Alan Halewood has forwarded me another few snaps of Aonach Beag, and with some interesting observations.
Firstly, the snow was rock-solid. Alan said that he could not even get a single finger into the snow, and that he would have needed an ice axe to traverse it. Secondly, absolutely no melting was observed, despite the conditions in the sun being fairly comfortable. Of course, Aonach Beag won't get any sun, and probably hasn't seen any direct sunlight in months (does it get any?!).
A good picture is this one
from below, showing why it is easy to misjudge the length of this snow from distance. The foreshortening effect is due to the very acute angle of the snow, thus distorting its true length.
The supersize version of another photograph (here
) gives a better impression of length, and the 6ft plus bergschrund on the right. Allowing for additional depth towards the centre, this patch will be in the region of 2.5m deep.
I've studied this from a few angles, and compared it to other years, and I'd say it's slightly longer than 25m: possibly 28m.
A lot of melting left in this patch yet, and a very good candidate for survival. Myself and coaster are visiting it next Saturday (24th October), and will get precise measurments and more photographs.
Huge thanks go to Alan Halewood at [alanhalewood.blogspot.com
] for his efforts. It really is fantastic that so many people now are helping out.