Thursday 11 March 2010

Winter ML Trg Mountaineering journey

A chance today for the team to go on a mountaineering journey looking further at skills for managing themselves and parties on steep ground. My group put in a couple of pitches using buried axes and bucket seats to belay on the snowy ground on the flanks of the Fiacaill of Sneachda. We looked at holding falls in a dynamic fashion to avoid shock loading the anchors and carried on up towards the crest of the ridge. Crossing a large snow slope we dug a quick snow profile and discussed the practicalities of several types of snowpack tests, eventually getting a sheer with the 'last tap' of a tap test.
Carrying on up the ridge we discussed route choice before looking at confidence roping in descent and ascent as we headed into Coire an T Sneachda. Crossing the old avalanche debris from last weekend we discussed safe travel options before pausing to look briefly at coaching crampon use at the 'flat ice'. Finally we headed out to the moraines to look at how to safeguard yourself whilst approaching a steep edge to prepare it for descent/check a slope beneath and to examine a range of in situ emergency shelters.
A full day that didn't quite end there. On our return to Glenmore Lodge we looked at kit and food for our 2 day snowhole based exped- so no blog report tomorrow night.