotland’s worst historic avalanche accidents, where larger volumes have filled a gully bed burying victims in what appeared initially a fairly benign environment.

Lots of snow currently in high level lee locations, take care to avoid terrain traps…….



Comments on this post

  • Colin
    4th January 2021 7:34 pm

    Interesting to note your comments about those loaded gulleys. I have often crossed such features while traversing a hillside/flank. They do indeed look ‘relatively’ innocent. I guess it very much depends on the volume of snow that has settled in them, tho’ if they slide that volume would soon pick up lower down and catch you out. I guess under the right conditions they would go without being triggered by a person crossing them. Really interesting stuff, even though I can’t travel atm to experience it!

    • meagaidhadmin
      5th January 2021 3:52 pm

      Hi Colin,

      Yes, often it’s the more benign which catches us out!

      Thanks for your comment

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