A dusting of the white stuff…but no cigar

3rd January 2022

(Above) The Post Face of Coire Ardair viewed from the main path at 600m today. Less than expected snowfall but a light covering of fresh snow down to 650m with a little more at higher altitudes. The main path was quite busy today with hill-goers working off the Christmas excess. Came across an aspiring Dublin-based wild swimmer, and also bumped a long-time friend, supporter and in some respects, servant of the Scottish Avalanche Information Service – pictured in the light green jacket above. The aspiring wild swimmer didn’t manage a dip in Lochan a Choire (at 620m) since he was without any gloves which meant very cold hands on the walk-in…which would have got numbingly cold on the way back. Frustrating! (Loch temperature estimated to be 5 or 6 degrees C. today and getting colder by the hour. Was ice-free but, looking at the met forecast, probably not for much longer).


(Above) The prominent rocky boss (1010m) in Coire Chriochairein during one of the brief breaks in the overcast conditions. Little or no build-up of wind-drifted snow on these SE-facing lee aspects today, just a general covering of fresh, cold, dry snow. Much stronger NW winds overnight and on Tuesday are expected to redistribute snow lying on plateau areas as new windslab. This is likely to amplify the effects of whatever new snow falls out of the sky overnight and during the day. E to S facing areas up near the coire rim above 900m – such as the broad, shallow couloir pictured above right of centre – expected to see more widespread windslab. New cornice development is also anticipated here and in similar places by the end of the day.


(Above) The view down to Loch Laggan and beyond. The broad eastward projecting shoulder of Sron a Ghoire is on the right of the shot with just a few old snow patches.

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