Thursday, March 01, 2012

Cooler but with Rain on the tops

looking into Coire Lochain

Glide cracks in Coire Raibert

Glide cracks are tension failures in the snowpack created as the force of gravity downhill stresses the slope  and causes failure at a weak-point in the slope, in this instance at the convexity.  We are witnessing a very slow motion avalanche, however the snowpack may disappear before the slope fails and moves though !
In terms of avalanche hazard, we are mostly concerned with the triggering possibility due to our activity on a slope causing a layer to fail, which would be most unlikely here. It is very difficult to predict an avalanche in this situation, in much the same way as trying to predict an ice cliff collapse on a glacier, you never really know. However, I would not  recommend pitching a tent at its base !