Sunday, 16 February 2014

Winter skills and Mamores Guiding

On Thursday I was working for the West Highland College with the First Year Degree Students. Our plan was to cover some basic Winter skills and also to let the students look at how we structure our sessions and adapt things depending on the conditions.
Straight away we were met with some challenges as we struggled to get the bus up the Forestry track to the Allt a Mhullin due to all the snow!
We looked at various aspects of avalanche awareness both during the walk in and on the hill. After covering the use of crampons and with lots of spindrift and strong gusts, we found a good bank of snow to dig some emergency shelters.
A great effort from the team who managed to get a productive day despite some challenging conditions!

On Friday I was guiding Laura and Rosie. We had a few options but due to the high avalanche forecast we thought sticking to ridge lines would be safest. We headed up the fantastic North Ridge of Stob Ban. Whilst never too technical, this gives a real sense of a mountaineering adventure and under so much snow, was great fun!
We headed round the West end of the Mamores Ridge along to Mullach nan Correan. The wind started to pick up as we arrived at the summit and so a steady descent saw us back in Glen Nevis. A thoroughly enjoyable day at work! Thanks to Andy who came along to shadow also.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Nevis, Sgurr a Mhaim and Stob Ban

On Tuesday I took Dhiren and Kiro up the Ben Track, with Andy shadowing. They are both planning on climbing Kilimanjaro this year so wanted a bit of training in preparation. They certainly weren't disappointed as the mountain was in great winter condition for a leg stretch! The Red Burn was totally banked out and gave us a nice bit of excitement early on. From here on in, the path was totally buried in snow so we headed directly up the west side of the mountain, giving a good work out for the legs. There were a few pockets of windslab around but nothing to worry about. On the plateau was a complete whiteout, testing the nav skills until the summit popped into view. Well done to Dhiren and Kiro for a great effort and best of luck for your future mountain exploits!

 Yesterday I was out with Dave for a trip around Sgurr a Mhaim, The Devil's Ridge and a descent of the North Ridge of Stob Ban. LOTS of snow up there just now and a few small dodgy bits of windslab but great fun nonetheless!