Mini Beast

8th February 2021

Covid -19

The Scottish Avalanche Information Service issues information to support permitted activity under current Scottish Government guidance.

Please be aware of current mandatory travel restrictions in Local Authority areas within Scotland and respect local communities by referring to Scottish Government guidance and safe route choices for exercise. For further guidance please refer to the following information for hillwalkers and climbers and snowsports on ski and board.

This blog is intended to provide hazard and mountain condition information to help plan safer mountain trips.

The current weather pattern is similar to the ‘Beast from the East’ back in March 2018, albeit not as intense, where a very cold strong easterly airflow pushed heavy showers across eastern and central Scotland with only a few reaching the west. However, due to the narrow landmass from the Dornoch Firth to Ullapool, snow showers did affect the west coast around Ullapool and the northern Fannaichs. The same is happening now where the NE of our forecast area has more snow than the SW around Torridon and Applecross.

(Above – Copyright Met Office) A mini beast?

(Above) Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich clearing after a light snow shower. Many areas are scoured, but deep drifts exist in wind sheltered areas.

(Above 2 Photos) A 2-3 day old size 2 slab avalanche at 400m. above the A835 Ullapool to Inverness road, SW aspect. Although the debris was nowhere near the road, it was closer to the powerlines. The top photo shows the remnants of the crown and side walls of the avalanche. A cornice is forming above the crown wall which is estimated to be around 1m in height.

(Above) Sastrugi. Some of the biggest snow erosion features I’ve seen, over 40cm in height. These were on the slope above the avalanche site.


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