Last Winter Skills Course

The weekend saw the last winter skills course of the 2017/18 winter season. It has been a weekend with some great weather and lots of sunshine. However, the snow is now slushy and it became more difficult to find places to use ice axe and crampons. On the way in to Coire an t-Sneachda we also spotted an avalanche coming out of Jacobs Ladder. It was a great finish to…

Cracking Easter Weekend

This weekend saw some really great weather. Well Saturday wasn’t that good really but we made the most of it and got though a lot of skills. On Sunday we went into Coire an t-Sneachda and got onto steeper slopes. We also had a look at using crampons there and used them on the ice fall below Fiacaill Ridge. Most of the snow we cam across was pretty stable. All…

Glorious Sunshine

The weekend saw some great weather and milder temperatures. There was also very little wind. On Saturday at Coire na Ciste it was very quiet and only skiers were in the area. At lower slopes the snow disappeared from more exposed areas and was very soft underfoot. On Sunday we went higher to have a look at steeper slopes and work with crampons and harder snow. Furthermore we had a…

Mini Beast from the East

The weekend saw again some winds from the east with some snowfall and spindrift. The road up to the Cairn Gorm ski area was therefore impassible. On Friday we walked up to the Sugarbowel car park and then down to the stream. There we did some avalanche awareness and ice axe arrests. After that we went up to the Cas car park and saw the extent of the spindrift. Poor…

Mixed Weather, Great course

The last 5 days has seen some really mixed weather. On Saturday we had milder weather with some spindrifts. Because of this the snow gates to Cairn Gorm Mountain were not open. Therefore we went to Drumochter, which had some really good snow conditions. The snow was a bit soft, but really good for doing the sliding skills like ice axe arrest. Sunday looked like much the same but according…

Winter Skills Course – 3-4 March 2018

This weekend we had some mixed weather. The avalanche report reflected all the fresh snow we received in the last few days. On Saturday we went up to Coire na Ciste for building emergency snow shelters and checking on the avalanche conditions. We also did some ice axe arresting and cutting steps on some neve snow nearby. On Sunday we headed down to Drumochter because the snow gates at Cairn…

Beast from the East

The start of the 24-28 February winter mountaineering course saw some really good weather and mostly low avalanche risks. However, the beast from the east with Siberian winds was looming. By the last night when we were out snowholing it hit us. In the morning we had zero visibility and temperatures of -10C or colder. Therefore we just walked straight down the hill. Just before we got to the Ptarmigan…

Winter Course 17-21 February 2018

This weeks course was fantastic with some good winter weather. Monday has stripped some of the thinner snow lower down, when it rained at summit level, but high up it managed to consolidate very well into nevee at most areas above 800m. The snowholing from Tuesday was really good at Ciste Mhearidh. There were some hard layers but even though it was some crafting we managed to finish digging after…