Avalanches

12th February 2016

A change of wind direction has caused redistribution of the existing soft snow to leave areas of unstable ¬†windslab in sheltered locations. Complex mountain terrain can cause local winds to be significantly different from the forecast wind so these sheltered locations might not be where you’d expect them to be. The North face of Ben Nevis is often affected like this.

Two human triggered avalanches on Aonach Mor and reports of more on Ben Nevis. Several teams either turned back or changed their plans after finding unstable snow.

Plenty of snow above about 500 metres.

Plenty of snow above about 500 metres.

Large cornice above parts of Coire an Lohan, Aonach Mor.

Large cornice above parts of Coire an Lochan, Aonach Mor.

Coire Dubh and the top of Braveheart chair.

Coire Dubh and the top of Braveheart chair.

Skier triggered avalanche at 780m on North aspect.

Skier triggered avalanche at 780m on North aspect.

Debris from this slab avalanche.

Debris from this slab avalanche.

A plume of snow from North-East Buttress, Ben Nevis showing snow redistribution.

A plume of snow from North-East Buttress, Ben Nevis showing snow redistribution.

Large cracks in the soft redistributed snow on Ben Nevis.

Large cracks in the soft redistributed snow on Ben Nevis.

Comments on this post

  • Henry Castle
    12th February 2016 8:44 pm

    A team of AMI members were on Aonach Mor today, as part of an avalanche education course run by Graham Moss (of SAIS). There was very interesting pockets of windslab on various orientations, and by the sounds of it, it was a good day for spotting instabilities. Thanks Graham for a great course.

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