Snow plough?

14th January 2023

(Above) Untypically clear and well-illuminated shot of Sron a Ghoire from the Aberarder car park this morning. It really was a fleeting view….


(Above) ….Another snatched shot looking towards the brightly lit south and south-east facing aspects of Coire Chriochairein and the bulky mass of Sron Coire a Chriocharein to the right. Coire Chriochairein seemed like a good venue for snow observations today though getting in there was easier said than done. Read on.


(Above) Normal service resumed just 30 minutes later. Looking west along the main Coire Ardair path. Soft fresh snow down to 450m this morning with drifting up high.


(Above) Doing the ‘hard yards’ in Coire Chriochairein. About 8cm of fresh snow here at 750m with remarkably little drifting down low. Underneath the fresh snow lurked a thin moist crust and really quite deep (40cm?) old wet snow. Ploughing through snow? It felt like it. Skis or snow shoes would have been a good idea – for access only as the skiing would be a bit rubbish and short.


(Above) East and South-East aspects in Coire Chriochairein. After persistent drifting quite a lot of new windslab formed in the last 20-30m of these scarp slopes. New, weak cornice growth also noted. No avalanche activity at the time of reporting but much more organised snowfall and drifting affected the area as I was exiting the hill this afternoon.


(Above) Further to the right of the previous shot showing SE and S aspects of the same coire. Strong NNW winds and snowfall overnight Saturday and into Sunday will see deeper, more extensive weak windslab on aspects such as those pictured above. Very wintry and cold weather in prospect for next week.

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