Winter Solstice

21st December 2020

Covid -19

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Today is the winter solstice. At this time of year the sun does not even reach 10 degrees above the horizon at midday in Lochaber. Unfortunately a thick layer of cloud prevented any view of the sky today. It was a least dry during the morning with some visibility on the tops. This was lost by midday with precipitation (snow at higher levels) through much of the afternoon.

During a clearer spell I did see evidence of a recent avalanche in Easy Gully on Aonach Mor. The was caused by cornice collapse, and I suspect it happened in the early hours of this morning when the freezing level rose above the summits for a few hours.

The West face of Aonach Mor this morning. Not holding much snow and not frozen!

The East Face of Aonach Mor (Coire an Lochan) this morning holding a bit more snow. Debris from the Easy Gully avalanche can just about be made out (if you know where to look) running down and left.

Not frozen yet, but getting there. Ice forming on the Lochan of Coire an Lochan. 

The top of Easy Gully. A cornice triggered avalanche can be seen in the back of the gully. The crown wall is quite ragged, and in locations the steps down a level to there is a second much smaller crown wall. 

The top of Easy Gully from the other side. The crown wall can be seen running from just below the cornice to almost the rocks on the right.

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