Geal Charn. Ardverike, & brass monkeys.

11th February 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) Sron a Ghoire and the Post Face of Coire Ardair this morning. Azure skies all day but very cold at all levels first thing.
(Above) Ventured up through the Ardverike Estate to Geal Charn 1049m to have a look at some W and SW aspects. Lochan na Earba in the foreground which will be familiar to those who’ve climbed at Binnean Shuas – out of shot and to the left of the photo.
(Above) Drifted snow at 500m on the course of the track up to the bealach below Geal Charn. Bouts of light drifting throughout the day led to some thin weak windslab development in a few steep lee areas. Bitterly cold in the wind, too.
(Above) Loch a Bhealaich Leamhain with Loch Pattack in the far distance. Heavily scoured windward slope in the foreground.  Cornices shown in the photo overhang windslab which is poorly supported by weak facetted crystals. Where windslab is very deep on lee slopes it’s forming a strengthening bridge over these weak layers, whereas thinner windslab is less supportive and more prone to failure and crack propagation.
(Above) Varied snow surfaces again today. Windslab here on a relatively low angled lee slope at 900m but there’s a widespread hard crust of varying thickness on the same aspects at lower altitudes.  No surprise then that skiing sucked a bit today.
(Above) The vista to the west across the Grey Corries from Geal Charn. The crags of Aonach Mor on the right, with Ben Nevis – summit in cloud – over on the left.
(Above) The view across to the massive bulk of Beinn a Chaorainn this afternoon. If you look very, very carefully you’ll see a ‘bubble’ of three climbers making slow progress on the popular and alpine-like East Ridge – right of centre of the photo.

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