Collapsing Cornices.

20th March 2024

Today’s observations included a journey into Coire an t-Sneachda. There has been a light covering of new snow down to around 700 meters which started to melt throughout the day. Leaving the carpark it felt colder than yesterday, though as we approached the coire the temperature had increased significantly and it felt warmer than expected.

As we arrived in the coire we heard the loud and unwelcome noise of a cornice collapse, thankfully no-one was hurt. It was a timely reminder of the seriousness of climbing under such heavy masses of snow in warm temperatures. Remaining cornices will continue to pose a significant hazard particularly tomorrow as freezing levels rise.


(Above) Approach to Coire an t-Sneachda.


(Above) Cloud during the approach and warming temperatures.


(Above) Goat track area and Fiacaill buttress.


(Above) Alladins buttress.


(Above) Mess of Pottage crag. The central snowy area at the top of the crag is where today’s cornice released from. Still large remaining cornices on the top.


(Above) Close up.


(Above) Terrain North of mess of pottage crag approaching towards windy col. Note the signs of a small slab avalanche release on the scarp slope under the cornice.


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