/ ben lui
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Winter Climbing - From Scottish gullies to Rjukan ice falls, this is the forum to discuss everything involved with winter climbing. Conditions, what's in and what's not, avalanche risk, recommended routes plus accounts of your exploits.
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Thawing certainly, but avalanchey? I'd imagine that the snowpack will be fairly uniformly saturated by now, and that the only concern would be drooping cornices.
The Glencoe avalanche forecast is usually a fair benchmark for the Tyndrum hills and seems to agree http://www.sais.gov.uk/page_glencoe.asp
Grassy Slopes. Yeah sure the forecast is green now but a stable snowpack can still to full depth avalanche when the forecast is green in thawing conditions. Happens on the great slab all the time and I have seen the result of one in Glenshee - full depth down to the grass with a crown wall twice the height of a man on day where the forecast was all green.
There were some very droopy cornices on north eastern aspects on the Ben Lawers range earlier this week. Since Ben Lui has a similar aspect/height/latitude, if they haven't already fallen off I'd be giving Central Gully a wide berth at the moment.
Granted it was a large snow year - but just highlighting a green rose doesnt always tell you the full picture and put you in the clear.
I personally would not be near central gully in a thaw - but that is not me. Running water underneath can lubricate a slide cant it.
Central Gully and its approach is a very different slope from the one you refer to. The approach is largely rocky, not grassy providing grip and full depth avalanches of that kind are rare in gullies (I'm not aware of any but happy to be corrected) as the sides anchor the snowpack.
It is also a completely different aspect being SW facing and so exposed to the sun whereas Lui is NE facing.
If you're going to extrapolate from certain avalanches to the likelyhood of other slopes avalanching you need to be careful that the conditions match very closely.
Once the cornices have gone and the snowpack stabilised I'd be quite happy in Central Gully in a thaw.
> > Once the cornices have gone and the snowpack stabilised I'd be quite happy in Central Gully in a thaw.
Preferrably with my skis on!
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