Paul James, MIC - - Winter and Rock Climbing Conditions

Sunday, 24 January 2010

24-01-10, Cairngorms - Winter Skills

This weekend I have been out with a group on a Winter Skills course from Glenmore Lodge. We covered all the basic, essential skills and tactics that you need to be a safe and competent hill walker, in winter conditions. We looked at walking in snow with boots, crampons, use of ice axe, ice axe arrest, navigation, emergency shelters, route choices and avalanche awareness. If your a novice winter hill walker and are looking to be more confident and develop these skills you can visit to find out more.

The weather was mixed, Saturday was snowing, down to 400m with a slight easterly wind and today was much windier (easterly) but with better visibility.

Coire an t-Sneachda was busy with climbers today. All the easy gullies were full of teams, Haston Line on Mess of Pottage, Doctors Choice, Alladdins Direct, Fluted Buttress, Fingers Ridge on the main buttress, Bellhaven and Invernookie on Fiaciall were all being climbed. There is a powdery layer on top of the firm ice/neve from last week, which will be moving to form wind slab on West-South facing slopes.

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