Beinn Ghlas

Today Craig was out with a Falkirk Community Trust Winter Skills team and I was out with Michael and Stephen looking at Avalanche Awareness and Safe Travel. We shared transport and visited Beinn Ghlas near Ben Lawers. 

Stephen and Michael inspecting a small cornice near the coire rim.

A little damp on the hill at times today. Not much snow below 950m and that mostly on north and east facing aspects. The snow is generally well saturated. Some ice is holding on and the turf was still firm above 900m and out of drainage lines.

Meall Corranaich

Out yesterday, Saturday, with Nettle and a group of Scout Association permit assessors. We used the area from the Ben Lawers car park up to the bealach between Meall Corranaich and Beinn Ghlas to look at navigation legs. In the afternoon we covered skills for steep ground.

Selecting anchors. Photo credit: J. Foden.

Selecting anchors. Photo credit: J. Foden.

Fairly strong South-West and West winds and driving rain made it quite unpleasant at times and the group showed great enthusiasm in the conditions. A really interesting day with some great discussions.

There are some sizable wet snow patches above 850m, which will freeze hard if the temperature drops.

Ben Lawers Ski Tour

Out with Falkirk Community Trust ski touring today with Euan, James, Fiona, Graeme, John, Jonathan, Tam and Tom in the Ben Lawers area.

The team enjoying great touring conditions

We skinned up the Ben Lawers access road from the main road and up to the bealach between Meall Corranaich and Beinn Ghlas. The return gave us an excellent easy angled descent on untracked snow. The access road was drivable to near the top of the forestry without a specialist vehicle by the time we descended.

Snow cover down to Loch Tay

There is full snow cover in this area at the moment with the snow generally being soft and unconsolidated making travel without skis or snowshoes very time consuming. There was no significant precipitation whilst we were out, but some wind movement of snow in exposed areas on a South-Westerly/Westerly wind. Below freezing all day at higher levels. There’s crust on the snow lower down and the snow was becoming heavier at lower levels with rising temperatures. Sunshine on and off throughout the day.

James with Beinn Ghlas behind

Craig and Iona were also out near Killin looking at winter navigation and reported fairly hard going in the soft snow without skis.

Beinn Ghlas

Up on Beinn Ghlas near Ben Lawyers today with Davy, Glenn, Niall, Nic and Pamela. We were looking at a variety of Winter Skills and how to teach them.

Winter Skills in the back bowl of Beinn Ghlas

There were snow patches from circa 650m and relatively good cover from around 900m. The back bowl of Beinn Ghlas had fairly deep snow pack following the snow on South-Easterly/South-Westerly winds over the weekend. This snow had been saturated by the thaw, but not to full depth and instabilities were found using a variety of test pits. There was also evidence of avalanche activity from the weekend. The turf was still firm at relatively low levels and was well frozen where exposed from around 900m.

Good navigation weather on the summit of Beinn Ghals

Light snow showers during the day on a light Northerly wind giving areas of fresh wind deposits on lee slopes. Freezing level hovering around 950m.