The shadowy internal world of the snowpack

23rd January 2011

Sometimes a cornice will creep or slump rather than completely collapse. This usually happens when the temperature is close to freezing and the snow quite ductile. At lower temperatures any failure tends to be more brittle, which is more likely to lead to complete collapse. This creeping and deformation sometimes opens up a large cracks a little way back from the edge. In Coire Dubh on Aonach Mor, about a 30 metre long section of cornice slumped earlier this week, producing a crack wide enough to climb into at various points. A few days of consolidation, it felt safe enough to crawl into this for a wee peak at the strange, blue, internal world on the Scottish snowpack

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