Its been a struggle to balance teaching goals, safety, time and painting a good picture of how to react to the current conditions. The avalanche hazard has been serious and despite what folk say Cairngorms conditions on many low and mid grade routes are far from friendly owing to the sheer amount of snow (many seem to confuse having a "great day" with "great conditions"). Numerous people seem to be 'going for a look' despite the avalanche forecast... hoping that they will find conditions that their judgment makes them happy enough to climb. Therein lies the start of a perilous path. "I'll just go in for a look anyway"..."I'm here now I'll give it a try"..."The snow seems ok I'll go a little further"..."I'm half way up now I should be ok"..."Oh dear, I'm being avalanched".
Or not. But that's no better in a way. They will have no idea at all how close they came to getting hurt or killed. A metre to the left or right could have triggered a slide but all they know is that they made it. This will only make them more sure of their powers of judgement next time. The avalanche doesn't know how good you think your judgment is or care. Be careful folks.
Spot the person
Almost at the belay
Kieran getting amongst it
A windy thread
Abseiling into the 'white room'
Mark and I looking a tad rimey