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.
Saturday, 21 January 2017
COTSWOLD OUTDOORS ANNUAL WINTER SKILLS
The team on crampons
Step cutting in the sun
Plenty of snow
Cotswold Outdoor Store in Livingston have been coming out on a winter course with me over the last 3 seasons now. I have a great working partnership with Chris, the store supervisor, who brings out a group of customers and staff for me on various mountain skills courses throughout the year. We always have different weather and conditions. The last couple of years we have had some breezy days but today it was beautiful clear skies and just a gentle Cairngorm breeze. The temperatures well below freezing last night, the snow pack once again frozen solid. Plenty of snow for us to play on in Coire an Lochain. Today we focused on core basic snow craft skills. Boot placement, step cutting and lots of wonderful cramponing. We finished off the day with some icy sliding (ice axe arresting). There are some serious, rocky run outs at the moment so careful choice of where to practice this is essential. You can easily get some very fast speeds on 20 degree snow slopes. A great day to be out. Much colder than yesterday with the cold wind blowing.