"Off Piste" Skiing

Today Will and I headed to Glenshee for some touring but there was far less snow than we had hoped for so we actually skinned up the edge of the unused pistes and skiied a mix of the open and closed runs. Unbelievable really as there was over a foot of snow around in Braemar but the hills were badly scoured

Transceiver Training

Today I had a bit of a long journey to Braemar to meet my cousin. Due to road closure I had to go via Keith and Aberdeen. Anyway, the road to Glenshee was also closed so we spent some time in the stadium in Braemar using transceivers and looking at avalanche avoidance.

What a Windy Day

What a windy day! With wind speeds in excess of 140mph recorded on the summits, Beth and I hid in Glenmore Forest for some navigation training. We made it out to Ryvoan Bothy for a snack before heading back in. We still got a bit of a battering and some snow blizzards but it was much better than being completely beaten up on the mountain.

Emergency Shelters

Today with more high winds forecast Beth and I headed into T'Sneachda to look at emergency shelters, crampon work and the all important avalanche awareness. We actually sat in the shelters to have our lunch and they worked really well. On coming out the wind had picked up and there was a lot of snow moving about so we navigated out along with a lot of other people leaving the corie. The van was rocking at the car park as the wind was picking up.

Winter is back

Today I took Beth to climb Fiacaill Ridge before heading up onto the plateau and navigating round to the summit of Cairn Gorm 1244m. What a day, cold, low wind and winter is definitely back on the agenda

Hiding at Huntly's Cave

Today with forecasts in the mountain of 100mph winds and rain, Beth and I headed to Huntly's Cave near Grantown on Spey to look at ropework and belay building. We were dry under the over hang and the rain stopped after a while and the blue sky appeared. Unfortunately the routes were still very greasy but we still managed to climb a Diff at the end of the session

Back into Coire An T'Sneachda

Back into the coire today with Beth who is on Wet and High Adventures Long Term Development Scheme for some winter skills tuition.

A lot of snow loss from yesterday including all the "flat ice" area having melted away. However we had a great day with some navigation, footwork and ice axe skills, decision making and beating the weather back to the car followed by coffee and cake at The Active Cafe

There is still snow in Corie An T'Sneachda

After travelling up from a cold Somerset to a warm Scotland, I bimbled into Corie An T'Sneachda with Jake to see what was remaining from the thaw. There is still snow there though the climbing options are seriously diminished (Invernookie was a stream in the lower half and most of the buttresses were black). There was a team on Goat Track Gully. We took a random line of mixed ground from the flat ice upto Fiaciall Ridge and dropped back down after a 5 min facial scrub from the biting wind

However, there is plenty of snow for my winter skills course coming up and it is due to get colder during the week.

Final day of HML assessments

On the third and final day of the HML assessment, we headed out from Shipley Bridge for some more micro nav. The snow was going and the mist came in (to too badly) to give us some more interesting navigational decisions. Well done to the 10 candidates that passed.

Another clear day on the moor

Back out on Dartmoor today assessing another group from the Hill and Moorland Leader assessment. A good long day today including going into darkness to assess the candidates on micro, macro and poor vis navigation. Snow cover was very patchy.

Dartmoor HML Assesment

Today I was out on  Dartmoor assessing Hill and Moorland Leader candidates. It was a lovely day out on the moor with light winds and great views. Only 3 candidates with me today as the others were out with Andy and Howard. Although the was a little snow around, it was warm and clear and very much not a wintery experience with clear views and low winds.

Climbing Assessments

Today was the last session of Level 3 Outdoor Education leading Land Based assessments and we were inside (in the warm) at the Bridgwater YMCA Climbing wall where 4 students ran 4 very different sessions from technique coaching to games.

High Rope Leadership Assessments

Back out with Level 3 Outdoor Education students from Bridgwater College at Cannington Activity Centre. 4 of the students were delivering their assessed land based task today with sessions on All aboard, Leap of Faith, Jacobs Ladder and Crate Stack. A very windy day added to the challenge and we needed regular trips inside to warm up.