23rd March 2023

(Above) Coire an lubhair Mor with Geal Charn 1049m behind, as viewed from the A86 this morning. A steep East aspect with a goodly covering of fresh windslab (note the bulge near the deep shade) and some surface sluffing initiated after exposure to warmth from the sun.


(Above) Same deal on Coire a Chriochairein’s steep east-facing aspects. Palpable warmth from the sun when it was out.


(Above) Bellevue Buttress in Coire Ardair. Another steep east-facing aspect this time with a craggy backdrop and a snowy crag apron.

After fresh snowfall and drifting overnight followed by a (somewhat on & off ) sunny morning, seeing this sort of moist and minor surface instability was not that surprising. But…


(Above) A short time later. The steep crags at 1050m that guard the entrance to the NNE-facing low-grade gully, ‘Cinderella’, in the Inner Coire of Coire Ardair. Drifting: a reminder that winter had really not gone away at all today. It’s that time of year when two or three seasons can seemingly co-exist on the same day.


(Above) Recent dry slab avalanche activity on the exit slopes above the NNE-facing climbing routes, ‘The Wand’ and ‘Diadem’, in the Inner Coire. Estimated time of release was 9am this morning. Crownwall is just visible. Small beer (size 0.5 avalanche) but big enough to make you lose your footing or knock you over which in this situation could lead to a very bad outcome.


(Above) The snow-covered talus cone below ‘Cinderella’ – also in the Inner Coire – topped off with recent dry slab avalanche debris. Similar aspect and timing to the event in the previous photo. You might just be able to make out the crownwall if you zoom in. Again, a small event but in a steep and potentially serious setting.


(Above) For context. Looking out of the Inner Coire towards Sron a Ghoire and Lochan a Choire. A cover of fresh snow above 750m but quite a lot of it is superficial apart from where it had accumulated in drifts in lee areas above 950m.


(Above) More context. The Carn Liath massif with left to right Coire nan Gall, Coire Dubh and Coire a Bheinn.  Photo taken from nr Laggan.


(Above) In other news. Stairway To Heaven? A new path is under construction for 300m up towards Carn Liath. It starts just where the main Coire Ardair path enters the juvenile birch trees about 1km from Aberarder Farmhouse.

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