Today we stayed in Torridon as it was forecast to get a bit colder overnight. This was the case and our ascent of the corrie headwall to reach Spidean Coire nan Clach required the full repertoire of skills learned yesterday. Because we used a small ratio of 1:3 the group all had the opportunity to consolidate their new skills and look at other techniques they each may require in the future. Well done to everyone!
Watch out for the SYHA Torridon Munros courses for 2010. This will be our third season offering these very popular courses delivered by our summer Mountain Leaders or Moutaineering Instructors. This is a five day course which builds in an extra day to allow for poor weather, a rest(!) or some rock climbing or navigation.
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.
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.
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.