The Beauty & The Beast

13th February 2024

Wild weather for most of the morning and early afternoon with snow showers, strong winds  – very turbulent indeed in Coire Ardair – and constant drifting. Just occasionally there were brief and very welcome interludes of sunshine and really clear light…which, generally speaking, was when the camera came out.

Quite an eventful day avalanche-wise. Avalanches ran on NNE through E to ESE aspects above 950m, one with a 100m crownwall. I think 8 in total. No surprise given the weather and incessant drifting.

(Above) Difficult overhead conditions meant it was tricky to capture an image showing the general wildness of the day but here’s a shot from the entrance of the Inner Coire looking towards Bellevue Buttress. Easy to recognise the long pronounced plume of spindrift coming off the top of that particular crag.


(Above) Much easier to see drifting when it’s backlit by the sun. Raeburn’s Gully left Pinnacle Buttress centre and the top of Easy Gully right of centre. The top of Easy Gully was getting ‘extra helpings’ of wind drifted snow for most of the morning and early afternoon.


(Above) A lull in the weather allowed a shot of the Inner Coire and The Window. Avalanche debris, from two discrete events out of the low grade gully ‘Cinderella’, just visible near the bottom of the shot.


(Above) A snow-laden Coire Chriochairein. Quite a lot of avalanche action in this coire today. The aftermath of 4 different events visible, plus one in shade on the far left of shot.


(Above) Inset of the previous photo. Avalanches on E and ESE aspects here. The skyline is at 970m in this part of the coire.


(Above) Cornices were a bit of a feature today, mostly developing over recent and obvious lee slopes – N to E mainly. This one however, over the corner of a crag, will fall onto a SSE aspect in Coire Ardair. All cornices expected to weaken over the next 24hrs.


(Above) The Big Picture. Coire Ardair and the crags that surround Lochan a Choire. Beauty or Beast? I guess it’s fair to say both but at different times today.


Comments on this post

  • Sam
    13th February 2024 7:39 pm

    Gorgeous day. Thanks for your daily updates!

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