Paul James, MIC - - Winter and Rock Climbing Conditions

Saturday, 5 February 2011

05-02-11, Cairngorms - Winter Skills

A fine day today. The crazy weather has ceased, relatively light winds 30mph, very hard icy snow, great visibility and no precipitation. After yesterdays heavy snowfall, which turned to rain, then melted away, then re-froze - the Cairngorms have a very hard neve feel with moderate avalanche hazard. I was working for Glenmore Lodge on a weekend Winter Skills Course. The group learnt some of the essential skills to stay safe and operate in the mountains in winter; using ice axe, cutting steps, self arrest, crampon technique, taking compass bearings and pacing. Any snow that fell yesterday has almost completely disappeared and left very hard snow. We ascended Coire Laogh Mor over to pt. 1048 and then down to Coire Ciste. The short view I got of the northern corries, looked very black. The mixed routes won't be in but the easier gully lines should be ace.

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