Saturday 13 February 2016

Plan C...

Today I was running the first day of an AMI Workshop for Trainee MICs. Iain and Sam are both preparing to undertake the Assessment for the National Governing Body qualification for teaching all aspects of walking, climbing and mountaineering in winter. Today was climbing... we sat in the cafe talking through the profiles of some fictitious students I'd given them and then talking about where to go. I was keen for an easterly aspect, not to busy and plenty of pitches for them to show off their rope work. we headed for Stob Ban hoping to get on Skyline Rib but another team was visible at the base of that area and the snow was pretty obviously not going to be helpful (sugary and not great for climbing) so we headed up and right through strong winds to the base of another route I hadn't done, Foxtrot. Iain led us up a pitch and it was pretty rubbish: poor snow, worse ice and no gear. He persevered with 2 different attempts at a second pitch before we decided to cut our losses and go for plan C... the (now quite popular) East Buttress of the North Ridge. Here the turfy ground and good protection meant we rapidly got in another 6 pitches catching up on fellow AMI Members Paul and Nigel out for the day. The wind was quite vicious but the light was lovely. Sam took the opportunity to short rope Iain down the bad step on the North Ridge and we made our way down the hill.
 Climbers already visible as tiny dots below Skyline Rib
 Foxtrot... he's grinning because he didn't have to lead that!
 Iain slightly manic
 "I'll just have a look round here..."
 Rock and crud...
 Run away...
 Plan C
 Great views
 Stob Ban living up to its name
 He's not so gorgeous but its still a nice view
 Ben Nevis across the Glen
Time to go...

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