Low avalanche hazard but multiple mountain issues.

19th March 2024

(Above) Bellevue Butress in Coire Ardair this morning. Several small cornice triggered full depth avalanches (an unusual combo that) from this steep E-facing crag. Full depth in this instance means fairly small but complete bodies of snow falling from the obvious ledges. Likely happened early this morning after quite persistent overnight rainfall and mild temperatures.

General snow stability in our area is quite good at the moment. However, as mentioned in previous blog posts, collapsing cornices and full depth avalanches are not considered as factors when forecasting avalanche hazard.

Btw, I’ve never seen a cornice triggered full depth avalanche before.


(Above) Sod fall in the Inner Coire. Yes, you read that right. A basketball-sized sod of earth trundled down from the S-facing side close to the summit of The Window. Again, related to the wet and mild conditions we experienced overnight. No big deal in the grand scheme of mountain hazards but it will be closely related to the enhanced likelihood of falling rocks and ice during the current milder conditions. See below.


(Above) Wet rotting ice overhung by a moist cornice today at the top of Easy Gully in Coire Ardair. The freezing level will be at around summits (and down to 900m for a short time) overnight and tomorrow so the potential for falling ice and rocks is unlikely to increase but it’s unlikely to decrease much either. Bits and pieces of mucky ice/rock and vegetation fell into the top part of the gully overnight.


(Above) Easy Gully is complete and – given the modest snowfall we’ve had this winter – relatively wide all things considered. Several well-developed waterfalls from Last Post, South Post and Centre Post + another from the left side are emptying into the lower reaches of this gully at the moment. As you can see, there’s some wet snow-laden ledges/benches on this crag as well.


(Above) The Window above the Inner Coire of Coire Ardair. Wet relatively soft snow up to about 900m, thenceforth noticeably firmer underfoot.

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