Meall Coire Choille-rais

11th March 2024

Today was very pleasant on the hill with relatively calm conditions, the cloud base hovering around the summits and a distinctly wintry feel above 750 metres. A visit to Coire Choille-rais is rarely a disappointment. Although the coire has a remote feel, it is much closer to the nearest road than its more popular next door neighbour – Coire Ardair. Perhaps the lack of a well made path has something to do with it.

The snowpack is mostly firm and a crust has developed in a number of locations. This was supporting the weight of a walker the majority of the time, but not always!

The snow surface is expected to soften tomorrow as the freezing level rises to well above the summits.

Taken from the summit of Meall Coire Choille-rais looking South-West towards An Cearcallach (993m). Beinn a’ Chaorainn is in the background.


A crust has developed in some locations above 800 metres. The majority of the time this was supporting the weight of a walker, but not all of the time!


Rime ice has developed widely above 800 metres, in areas exposed to the wind. Here it has formed on the thin heather branches. The wind has been coming from left to right, with the sharp points of the rime pointing into the wind. In this case, the wind has been coming from the South-East.


Cornices overhanging a North-West aspect. These are stable at present but will become increasingly unstable tomorrow as the freezing level rises well above the summits.


Lochan Coire Choille-rais, which sits at 800 metres, 200 metres higher than the neighbouring Lochan a’ Choire in Coire Ardair. It’s less likely to see other people in this coire, but the presence of others was noted from the raised footprints in the foreground. The soft snow around the footprints has been scoured away, leaving the solid compressed snow from the footprint raised. Check out Lochaber’s blog from today for an even more pronounced example.

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