Sunday, 26 February 2012

George Heriot's School Annual Winter Skills weekend.

The Glencoe Gang.

Heading up the Lost Valley.
Getting to grips with slippy rock.
Speed climber!
Step cutting.
We had the hill to ourselves! Wonder why?

Saturday and Sunday saw Hebridean Pursuits ltd back in Glencoe working for George Heriot's School. This annual event offers their pupils a chance to experience winter walking skills and have some adventures. Based in the dramatic hills of Glencoe the two days really do open up these young peoples eyes to the potential of Scotland's mountains. This year 17 participants gathered to experience winter walking. Winter is a loose term at present!
Over the last few years we have had spectacular weather and fine snow cover, this year has been more of a challenge, as the thaw has pushed the snow line way up the hill.
On Saturday we head up the Ski slopes at Glencoe, walking from 360m was not to bad for the pupils and we soon found some really big patches of continuous snow lines to use for axe and boot practice. We were sheltered from the worst of the strong winds and the rain held off until walking down mid afternoon.
Soggy and tired everyone enjoyed being back in the hostel and re-living their snowy adventures.
After drying off we headed to The Ice Factor for some indoor rock climbing. Most of the pupils had climbed insdide before so it was great to see everyone tying knotts, belaying and climbing really well and finishing with a competition to round the day off.
On Sunday, we headed up into the lost Valley, the forecast was suggesting 70 mph on the hills so we opted for shelter and a dramatic walk into this most amazing environment. The weather was kind and the rain came on just as reached the vans back at the car park.
The wind has now picked up significantly in Oban and the forecast is dreadful until Wednesday. Such is the vagaries of Scotland's weather.
Thanks all the Staff and Pupils from Heriots for making it a fun weekend and providing great food for us. We look forward to meeting up with team in March on your Mountaineering Weekend and course to next years winter walking weekend return.