11th January 2021

Covid -19
The Scottish Avalanche Information Service issues information to support permitted activity under current Scottish Government guidance.
Please be aware of current mandatory travel restrictions in Local Authority areas within Scotland and respect local communities by referring to Scottish Government guidance and safe route choices for exercise. For further guidance please refer to the following information for hillwalkers and climbers and snowsports on ski and board.
This blog is intended to provide hazard and mountain condition information to help plan safer mountain trips.
It was a wet  and mild day on Ben Nevis today. The freezing level was above the summits.  The ice that was making the footpaths and tracks hard going recently has gone leaving the paths and tracks unusually waterlogged and “spongy” to walk on. Visibility was very poor above 600 metres. There was however, no shortage of water about. At the stream crossing below to the CIC hut water was hardly visible a few days ago, today it looked at least knee deep. I decided not to try and cross there and remained on the opposite side to the CIC hut for a long way up.
With the temperature forecast to drop sharply this evening, the surface of the saturated snowpack will freeze and be very hard and icy tomorrow. The consequences of a slip on such an icy snowpack could be very serious.

Mountain paths are unusually boggy at the moment. Frost heavy during the recent cold condition followed by mild and wet conditions has allowed more water into the ground that during normal wet weather periods. Here of example the raised central section the ground is still frozen and solid. However off to the sides the ground has thawed out and is very soft and wet. 

On easier angled terrain at higher levels the snowpack is saturated. 

This was about as good as visibility got. The Douglas Boulder disappearing into the clag on the right. 

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