Cornices and debris
20th January 2023
The avalanche hazard has been Considerable in Lochaber for the last week but the summits have mostly been in the cloud which makes evidence of avalanches hard to see. Today was a lovely cold, clear day and as expected there was quite a lot of avalanche debris about. Most of this was from avalanches that happened last weekend or at the beginning of the week and this debris was covered by fresh snow on Wednesday and Thursday (but still visible). There was also some debris from avalanches which happened on Thursday and Friday due to weaknesses in the fresh windslab. Most of these avalanches were triggered by cornice collapse and as the photos below show there are still plenty of large, fragile cornices waiting to collapse.
It has been a windy week with fresh and drifting snow. The cornice collapse this week was triggered by the cornices growing until their own increased weight and amount of overhang caused them to collapse. Tomorrow the forecast is for a rapid rise in temperature and some rain and this will trigger further cornice collapse with this then likely to trigger avalanches.
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