Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Tying Ourselves in Knots

After the cold and blue skies of yesterday we woke to a general thaw and strong south easterly winds. Along with a large number of other groups under instruction we headed up on to Aonach Mor and over to the Nid. As the snow pack got wetter and wetter we looked at the basic building blocks of rope work in winter including bucket seats, buried axe belays, snow bollards and stompers. Today I've been working for Adventure Peaks.

The wind slab that was laid down yesterday had thawed slightly and was incredibly sticky, bonding together well. Beneath this the existing snow pack is icy and well consolidated. We found a slight icy crust on the surface this morning but this soon dissipated as the thaw set in in earnest. The avalanche hazard was lower than predicted and with the temperature dropping in the next few days we should get a very stable snow pack.