Avalanche and icebergs!

I retweeted a photo Iain Cameron put on twitter of icebergs in Loch Etchachan (Cairngorms) earlier today:

To be shortly followed by Addy Pope of Go-Geo! sending me a photo of the result of a large slab avalanche into Coire an Lochain:

Full depth slab avalanche into Coire an Lochain (copyright Addy Pope)

Full depth slab avalanche into Coire an Lochain (copyright Addy Pope)

A few months back I ran some analysis on identifying avalanche hazard slopes in Scotland. I used the Ordnance Survey Panorama data and the GIS GRASS and selected all the slopes with an angle of greater than 30°. I then classified these by elevation and aspect. I’ve plans to write a full post explaining how I did this, including an interactive map. Until then here’s a static screen shot of the area in question:

Cairngorms avalanche hazard: slopes over 30°, categorised by elevation and aspect.

Cairngorms avalanche hazard: slopes over 30°, categorised by elevation and aspect.

Reassuringly my analysis shows the slopes around Loch Etchachan and Coire an Lochain to be steep enough to pose an avalanche hazard.

This also ties in well with the historical data from the sportscotland Avalanche Information Service, who present a heat map of avalanche reports.

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