It's the 8th of January and it would be fair to say that the winter season so far has been a little frustrating. Just a little too warm. I have just finished 3 days with 2 Limerick University students who, with me shared enthusiasm for the remaining snow.
Eoghan and Ashlynn were 2 of a group of about 20 students from Limerick University Mountaineering Club. Most of the group were out for 2 days doing some introductory winter skills with two instructors, 2 were out with Dave Barker and three were self-sufficient.
Eoghan and Ashlynn were keen to winterise their rock climbing experience. With Alpine trips under their belt as well as plenty of rock climbing in Ireland they were keen to get their crampons stuck in here in Scotland.
With very little snow, we headed into Coire an t-Sneachda and looked for the 'whitest' line for the team to lead up. With a check of skills they armed themselves with the rack and pitched up 0.5 gully. A nice easy route but ample terrain to pack in 5 pitches and winterise their skills.
An avalanche training course!
Day 2 we suffered a thaw and headed into Coire an Lochain and climbed The Couloir with plenty of drips and rime ice falling off. We hoped to climb a different route but a team was already there and there was no way we were going to climb below someone. With poor visibility on the tops, we practiced some navigation over the plateau before making our way down.
Our final day, warm temperatures and limited snow pack. We opted for a summer day. An alpine training day looking at efficiency and a few little tricks to develop their current climbing techniques. They led up the Twin RIbs and continued onto Fiacaill Ridge before coming down the Goat Track for a de-brief back at base.
A fun 3 days with 2 very motivated future alpinists and winter climbers. Good luck with the journey.