Monday 24 February 2014

Masses of debris, mentoring and LMRT busy again

Today I was up Ben Nevis giving a friend some advice on his work with students whilst working towards his MIC Assessment. There is no formal mentoring scheme in place for MIC Trainees and many find themselves working for businesses before they have passed to gain experience. I used to try to just give friends advice but have now formalised things a bit as the only way I can guarantee that I can create time to really focus attention on any 'mentees' is to make it a professional relationship where I'm paid for my time and expertise and book days out with them like other work in my diary.
Today we took Tim and Giles round to the west side of the Douglas Boulder where Tim led the West Gully with Jamie close by and Giles got to grips with seconding. We then abseiled down the east side of the Gap.
Davie was there checking out Fawlty Towers (hollow and very cruddy) so he swam up the SW Ridge of the Douglas Boulder instead. We saw or spoke to parties heading for Waterfall Gully, Observatory Ridge, The Curtain, Tower Ridge, Boomer's Requiem and Ledge Route. But its all pretty soft and horrid guys… still well buried all over Ben Nevis. And the debris!
The number and sizes of avalanches that have kicked off over the weekend is frighteningly impressive. There are enormous trails of debris below Observatory Gully, No.2 Gully, No. 4 Gully, No. 5 Gully and the Castle Coire and Ridge. As well as many small sloughs we saw more substantial avalanche activity today on the Trident Buttress and the east and west flanks of Tower Ridge and of course a party got avalanched in Coire Leis going a very long way and resulting in serious head injuries for an unfortunate lady- best of luck and good wishes to those involved. Again Lochaber MRT were on the case handling this and a simultaneous job. We saw Rescue 177 drop them off and the team streaming up to the rescue. Well done all involved.
Feel free to support them… whether its your change in a local pub in a collection box, the webpage: or by buying some merchandise to show your support . As you may have seen on some of the online news sources at the weekend Rescue Team funding compares unfavourably with the weekly salary of some sporting 'stars'- beggars belief really...
Debris below Observatory Gully
Digging out a runner
Davie off for a swim
Tim on the sharp end
Is that butterfly stroke Davie?
SW Ridge under deep snow
 Giles topping out
 Debris everywhere
 Tim heading down
Debris under Observatory Gully LMRT on the way in in the background

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