The Message.

11th April 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 message you don’t want to see in the viewfinder of your camera when you fire it up for the first time out on the hill on a ‘blue bird’ work day. Memory card ensconced in my card reader on the desk at home, of course. Doh!
Hence some low res camera phone shots today.
(Above) A steep Easterly aspect in Coire Chriochairein. The top of the sky line is at 1020m. Biggest issue with stability at the moment are places like the last 30m or so of scarp slopes and gullies where marginally stabilised windslab lingers. The weak looking (fairly recent) cornices add some additional objective danger as well. Cold in the shade, more so in persistently shaded areas, and milder (but not warm) when the sun came out.
(Above) Bellevue Buttress, Raeburn’s Gully, Pinnacle Buttress, the top of Easy Gully and part of the Post Face of Coire Ardair. NW winds over the past few days have selectively cross loaded windslab on to a few steep NE aspects. Arrowed in the photo is one such cross loaded area – the left hand exit ramps of Raeburn’s Gully. Being heavily shaded, therefore persistently cold, weaknesses are persisting in pre-existing windslab here and in similar locations such as in the Inner Coire. Met a couple of retreating climbers who’d decided to sack off their route in the vicinity of ‘Cinderella’ for this very reason. Stability noticeably better where the sun had done its work on lower angled ground, and most places at lower altitudes.
Vicky & Matt: good to meet today! Apologies for not asking your names but your identities were revealed after a bit of furious messaging with Keith!

Comments on this post

  • Matt and Vicky
    11th April 2021 6:01 pm

    Good to meet and chat with you, Tom. Nice to put a face to the forecasts. Look forward to bumping in to you again. Vicky and Matt

  • Dan
    12th April 2021 5:55 am

    Hi, We did Raeburn’s gully yesterday, Sunday. Think we just got away with it, any more slab at the top and it would have been risky.

    • meagaidhadmin
      12th April 2021 7:53 am

      Thanks for the info, Dan.

      Yes, windslab stability is highly variable at the moment depending on angle of inclination, aspect, altitude and exposure to heavy shade.

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