SYHA winter skills February 14th and 15th

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Considering the weather this was another pretty successful SYHA activity holiday.  After my five clients met with me for a briefing it was apparent that a key learning for three of them was winter navigation. The wind turned to the south on Thursday making all steep north facing slopes an avalanche hazard. We started the first day from Coire na Ciste in an attempt to do some winter skills on the west wall, however the slopes were loaded with windslab, so this wasn’t an option.  We then navigated up onto the Plateau and into Ciste Mhearad letting the group gradually take over the navigation as we went. Descended by windy ridge the group navigating for themselves. On day two the ski road was closed due to high winds. Forecast 40 to 50 but nearer 80 on the tops.  We changed location and went to Glen Feshie.  Wind speeds were still not going to let us get very high so opted for a snow bank in a gully which gave a venue to do ice axe breaking, snow belays and finished off with a small abseil off a snow bollard.  I was joined by Lucy Wallace from Arran who had already been out to accompany Jim on a spectacular day in Torridon on Thursday; read about her thoughts on our SYHA winter skills course here.

blog by Dunc Maclennan, nineonesix-guiding

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