Saturday 8 January 2011
Today I was running a workshop for Trainee MICs for the Association of Mountaineering Instructors. The 4 students I had today let me know what their priorities were for the weekend and we headed up on the Gondola and round to the west face of Aonach Mor to look at mountaineering ropework. One of the most difficult set of judgments that an MIC has to make are those involved with short-roping; the planned movement of students around terrain where the consequences of a slip would be serious. We used some excellent Grade I/II ground well to the north of the Summit Ribs to explore the decision making involved and the techniques of 'taking the rope for a walk', body belays, direct belays on boulders etc. and making it all flow into efficient movement up the rocky ground we found. The weather was began and finished fine and we topped out on a shoulder a few hundred metres above the top of the quad chair where we also looked at protecting students in descent on steep snowy ground.