Saturday, 25 January 2014


We could safely follow a crest ridge with no fear of getting blown off today
Excellent areas of ice on the tops
Away from the windslab
Goggles still compulsory bits of kit again
Fiacaill Ridge
Graham, Ken and Barry enjoying 15 minutes of blue skies!
Thankfully the winds were far more bearable today, well only 40-50mph. The freezing level also dropped slowly through the days so it was a dry-ish day, still with plenty of snowfall and windblown snow and not rain/sleet like yesterday afternoon. Graham, Barry & Ken are out with me this weekend on a two days skills course. We headed onto the western side of the Fiacaill ridge and after some basic boot and axe work we took a journey making a rising traverse up onto the Fiacaill ridge. Despite the gales over the last few days and most of the winter, the ridge has a surprisingly large amount of snow, it was poor visibility until the final section of steep climbing. To finish the day we went through some ice axe arresting scenario's. Through out we were observing and making on going assessments with regards to avalanches, avoiding lee slopes and staying on windswept areas and aspects. One of the snow pits we dug had an easy shear at about 10cm. and the west side of the Fiacaill ridge has fresh wind slab well banked up below the crest. It's looking like another stormy day tomorrow, think we'll be having a navigation day on some lower hills.

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