Tuesday 17 February 2009

Snow, slush and crowds

Another extremely busy day in the Cairngorms. Even a number of West Coast instructors had come east in search of climbable conditions. Routes like The Runnel, Fiacaill Couloir, Goat Track gully, Hidden Chimney were busy with some firm snow and icey steps around. Bring plenty of spare socks though, the walk in is through giant slush fields that look like melting arctic tundra! A lot of funky ropework in evidence again on the Goat Track. Being roped to someone else on a steep slippery slope does not confer any safety upon you. When your partner falls and yanks you off too your rope will cheesewire everyone underneath you off the slope. Solo, belay or move together with runners but dont just stroll blithely around tied to someone else with a slack rope on ground like that. Sorry- rant over.
On day 2 of our winter mountaineering course we had a nice day lower down on the Fiacaill of Sneachda. We looked at Rutschblocks, bucket seats, bollards, buried axe bleays, holding falls dynamically and abseiling. Very civilised. Today I was working for Glenmore Lodge.

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