The conditions looked better in The Cairngorms today to our second SYHA Torridon Winter Skills kicked off in The Northern Corries. Victoria, David and Chris went into Coire an t-Sneachda to practice self-arrest and look at route choice. We then headed up to Windy Col where we were treated to a spectacular clearing of the clouds. Down into Coire Cas to end the day with building snow belays and more self-arrest this time with packs on.
… is important. I got this photo from a client from last weekend’s winter skills course in Torridon.
The second day of the SYHA Torridon Winter Skills ended with the classic winter traverse of Beinn Alligin. We found good crunchy snow as soon as the first horn was reached, from then on my group travelled very well over the exposed sections on the other two horns. Determination and good spirit was shown as we reached Sgurr Mhor and headed into the clag for Tom na Gruagiach. On the descent of the corrie the visibility improved enough to allow a good glissade of around 300-400m.
There are still spaces on the SYHA Torridon Winter Skills on March 20/21 and on the extra April 10/11 course.
For private guiding for the rest of this great winter, spring and summer please visit the nineonesix site to get booked up.
Kicking steps up/down; self-arrest on back/head first/no axe; cutting steps; moving on snow, rock, ice; bucket seats; buried axe; snow bollards; classic abseil; snowpack; crampons; rock steps, climbing ice steps and all at a 1:4 ratio – no Munro, but tomorrow we are off to Beinn Alligin.
There are also still spaces on our SYHA Torridon Winter Skills courses – click here to get more information.
If you would prefer to book private guiding with one of our five leaders get in touch with nineonesix here.
With all of this snow and ice there are still great opportunities to use your new skills right up to Easter time! In fact we have added another SYHA course on the 10th and 11th of April.
A fantastic two-day event was enjoyed by BT’s first and second year modern apprentices during their two-day winter skills team-building event.
The first evening kicked off with gear issue and kit check followed by theory session on Navigation. The apprentices then put their new learnt skills into practice on a night navigation exercise by Loch Morlich.
Wednesday started with low cloud as we trudged our way into Coire an t-Sneachda looking for a good site to begin our winter skills. Some of these people had not even hill walked in summer conditions, but in no time they were confident in ice axe breaking as they experienced sliding from every possible position. As they began learning their crampon skills the sun came out to give us fantastic views over the Gorms.
Today was a complete contrast. Having acquired the necessary skills the previous day we decided to tackle Cairn Gorm by Fiacaill a Choire Chais and to return by Windy Ridge. With blistered feet and aching limbs the five apprentices trudged into the whiteout conditions without complaint. The satisfaction on their faces on reaching the summit was evident and when we finally descended Windy Ridge, I felt I had converted them into mountaineers as they reluctantly handed back their Tiso hire ice axe and crampons.