Sunday, 25 January 2015

Winter Navigation Workshop

Yesterday I was a delegate at the Mountain Training Association (MTA) winter weekend, hosted at Glenmore Lodge. I attended the Winter Navigation workshop as part of my Continuing Professional Development. We had a great instructor, Nick, and we spent the day navigating around some of the lower slopes on Cairngorm, looking specifically at how to 'winterise' navigation. In the evening there were two excellent talks, one on the history of navigation (really interesting), and one on decision making in avalanche terrain. Only a couple of hasty phone pictures from the day-----too busy concentrating! Many thank to the MTA and Glenmore Lodge for putting on such a great event for MTA members.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Northern Corries tour

A short tour around the N Corries and into Lurcher's gully today. Stronger winds than forecast, with lots of snow movement going on, lots of wind slab and wind blown powder, definitely glad to be on easy angled slopes today.  A new variation on the raised footprints prints today! Plenty of folk out on the hill, either skiing, walking or learning winter skills.  Lots to go at at all levels at the moment, the snow shows no sign of leaving us just yet. The hills and forests look so beautiful just now....proper winter. Long may it continue!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Snowshoe Scotland

Deep drifts of snow at all levels just now, we're in a winter wonderland. I took advantage of a few hours between other tasks to get out on the snowshoes in Rothiemurchus. Knee deep drifts in places, skis or snowshoes a definite advantage. It's apparent that this is all heavily wind blown as some slopes have been stripped bare of snow almost, whilst the lee slopes and sheltered spots are groaning under snow. Getting to the start of the day was fun, and would have been impossible without a 4x4! More storms tonight but there should be some great off piste skiing to find when things settle down a bit!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Ben Wyvis ski-touring

Fantastic day out ski touring on Ben Wyvis today. The full gamut of Scottish conditions, from heather survival skiing to perfect untracked powder, from glorious sunshine and views to whipping winds and Baltic temperatures. Brilliant! From the Garve road there doesn't look to be too much snow, but we had a hunch that with the prevailing winds of late that a good amount would have collected in the back bowls, and this it proved. Plenty of folk on the hill, but mostly hill-walking rather than skiing.
There is also a video from today available here