Clear sunny morning

20th March 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.
The snowpack had firmed up after a calm clear night but quickly started to soften particularly on aspects exposed to the morning sun. Cloud developed during the day and westerly winds picked up to strong, the freezing level remained above the summits and the snowpack continued to very gradually thaw and diminish particularly at lower levels where cover is very patchy below 900 metres. Above this cover is still good especially on summit plateau areas. There are glide cracks starting to appear in the snow pack after the recent warm weather, particularly around coire rims and crag aprons. A colder day tomorrow will temporarily slow their development.

Looking to the Shelterstone Crag, while the crag is black, some gully lines are still holding some snow and cover on Ben Macdui behind is good.

Hell’s Lum crag on the right, stream lines becoming more visible lower down as the snow continues to melt.

A closer look at Hell’s Lum Crag, while the remnants of cornice do not overhang much, there is a crack developing behind, so they still threaten the ground below.

A crack developing around the coire rim above Coire an Lochain.

Looking into Coire an Lochain, you can see the great slab starting to appear, and very early signs of glide crack development, just above the area of slab that is visible and below some of the crags. Debris from the avalanche earlier in the season still clearly visible by the lochan.

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