Post Holing Day 3

2nd January 2024

We were expecting frequent snow showers today, but they didn’t materialise.  Just an isolated wintery shower falling as snow above around 800m.  The wind was gusting 20mph from the South-East and there was certainly evidence of new windslab accumulations on West to North aspects higher up.  As the day went on, the freezing level rose to summit level, the snowpack at lower elevations was notably diminishing and higher up there was a consolidating trend.

And still it was breakable crust….  Today’s journey took us into Coire nan Laogh (Coire of the cattle) on the western end of the Creag Meagaidh massif, with good views across to the east face of Beinn a Chaorainn.

Tomorrow the freezing level is expected to be around 1100m and frequent showers are forecast only falling as snow on the highest tops.

Photo below looking up the popular NE ridge of Beinn a Chaorainn.  We spotted 3 groups on the ridge today.

Photo below: A view looking north towards Bealach Bharnish. The remaining snow up to this altitude (800m) was thawing and consolidating today.

Photo below: Another day of post holing heading up into Coire nan Laogh at around 750m.

And finally, we were surprised to find this hardy Norwegian Spruce tree growing next to our chosen snow profile location.  Located on a west aspect around 850m, he’s definitely going to be in for a tough life.

Comments on this post

  • Allan Masson
    2nd January 2024 5:14 pm

    Coire nan Laogh – corrie (lit. kettle) of the calf or laoigh (calves). Maybe because the ground is marginally less rough (garbh) so kinder to soft, young hooves; certainly that was what I was tellt about the Lairig an Laoigh (Pass of the Calves). Cattle would be crodh, cow bò, and bull tarbh. Pedantry; probably why I usually end up walking by myself?

    • meagaidhadmin
      2nd January 2024 11:21 pm

      Oh, you’re in good company here, Allan. We have a penchant for pedantry, too! (Excellent geeky detail BTW)

  • Latheron ex-climber
    3rd January 2024 10:01 am

    Whilst we are being pedantic, more likely to be a Sitka spruce than Norway spruce. Sorry.

    • meagaidhadmin
      3rd January 2024 3:12 pm

      There’s definitely a lot of sikta either side of the main Beinn a Chaorainn track (1km away) so you may well be right. (Have come across some lone bonsai-like sitka spruce at 900m on Beinn a Chaorainn itself so not unusual hereabouts.) There may be a few silviculturalists out there who could confirm its identification?

Got something to say? Leave a comment

    Latest Creag Meagaidh Avalanche Report
    RSS Feed
    Keep up to date by subscribing to our RSS feed
Service funded by sportscotland
Forecast data supplied by the Met Office
SAIS Sponsors