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Topic - Arrochar Alps Conditions Update

Andrew Mallinson - on 10 Mar 2014
Hi All,
Was guiding on Ben Vane today so thought I would give those interested an update on conditions.....

A very alpine day with sun and rising temperatures. Snow has burned back to circa 700m, and this is wet and sugary up until 800m, where the snowpack is much firmer and bearing bodyweight. The snowpack is sitting on sodden turf/grass which is running with water - no ground freeze whatsoever until 900m, but the air temperature was 8.4 c ! There was some fresh snow last night above 800m, about 5-10 cm, and this has formed some unstable wind slab pockets overlying the snow pack. Only minimal ice at 900m and none evident on the crag faces.
Some massive holes in the snowpack, several of which I had to inspect closer (ahem......), and some large creep lines where there are reduced cornices over the tops of gullies and steep slopes. Clear evidence of recent avalanche activity on A' Chrois ( N aspect), Beinn Ime (N & E aspects), Beinn Narnain (N aspect).
Actually, a really nice day given how bad the recent weather has been - didn't need the waterproofs once!
ANdy
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