More Avalanche Activity

25th January 2024

A mild, drizzly and grey day in the Creag Meagaidh forecast area. The remaining snow lies mainly on North, through East to South East aspects above 800m.  Below this level, cover is very patchy.  Initially, the cloud level was around 900m which enabled some reasonable photos, but by mid-morning the cloud level lowered and the intensity of the rain increased.  Today the avalanche hazard was Low.  That said, I was very mindful of the potential for some wet snow slides and cornice collapse as the freezing level rose to well above the summits.  Unfortunately, I did not get views to the corrie rims, but suspect there are some cornices remaining and they would have been increasingly fragile as the day went on.

It’s all change for tomorrow as the freezing level again drops and is expected to be around 600-800m during Friday.  Frequent snow showers are also forecast, but with some uncertainty as to amounts.  Expect some drifting on the gale force Westerlies and windslab building in wind sheltered locations.  See main report for more detail.

Looking North across Coire na h’Uamha showing the patchy snow cover on SE aspects around 700m.  The climbers in the foreground were heading for the classic NE Ridge of Beinn a Chaorainn. The first of several parties I met including winter mountain leader training course candidates from JSMTC Ballachulish.

The NE Ridge of Beinn a Chaorainn was looking pretty black and ‘snowless’ on the crest.  I’m sure it improved with height, but sadly this is the best view I got.

Wet snow instabilities were evident.  Two Size 2 avalanches in the East facing corrie with start zones around 850m.  I’m uncertain as to when these occurred, but likely in the last 24 hours.

Rocks and vegetation littered the debris.  A combination of rain and a further rise in temperature this afternoon, may well have triggered cornice collapse and further wet snow avalanches on this same aspect.

A view into Coire Ardair today. Still some ice hanging in there on the Post Face.



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