Overnight snow

15th March 2024

There was some quite heavy precipitation last night which resulted in a covering of damp snow to around 600 metres. The snowline retreated up the hill side quite quickly, but it remained white above 800 metres. At higher elevations there has been between 6 and 10 cm of snow, and some deeper drifts and windslab accumulations were evident particularly on South and South-West facing aspects.

As usual, the wind had been swirling around the complicated buttresses and gullies that form the vertiginous back wall of Coire Ardair. The result was localised accumulations of windslab, although in many cases this was moderately bonded. Again we have the situation where the majority of the hazard is confined to the steep scarp slopes that fringe Creag Meagaidh’s plateau edge. Any localised stability in these locations has the potential to be consequential given the terrain below.

In a number of places below the steep cliffs of the Post Face surface sloughs of spindrift were evident, which probably occurred during the snow fall last night. Unsurprisingly, fresh cold snow doesn’t bond very well to ice and these sloughs are to be expected down the major ice lines during precipitation or heavy drifting.

Yesterday’s blog highlighted the southerly aspects where accumulations may overlie bare ground, such as in Coire a’Chriochairein. Unfortunately, visibility prevented examination of these slopes today but similar slopes on Stob Poite Coire Ardair and in ‘The Window’ confirmed this theory.

Tomorrow presents an interesting set of circumstances with a change in wind direction, the potential for a clear spell and even some sun. We can expect to see some redistribution of existing soft windslab deposits onto North-West and North aspects above 950 metres. With clear skies we should see colder temperatures followed by the snowpack receiving solar radiation. The associated fluctuation in temperatures is anticipated to result in a slowly consolidating trend over the next 24 hours.


Raeburn’s Gully, with fresh accumulations of windslab to be expected close to the plateau edge.


Looking up into ‘The Window’. The visibility was poor today, particularly in snow showers. I spent a considerable time watching an ice climber making slow progress in what must have been challenging conditions in the Inner Coire. I then realised that I was looking at a rock(!)


A lone climber half way up Raeburn’s Gully. The good news is that I wasn’t watching a rock this time.


An actual rock! Pictured in The window. Possibly a pegmatite intrusion into the Creag Meagaidh Psammite Formation. Note the chunks of Mica as well…

Comments on this post

  • Danny Barden
    15th March 2024 8:14 pm

    I’d be interested in knowing whereabouts (in the Inner Corrie?) you came across this intrusion – a grid ref would be even more appreciated

    • meagaidhadmin
      16th March 2024 3:48 pm

      Danny, I might have said it was in the Inner Coire but it was actually in ‘The Window’ at 960 metres. Facing East it was on the right of the “path” and may have actually featured in a blog post before. Approximately NN42638857…

  • Euan
    15th March 2024 9:35 pm

    Definitely a pegmatite, and quite a nice one at that. Fine-grained feldspar crystalising first on the vein walls, getting coarser towards the centre when the quartz and muscovite also come in.

    • meagaidhadmin
      16th March 2024 3:44 pm

      Thanks Euan, Good to know others have appreciated this slight diversion from snow.

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