Stellar day

4th March 2024

(Above) Snow cover at the eastern end of the Carn Liath massif today. L to R: Carn Liath summit, Coire nan Gall, Coire Dubh and Coire a Bheinn. Best snow cover was above 800m.


(Above) Puist Coire Ardair, Sron a Ghoire, the Post Face of Coire Ardair and The Window.


(Above) The Big Picture. Beinn a Chaorainn this morning, as viewed from Luiblea.


(Above) Sunlit profile of the perennially popular East Ridge of Beinn a Chaorainn.


(Above) Coire Chriochairein basking in the bright but comparatively weak sun. Again, good cover – especially in gullies and below the coire rim – but somewhat superficial below 750m.


(Above) The business end of Coire Ardair as viewed from Coire nan Gamhna. Noticeably colder snow in all shaded areas right down to the lochan and moister snow where the sun had done its work down low.

Instability today only appreciable above 950m and where shaded which, coincidentally, is where the most recent windslab lurks. Pattern of hazard though is localised at the moment and confined to steeper areas, including the incised gullies of the Post Face. Expecting some drifting and more widespread windslab to be in place in these same locations during the day on Tuesday.


(Above) A pair of climbers (one hidden) about to negotiate the corniced exit from Raeburn’s Gully in Coire Ardair. We have sizeable cornices over some recent lee slopes and are expecting further development tomorrow.


(Above) Coire nan Gamhna at between 850m and 1000m. It’s got geology and one day I hope James, our in-house geologist, will school me in its hidden mysteries. This small but perfectly formed glacial cirque was holding pretty reasonable snow cover today. High curving uphill ski tracks noted across the snowy part of the steep backwall, difficult to see here but right of centre of the photo. A canny line from yesterday and definitely ‘squeezing the orange’*¬†given the evolving avalanche conditions in this place. (*Urban dictionary definition: the act of driving through a yellow/orange light as it turns red.) I watched them from afar yesterday morning and was impressed by their judicious route and timing.

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