Thursday, 16 February 2012

'Winter' Navigation!

Stunning spring like weather!

Today I've been working for Jagged Globe on an Introductory Winter Mountaineering course. The team had had a big day out on Ben Nevis yesterday and there were a few tired legs so we opted for a couple of hours in the classroom revisiting many of the navigation techniques they'd employed yesterday. The early morning rain soon cleared and we drove up through Glencoe to the edge of Rannoch Mor and the West Highland Way path to Kinlochleven. These lower hills gave us some challenging navigation as well as some pockets of snow for a bit of step cutting.
Looking across to the southern slopes of the Mamores the mild weather had stripped much of the snow but there's still plenty to be done in the usual north facing corries (Ben Nevis, Stob Coire Nan Lochan, Aonach Mor etc). Back on the path we descended to Kinlochleven and a mug of coffee in the Ice Factor.

The basic slash for cutting steps in descent

More advanced descending but pretty unstable in windy conditions

Squalls and sunshine descending into Kinlochleven