Monday, 1 March 2010

The mother of all (Scottish) avalanches?

I was definitely not going to mention avalanches, or even the snow today. But, day dreaming and trying to find myself some motivation to look at the VAT returns, I found myself staring out of the office window at the West Face of Aonach Dubh. (Well, you would wouldn't you if your office window had a view like this!) And then I noticed something a little odd.

Can you spot it? Look very carefully.

Does this help? There's a huge crownwall running all the way across the upper slope from somehwere above D buttress along the way across to a line somehwere below the summit as viewed from Clachaig. Wouldn't like to guess how big it is but to be able to see it so clearly from here I'd hazard a guess at 2m+

The debris has swept right across the snowy slope and in some places has gone over the cliffs on the west face. A quick peak through the telescope suggests that the bits at either end which haven't slid are extremely unstable and will probably slide in due course, possible with the sun watrming the slope.

It's huge.

Fortunately, this part of the mountain doesn't see much footfall. However, looking into Dinner Time Buttress and the top of no. 2 gully, which is a popular ascent / descent route, another crownwall is clearly visible. This is ever so slightly higher than the point at which Glencoe Mountain Rescue attended an incident last weekend.

Wish you were here? But not up there!

I've left all these photos at max size so that you can check the detail better. Click to make it big! (and make sure you link to them rather than nicking them for your own blogs, please!) I also hear reports of a huge avalanche on Ben Nevis, tracking all the way down to the half way lochan.

Glencoe has never looked better. But keep it safe out there.

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