Avalanche prediction in Scotland: I. A survey of avalanche activity

  • Ward R
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Abstract

Avalanches are a common occurrence throughout the Scottish Highlands and have been responsible for several injuries and deaths amongst climbers and ramblers. The paper describes approximately 1000 avalanches which have been recorded over the last 200 years, the majority being observed in the Cairngorms between the winters of 1977-1978 and 1979-1980. Many different types of avalanche have been recorded, including slab avalanches and loose snow avalanches. Although the majority are comparatively small, a small proportion are extremely large. These may travel over a mile and involve a snow layer up to two or three metres thick and 200-300 m wide. Excluding small-scale sluffing from free faces, most avalanches release from slopes between 35° and 45°. Avalanche activity occurs during many different types of weather conditions, including thaws, cold snaps, storms and calm conditions. © 1984.

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Authors

  • R. G W Ward

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