A Fight in the Fannaichs

15th January 2020

I felt pretty beaten up today by the time I arrived back at the car. It took 2 hours to walk into a very strong headwind with driving rain only to go 2.5 km and 340m height gain! And to add insult, I went for a dook in the Abhainn Droma on the way back – it was a bit deeper and faster than it looked….! There was a heavy thaw at lower elevations today, but cold enough for snow on the summits.

The north top of Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich as seen through driving rain and the planned location for today’s snowpack observations. But a bit of brightness first thing. It didn’t last…..

A glimpse to the north onto the Beinn Dearg range. The snow cover quickly diminishing in the mild temperatures as seen by the ‘blackening’ of previously exposed and scoured tops and ridges.

I gave up at the steepening onto the shoulder at just over 600m. height. However, the snowpack here was fairly representative of the general cover in wind sheltered areas – windslab, thawing on the surface, drier and colder at depth and showing multi layered weaknesses.

Burn or footpath? It’s both! Much running water and slushy snow at lower levels. Due to the thaw and persistent rain, rivers and burns were in spate by early afternoon. Of course I should have known, and I did, but……

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