Based in Aviemore, The Cairngorms, Highlands of Scotland.
Gary Hodgson runs Tarmachan Mountaineering, providing instruction and guided walking all year round. This is my regularly updated blog including the latest snow conditions in winter.
Friday, 21 December 2012
WILD WINTER SKILLS
Descending steep ground
Our 'sheltered' lunch break
Head foirst axe arrest
The last few days we have had very high winds here in The Cairngorms but today we managed to get out of the car at Coire Cas carpark and onto the hill. Brodie & Sean are out with me for a two day winter skills course. We battled into 60mph this morning and made our way to Coire an t-schneacda. There was lots of windblown snow and fresh snow fall but the coire as well scoured and some nice frozen snow exposed. The winds died to a steady breeze of 40mph after lunch and we could even have a conversation without shouting. We managed to cover the basics of walking on steeper terrain with axe and crampons, went through some avalanche awareness and finished off with some axe arresting, getting some good slides on the side of the Fiacaill ridge. The main emphasis today was actually looking after yourself in difficult walking conditions, carrying the appropriate clothing including ski goggles, balaclavas, etc. The shortest day of the year turned out to be longer than the end of the world at 11am today!