For the last day of our Introduction to Winter skills course at Glenmore Lodge the group led themselves on a winter walk. The weather forecast was foul and the SAIS forecast the worst for days with a hazard of Category 4, High so the team put in some time planning a route that was safe and achievable. We headed up the ridge on the west side of Coire Lochain. The walk in was on paths covered in fresh snow and the visibility decreased as we passed the top of the twin burns. Carefully using the edge of the Coire as a handrail and now wearing crampons the team soon found the top of Cairn Lochan. Using the obvious feature of the top of The Vent as a starting point they took a bearing on the Goat Track and headed straight down into a perfect whiteout. There was some real pleasure (relief?) as we arrived perfectly on target. Carrying on round the rim of Coire an t Sneachda the weather worsened as the wind and amount of snow increased. We were glad to reach 1141 and head down the Cas ridge through a ski area where the runs were again filling in. The team showed that they have picked up a good grasp of the skills which have enabled them to cope with some pretty bad winter weather and still complete a route in the Scottish Hills - nice job guys.
As an aside, all of us going to the outdoors in the UK risk tick borne Lyme Disease. Please consider signing this petition to raise awareness of this potentially debilitating disease :
Also worth reading Andy Turner's blog on his and Tony Stone's awesome ascent of Sassenach: http://andyturnerclimbing.blogspot.com/