Saturday, 14 January 2017

Goat Track Gully

After a quick Climbing Wall Award Training course and some Technical advice for the new Perth Collge Climbing wall today I was working with 2 students from Heriot Watt Mountaineering Club. Their aim was to build on their winter climbing experience and we headed in to Coire an T Sneachda. Despite the recent dump of snow (which made for unpleasant wading through the boulder fields) the crags still lack a build up. I'd chatted to someone about Goat Track Gully and how icey it was at present and we headed there after an extended chat on the Be Avalanche Aware process beginning at base and continuing through our journey and past our first key places.
Goat Track Gully is very lean and this end of the crag is very loose when not well bonded but today I was content to go in there given the serious cold and the large amounts of ice. Tomorrow in a thaw you would not catch me in there. We saw evidence of how loose things are when a large block came off Fingers Ridge today. The folk beneath the start of it and our icey gully need a reality check. No helmets at the base of a route is not a great piece of decision making :-(
My own stress levels raised when we realised that on of the students had a broken crampon but a split ring from my penknife, the drawstring of his glove and a combat tourniquet from Steve who was observing me today fixed that nicely.
Goat Track Gully is so empty there is a whole chimney on Pitch 1 I've never climbed! Its usually banked out. And the steps on this and the icey crux made it feel like steady Grade II today. Well done to the lads. It was cold with everything freezing a a strong breeze on the lip of the coire as we topped out. All change with a thaw tomorrow!
Lots of new and old friends at the Association of Mountaineering Instructors AGM tonight but a quiet one for me- more work tomorrow!

New mug on the move- thanks RAB for supporting the AMI

No comments: