Nearly Clear

4th March 2020

The cloud kept coming and going on the summit of Aonach Mor today.  There were brief period when it was nearly clear. The snowpack is slowly consolidating. However, some instabilities and some large weak cornices remain with evidence of recent cornice collapse and natural slab avalanche release being noted. Looks like another couple of settled days before the weather goes a bit less pleasant at the weekend.

Carn Mor Dearg during one of the clearer spells.

The crags on the North Side of Aonach Beag.

Two thin ice layers are visible within the snowpack (I have tweaked the colours in this picture so they show up better). The upper one runs from just below the shovel handle rightwards. The other runs from 2/3 up the handle down and right. Despite the fact the snow slope where this pit was dug appeared was very uniform, the relative depth of the different layers/crusts varies significantly over a short distance. Research shows there is often significant spatial variability within the snowpack and that the properties of, for example, a weak layer can vary significantly over a short distance

Some substantial cornices about. At least one large section of cornice (just out of this shot) had collapsed since yesterday.

More cornices.

The South side of Coire an Lochan A large crownwall can be (just) be seen running from the central area of rocks down and left.

The same picture as above, but with the position of the crown wall marked in red. The debris ran down to the Loch.

Comments on this post

  • Paul Gillies
    4th March 2020 6:43 pm

    Given considerable forecast on Aonach Mor northern slopes is it safe to ascend the western slope/ridge abovd Allt Daim ie common approach to summit from top gondola?
    Excellent work folks.

    • lochaberadmin
      5th March 2020 8:55 am

      Hi Paul,
      The normal route up through the west side of the ski area is fairly gentle and generally safe from avalanches. Higher up on the ridge there are a couple of little steeper concave slopes, but these can be avoided on the left. The ski area appreciate it if try and avoid their ski runs, you can always ask a ski patroller or member of their staff about the best route.
      Hope you have a good day.

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