Full depth avalanches.

20th March 2015

Today I headed off with Kev to look at a full depth avalanche that occurred in the last few days.

Very often these events occur slightly later in our season. Like cornice collapse they are difficult if not impossible to forecast for. Often there are clues, such as glide cracks forming at the top of the slopes. Helpful if your going to ski down but not if your standing at the bottom. Some locations are well known but this one was new to me. Last year there was a full depth avalanche in the adjacent corrie.

SAIS Creag Meagaidh had some great pictures and notes about the development of a full depth avalanche earlier in the season.

http://meagaidhblog.sais.gov.uk/2015/02/snake-eyes/

Thanks to Kate at Glenshee Ski Centre for heads up.

Thanks to Kev for being chauffeur all day.

waiting for the sun to do something!

First-waiting for the sun to do something!

Our chariot for the day. Saved a long walk and wet feet.

Our chariot for the day. Saved a long walk and wet feet.

Glas Tulaichean, full depth avalanche.

Glas Tulaichean, full depth avalanche. Easily the largest avalanche of the season and comparable with some of last years slides.

It was a large slide, starting from the corrie rim.

Looking up the slide path. It was a large slide, starting from a wide gully area near the the corrie rim.

A lot of debris!

That’s a lot of debris!

In amongst the mud - clean blocks of snow from the top.

In amongst the mud – clean blocks of snow from the top.

Very large blocks throughout the debris.

Very large blocks throughout the debris.

A large slide with a lot of mud, rocks and ice in it.

A large slide with a lot of mud, rocks and ice in it.

The gully had filled with snow, an idea of the depth given by Kev.

The gully had filled with snow, an idea of the depth given by Kev.

The other side of the gully, several metres deep.

The other side of the gully, several metres deep.

Crossing the gully, mud, water, bed rock, moss and grass. Easy to see why the snow started to slide here.

Crossing the gully, mud, water, bed rock, moss and grass. Easy to see why the snow started to slide here.

The crown wall, small given the size of the flanks, note the gauges start at the top. This is only a few metres from the trig point.

The crown wall, small given the size of the flanks, note the gouges start at the top, possible cornice collapse?. This is only a few metres from the trig point.

 

Comments on this post

  • Tom Rupar
    20th March 2015 8:27 pm

    An impressively large slide, Paul!

    The crownwall may have been modest in size perhaps because it was right at the transition point between the plateau area and the steep scarp slope? Looking at the photo, the transition seems really abrupt, creating a very good lee slope accumulation zone. I guess much deeper snow – as shown in your shot of the flanks – was only a matter of a few metres downslope of the shallow-looking crownwall. The last photo seems to show this quite well (the snow to the left and downhill of the standing figure on the skyline).

    Guesstimate a Size 4 event??

  • Sam Noble
    20th March 2015 11:58 pm

    Fantastic photos: They give a really good impression of how huge that avalanche was.

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