Groundhog Day #5

2nd March 2023

(Above) The East Ridge of Beinn a Chaorainn –  in profile. A rock scramble for most of its length apart from the last 30m or so which entails a transit over hard snow-ice.

Some very light snow flurries today for an hour or so. Most of what you see in the photos is snow-ice with the odd pocket of thin well-bonded windslab, some of it with a soft moist crust.


(Above) The coire immediately south of the East Ridge. Ice is just beginning to re-form in the upper reaches of the crags and broken ground in this coire. The cornices are now really quite old and mature but their mechanical integrity is unknown so best avoided from both above and below.


(Above) A view across to the Creag Meagaidh summit plateau. Cosmetic dusting above 900m does little to disguise the paucity of the general snow cover.


(Above) Came across this wee chap at 980m on the broad ridge below spot height 1049m. It was nestled into a small rock overlap that faces south-east so I guess is able to enjoy at least a bit of warmth from the sun. Is this a record altitude for a conifer in Scotland? (I recall from last winter that someone is doing research into conifers growing at lofty altitudes in Scotland. I’ll unleash Google onto it and report back).


(Above) By popular request.

Comments on this post

  • Keith Horner
    2nd March 2023 6:32 pm

    I also recall someone is undertaking a study to locate the highest growing tree in Scotland, not just conifers. I think your conifer must be a certain contender, so you should submit it when you discover who is undertaking the research – there might be a Tiso gift voucher in it for you…….!

    And thanks for the AM photo – if this weather pattern lasts much longer you could end up working your way through the whole cast…..

    • meagaidhadmin
      2nd March 2023 7:20 pm

      Thanks, Keith.

      The existing weather pattern should break early next week, at least according to the runes I’ve been reading.

      Re. the high altitude trees. No, not a record high altitude for a tree! Cairn Lochain in the ‘Gorms at 1160m has those particular bragging rights. It’s the Mountain Woodland Action Group who are involved in this field or research and I sent them details of my find. The BBC News website did a piece on their research back in July 2022. This:Read more

  • Matt Dalby
    4th March 2023 12:16 am

    Shame you didn’t remove the tree as it’s a non native sitka and therefore shouldn’t be there.

    • meagaidhadmin
      4th March 2023 8:50 am

      Ahh…I wasn’t able to identify it, Matt. Even with the knowledge that it’s a non-native I have to admit to having difficulty countenancing its removal. Seems savage to terminate the wee tree’s fight for survival in such a harsh and inhospitable environment.

      But on the other hand, it’s an imported species that has no right to be there.

      I’m properly conflicted!

      (Forgive me, I Googled your name. Am I right in thinking you have expert and professional interest in the field, Matt?)

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