Upper Coire Ardair

31st March 2023

(Above) Left to right: Raeburn’s Gully, Pinnacle Buttress, and the Post Face of Coire Ardair. Patchy! It’s been very mild for a few days so it’s no surprise that the snow is in full retreat.


(Above) Raeburn’s Gully. Remains complete. Forecasted cooler temperatures (freezing level at 800m during the morning on Saturday) should firm up the snow in the upper reaches of this popular low-grade gully. There’s a bit of a health warning though.  Noticed a fat blue thawing icicle about midway up the gully which may not be high enough to refreeze. Ditto the ice on the broken ground to the left of the gully – visible in the photo. If any of this continues to thaw and then fall it would make a fair amount of noise and comprehensively ‘clear out’ this narrow gully.


(Above) Centre Post on the Post Face of Coire Ardair. There are significant quantities of thawing, rotting ice that was being super-lubricated from beneath by a nearby meltwater cascade. Tingling spidey-sense meant I gave this a wide berth today. Anyone venturing up/down Easy Gully needs to treat the area beneath Centre Post with caution. A refreeze may help but the cascade of water lubricating it will continue to run. I’ve seen falling ice from this gully reach the lochan in past years.


(Above) Easy Gully from a different angle. Evidence of recent rockfall close to where the photograph was taken.


(Above) Recent cornice debris in one of the north-facing gullies east of Bellevue Buttress. Yep, it’s been mild. Cooler temperatures should help firm up the (few) that remain.

For perspective. Apart from all the tales of woe and foreboding outlined above, snow cover is very patchy and snow stability is very good! A healthy dose of common sense and good observations are all that are required to make good decisions in close proximity to the crags.

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