Tuesday, 16 January 2018


Ice and windslab
Coire an Lochain
Steep ground
Ice (photo Steve Owens)
Knots in winter
Hasty Pit
Tower of Rime, Coire an Lochain
Drifts again
No bother for these guys
Temperatures down another notch today and snowing to Aviemore level this morning. It snowed for much of the day and a blustery wind. Day 2 of Steve's course with me this week. Today's 'skills' were navigation (The Primary winter skill), avalanche awareness and movement on steep ground. We walked into a lonely, white and windy Coire an Lochain. Steve did all the navigation. Of course map and compass are the essential winter skill and top of the pile, it's NOT axe arresting. Unfortunately Steve dropped his compass and although we retraced our footprints to retrieve the compass, our prints had quickly filled in with the blowing snow. A fruitless search, I'll find it in May. Like every good mountaineer though, Steve produced his back up, second compass. We got under the lower crags in the coire where we had excellent shelter from the winds. We discussed avalanche awareness all the way into the coire and our final assessment was a hasty pit. Interesting layers found. There is a softer, weaker layer in the snow pack which corresponded with the last 3 days of the SAIS Avalanche Reports. The area we where in was well scoured, icy with plenty of exposed, frozen turf and rock. This was ideal for some steep ground work as well has being a safe location. The showers eased off by late afternoon and we got a good view of the cliffs in the coire which are looking splendid under a thick rime coating. The walk back to the car park at Coire Cas was even more arduous with big drifts which had developed quickly since the morning. Another top day and some new skills for Steve.

No comments: