Monday, 23 January 2017

A catch up from the last two weeks. Winter Courses 2017 so far.

Winter has been slow to start this year, but that is not unusual. There was very little snow in January 2008 and it didn't develop a good snow base in January at Glencoe Ski slopes last year.  So as the temperatures fluctuated around freezing at 900 m we wait for the pressure systems to swing away from a predominant south westerly directions and deliver us all some white gold to transform the cliffs and gullies.

We have at Hebridean Pursuits been using our imaginations somewhat to find suitable snow and pleasingly we have been finding material to use to instruct or guide on.

We have had a variety of clients so far from school groups on winter walking skills courses to mentoring future Mountaineering Instructors.

The dominant feature of this month has been low cloud, but above it at approximately 750 m we have had some excellent inversions. These are fairly rare to experience and to have many days of them has been wonderful.

Busy times lay ahead from this weekend onward, so fingers crossed winter does return in it's finest glory. Today Ben Cruachan is covered in snow so here's to the weather Gods.

A word of warning, some areas around gully heads and on ridges are loose and unconsolidated at present. Also the gully lines that are still in condition are becoming busy and that can result in folk knocking down loose rocks or snow and occasionally dropping equipment which all can result in injury to those below. Please be careful.

Andy Spink teaching navigation in the Cairngorms.

Snow anchors training, Intro winter climbing course.  

Digging bucket seats on a winter skills course. 

Inversions have dominated recently. Glencoe in all it's finery. 

Essential foot work on day one of a winter walking course at the weekend.

Steve on the Beinn Fhada ridge. A fine and lesser frequented ridge route in Glencoe.  

Iain, Kary and Inga learning to move around in steep snow, winter mountaineering day one.   

Stob Coire nan Lochan had reasonable snow in it last week. 

The middle section of NC Gully is a little broken, but fun. 

Patrick topping out NC Gully.  

George Heriot's School on their annual Winter Walking Skills Course.