Coire Ardair and Coire nan Gamhna

15th March 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 view west from Kinloch Laggan showing, left to right from the centre of the photo, the peak of Puist Coire Ardair, Sron a Ghoire, the Post Face of Coire Ardair and The Window – the high bealach above the Inner Coire of Coire Ardair. Quite deep drifts in places but a lot of superficial snow at lower altitudes which may well disappear in the micro-thaw due overnight and into Tuesday.
(Above) The main path in Coire Ardair with the Post Face as a backdrop. Quiet again at Creag Meagaidh, as it has been for all of the lockdown, just a few local folk walking up the path to the lochan. The path is now pretty much clear of snow up to its ‘high’ point adjacent to Coire Chriochairein, and then just a little snow across the path in the last km up to the lochan.
(Above) Ventured into Coire nan Gamhna (entrance to the coire shown here) and part way up the broad broken ridge towards the vicinity of Puist Coire Ardair. The red asterisk denotes the location of today’s formal snow observations – at approx 930m. Overall stability has been improving everywhere today although there is a little lingering residual instability on recent lee slopes (mainly NE to ESE aspects above 950m) but it’s confined to deeper windslab deposits. Bomber stability on all windward aspects and ridges. Quite bright this morning (with beautiful clear light) which meant the snowpit site received a little sunshine early on but it had all but disappeared behind cloud by the time I got there.
(Above) Pinnacle Buttress, the Post Face and The Window. Shot taken from above Coire nan Gamhna. The crags and buttresses shown are expected to look a little blacker tomorrow after overnight light rain and milder temperatures have done their work.
(Above) Cornices over E to ESE aspects of Coire Chriochairein. Expecting the more recently formed parts of these cornices to weaken and collapse with the onset of moist, milder conditions before dawn on Tuesday. The length of shadow helps denote their relative size. Some much larger cornices just out of shot to the right of the photo. The debris visible here is all from cornices that collapsed over the past few days, some of which has been partially buried by subsequent snowfall.

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