Sunday, 6 November 2016


Deep snow, hard work

Our camp spot at Coire an Lochain

A taste of a Cairngorm blizzard

We can even manage some crevasse scenarios!

Trudy enjoying her first winter camping in The Cairngorms

A few more cm's overnight

Stewart enjoying the poor visibility

Traversing steep ground

Still smiling

Deep snow at low levels

Rope work for glacial travel

Glad to be out of the storm
Trudy and Stewart were out with me this weekend for two days of winter skills in preparation for our Patagonian Icecap Expedition coming up shortly. The weekend winter coditions in The Cairngorms were timed to perfection, my first winter course this season. It has been cold and snowy to low levels since Friday. Over the two days we have enjoyed constant snow showers day and night.  Patagonia is notorious for strong winds and poor weather, we had this in abundance. Perfect conditions to simulate our expedition on the icecap were we aim to climb the third highest summit in Patagonia, spending two weeks on the Southern Patagonian Icecap. Once again the Scottish Mountains comes up with the goods. We headed into Coire an Lochain on Saturday morning, setting up camp at the lochans. In the afternoon we had a couple of hours running through some basic snow skills. The visibility was very poor and the winds were strong and  from a cold northerly aspect. It snowed on and off through the night with a few more cm's of the white stuff by morning. We gained the plateau again and got a good pummelling, the first exfoliation this season. Our outing today was to simulate glacial travel, we roped up and imagined we were below Fitzroy as we made our way across the plateau in a near white out. Snow was mid shin deep even at lower levels and I still needed map and compass to get back to the traverse path under the Northern Corries. Thanks to Trudy and Stewart for a top winter weekend of winter fun and see you in sunny Patagonia!

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