Sunday, 18 January 2009

Winter Skills Part 2 and Snow!!!

Today Shona, Grant and John were on their second day of a 2 day winter skills course. Yesterday they were out with Big Al , he took them in to Stob Coire nan Lochain and looked at movement on the snow using the boot and axe with and without crampons, emergency snow shelters, snow profiles and a walking Rutch block test.

Today, after checking weather and avalanche forecasts, we headed up into the Mamore's to put the skills they learnt into practice. As the weather was very wild we planned to keep moving as much as possible, with only short stops to look at navigation and the snow pack to help the guys understand more about what is going on under foot. We walked from Mamore Lodge up to the col between Na Gruagaichean and Stob Coire a' Chairn then walked the ridge north west to the summit. We descended to the col just below Am Bodach and decided to head back down as the wind and snow was very powerful and the group were getting tired with wading through the snow. We descended back into the Corie and walked back to the Ice Factor for a hot chocolate.

Lots of snow was falling on the hills, large amounts of wind slab accumulating in the sheltered spots and it was very cold in the high winds providing some hard packed snow in exposed areas.

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