Winter Skills

For the last 2 days I have been out with Mat and Ed on a winter skills course.  On Saturday we headed for Stob corie nam Beith in Glen Coe where we followed mountain rescue in and out of the corie.  The wind was very strong all day but we managed to cover a lot, especially crampon work, as all the snow is hard and icy.

We also chatted about how to move safely around the mountains using ‘islands of safety’ so to minimise the risk of avalanches.  It was a challenge at times to get information across as I was constantly being interrupted by the wind, which was very gusty.  A good day being blown about in the wind, with a little bit of fresh snow falling, mostly on our faces.  There was also some rime ice forming up above 1000m and Church Door buttress looked in very good condition.

Today we headed to Stob Ban in Glen Nevis to have a bit more of a journey.  On the way up to the lochan we went over the basics of navigation and some top tips on taking bearings and timings.  At the patchy snow line we covered cutting steps with an axe to save time moving over a small snow patch, rather than putting crampons on.

Soon we were at the summit, luckily just in time before the weather came in.  We made our way around the top of the ridge to Mullach nan Coirean where there was a lot of fresh snow being blown around in the strong gusts and the guys got to see some full on winter descending off.

A very good weekend where we had some good weather and snow and covered a lot of information.

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