Thursday, 10 January 2013

Colder and clearer today on Aonach Mor.

I was working with the students from West Highland College again today on their winter walking module. We headed up to Aonach Mor and the Nid ridge area again as having been there on Tuesday it would be a good bet there would be some good firm snow after the colder conditions of the last two nights. It is still not that cold up there but the water logged snow has turned to good neve providing excellent material for lots of crampon practice on steeper terrain. Terrain at the limit of winter walking ground certainly concentrated everyone's minds. The views over to Mull and Ben Nevis were wonderful. It is always brilliant to have such clear air quality in the winter, this is the unique experience of being up in the mountains in Scotland and  especially when so close to the coastline. Conditions remain thin but there is plenty to go for and explore. What snow is left is ideal at present for mountaineering and walking skills courses. Folk are 'praying for more snow', it would be lovely but sometimes having lots of fresh snow makes life more tricky for us when we are working. If the cold weather continues the ice in the runnels and water courses will form well as the ground is so saturated and some ice climbing would be great fun.

Euan on the Nid Ridge. 

Great neve snow.

Testing Patagonia's Fusion Guide Pants, they are amazing!

Tools of the trade.

On Sunday I am heading over the Cairngorms for five days winter work so a change of scene will be excellent. It is always enjoyable being in the Northern Cairngorms and hopefully sociable on the walks in's too!