Glen Eanaich

25th January 2022

I decided to visit Glen Eanaich today in an attempt to observe the snow distribution on the western side of the Northern Cairngorms area. While the core area visited includes the mountains and corries surrounding the Cairngorm plateau, Braeriach and the Sgorans to the west often have slightly different snowpack characteristics.

Starting up Glen Eanich means starting from a much lower altitude above sea level, and correspondingly many of the images below are devoid of snow. Above 1000 metres in the high corries on Braeriach however, winter is still hanging on. The main snow patches are in similar locations, namely steep North-West, North and North-East aspects above 950 metres. East and South-East aspects also continue to hold good snow patches in plateau areas.

This may be due to these being lee aspects during the previous snowfall events, as precipitation was driven into the mountains from the North-West.

The snow surface softened a little during the day, but again on any steeper gradients it was firm enough to warrant crampons from around 800 metres.

Little change tomorrow, but precipitation late in the forecast period will saturate the snowpack, and the snow will become much softer as the freezing level climbs well above the summits. The snowpack will, however, remain stable and the Avalanche Hazard will be low.

 

The snow surface was firm again today, here on a steep North-East aspect (nicknamed the Escalator) at around 800 metres. Ideal for crampon use.

 

My snow profile site today in Coire an Lochain on the flanks of Braeriach. This cold hole is still keeping much of the snow and the Loch remains frozen. Some ice hanging on on the right of shot as well.

 

The striking conical hill of Carn Eilrig. A popular “free ride zone” last winter there were ski tracks all over it for a good part of the winter. Not even a snow patch today.

 

Sron na Lairige from Gleann Eanaich. The western slopes (right) are largely devoid of snow while the shallow depression on Coire Gorm (left) is holding onto some patches. Coire Gorm provides a quick descent from the classic Cairngorm 4000ers Ski Tour and holds snow readily.

 

Cairn Gorm seen from near Whitewell, some snow patches are hanging in there!

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