Thursday, 17 January 2013

Perfect timing for winter's return for five days mountain work in The Cairngorms.

On the summit of Cairn Lochan 1215 m on Tuesday.

Monday. Practicing essential foot work skills with crampons on. 

Wednesday, so beautiful between the blankets of high level cloud.

Learning to build pile up emergency shelters with fresh blown snow at 1083 m.

Our little shelter.

Late afternoon, the return to 'welcoming' cairn of .1141m on the Fiacaill Choire Chais.

Pretty murky and very cold at times above 1000 m. Perfect for navigation practice.

Getting colder as the Hoar grew on Monday.

Sometimes walking off a little later is a good thing! Aviemore in the distance.

Exploring and building snow holes under Cairngorm's summit.

Over the last five days I have been working in The Cairngorms and refreshingly away from all things internet based. But I am home so here are a few photos of the hills, students from West Highland College and other wintry images taken since Sunday. The five days on the east have been amazingly good and the cold weather has developed as we required it. This all added up to a quality experience for all concerned. The variety of conditions from blues skies to blizzards have been awesome for instructing a range of skills from winter walking to my observation of teaching mixed leading for a Mountaineering Instructor Certificate candidate who is about to take his assessment. I was again working for West Highland College / Advanced Outdoor Learning Course this week on their winter residential to Aviemore. We completed the students comprehensive winter mountain module with adventures onto the Cairngorm Plateau and in the Northern Corries.
Else where conditions seem good. Over on the west many routes have been climbed and folk are enjoying good walking conditions. Whilst driving home to Oban I could clearly see new snow in the hills of Glencoe. This is exciting as we  are back out running courses next week in Glencoe. We have a 'mountaineering skills for ski touring day', 'winter walking skills course' and an 'introduction to winter mountaineering day' which are all happening between now and next Sunday. It is brilliant winter is back!  Check out our What's On page on for more events and great value winter courses for 2013.