31st January 2020

Thaw conditions were well established today with temperatures of plus 5 degrees centigrade recorded at 930m at midday. The cliffs in Lochnagar are black and dripping with rocks and bits of ice falling constantly. Whilst taking photos of debris in Raeburn’s Gully today the rest of the cornice decided to loudly part company from the corrie rim which required me to make a quick sprint to the base of The Mound.  Smaller amounts of debris are present under other gullies as well.

The freezing level is due to slowly lower during tomorrow with light precipitation forecast throughout the period, eventually turning to light snow during the afternoon. The old, wet snow will start to firm up as cooler temperatures become established.

Mostly black cliffs – Lochnagar, 31.01.2020

Eagle Ridge, Parallel Buttress group

Cloudy view up Black Spout

Raeburn’s Gully showing the line that this morning’s cornice collapse took. I hid under The Mound, bottom centre of photo.

The heavy cornice debris gouged a deep rolling track in the soft snow that looked like a helter skelter (if you are old enough to remember them!) Sorry  – rain on camera lens.

Cornice debris at the bottom of Raeburn’s Gully

Shards of ice on Lochnagar

Genuine question – can any of you Geologists out there tell me if this is a natural formation or man made? It’s quite a large boulder…


Comments on this post

  • John Robinson
    31st January 2020 5:16 pm

    The large boulder formation is very probably natural. Perched blocks of rock are common in the Scottish mountains and were originally rocks on top of glacial ice; when the ice melted the rocks sank to the ground. Thsi one happens to have come down on top of a smaller one.

    Perched blocks are particularly noticeable in places with lots of bare rock, such as Torridon.

    • scairngormsadmin
      1st February 2020 8:43 am

      Thanks Guys -much appreciated

  • John Murdoch
    31st January 2020 6:13 pm

    The Boulder is called an erratic, dropped and left behind in an odd position after the last ice sheet melted.

  • Calum
    31st January 2020 7:00 pm

    Thanks for the detailed photos mate, makes decisions about whether to have a punt or not much easier! =)


    • scairngormsadmin
      1st February 2020 8:44 am

      We’re here to help – glad you find the information useful

Got something to say? Leave a comment

    Latest Southern Cairngorms Avalanche Report
    RSS Feed
    Keep up to date by subscribing to our RSS feed
Service funded by sportscotland
Forecast data supplied by the Met Office
SAIS Sponsors