Sunday, 15 February 2015

Winter Skills Weekend with the Austrian Alpine Club

The Team

Great winter environment on Aonach Mor
 This weekend I have been working with some member of the Austrian Alpine Club who signed up for a winter skills weekend.  Our group had a wide variety of experience covering 2 or 3 generations and a variety of mountaineering experience.  To optimise to teaching time and skills we opted for some mechanical assistance and got the gondola up to Aonach Mor, bringing us out in the snow.  As the weather was more desirable we opted for more of a journey and to get up high, so armed with the appropriate skills we set off for the summit station.  Unfortunately, time evaporated and we didn't make it to the true summit, sometimes the case when there is lots to teach.  We made our way back down avoiding all the pistes and back to the comfort of the gondola to save some knees.

Lunch shelter 

Interesting terrain to blow away some cobwebs

Prepared to head into the 'Ping Pong ball'

In the ball

 Day 2 there was a strong desire to make use of the mechanical uplift again however the strong wind's didn't allow and the gondola was off all day.  So instead we opted for a drive over to Glencoe and headed up Coire na Tulaich on Buachaille Etive Mor to pick up where we left off.  As the winds were high today we stayed sheltered and opted for a more static skills based day covering any aspects we didn't have time for yesterday and equipped the team with enough tools in their tool boxes to go out and have a save and fun day in the hills.  The team were great sports and put great effort into everything, Mike put in a great effort trying to break the sound barrier on his ice axe arrest runs and I was very thankful of the Sloe Gin from their hip flask at the end of the day.  A great couple of days and the weather wasn't too bad either.
Steve sporting equipment older than me.

Steve's wooden Stubai axe.  Lovely piece of equipment.

The team in Coire na Tulaich