A large area of rock fall caused by Monday’s torrential rain has left a popular Cairngorm footpath in an unstable and dangerous state.
Slabs from the cliffs above the Goat Track path in Coire an t-Sneachda – one of Cairngorm’s famous and iconic Northern Corries which help form the classic view from Loch Morlich – have fallen across the track and surrounding area.
The rock fall was discovered by path builders heading into Coire an t-Sneachda on Tuesday morning. They carried out an initial examination, which showed the area to be very unstable and dangerous.
Julian Digby, Director of Cairngorm Wilderness Contracts, the firm carrying out pathwork in the corrie, said: “The rock fall is nearer to the Lochans as you start to ascend the long section of the path.
“It is passable, but the area it came from above is looking very unstable and liable to further movement.
“Further up, near the top where the path leads over the exposed bedrock sections, there has been some quite significant movement. This has been due mainly to the weight of snow that has sat there this year, but the fear is that the heavy rain will have destabilised this even further.”
The situation is currently being discussed with Cairngorm Rangers and the Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust (COAT) to determine the best way forward.
In the meantime, for safety reasons, walkers and climbers are advised to avoid the whole Goat Track area.
Two of the Cairngorm Rangers visited the site of the rockfall on Wednesday morning and took some photos. Ruari Macdonald, who took the photo at the head of this blog and the photos below, reported that the path was usable “with extreme caution” but there is loose rock over the path and one of the photographs shows an area of shattered and loose-looking rock still above the line of the path. I’d say that, until further notice, the path is still better avoided.
The news about the Goat Track rockfall follows the announcement that the wooden footbridge beside Derry Lodge was destroyed in the flooding on 11th August.