Information and photos of my mountaineering trips in Scotland,England and Wales:
Including hillwalking,scrambling and easy rock climbing.Also via ferrata, skiing and alpine trips in Europe.

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Thursday, 25 February 2010

MIC Course - Glenmore Lodge, 25th February 2010

Day two of the MIC mock client phase saw a shift in emphasis, ie we were snowed in and no one would be going up the hills today. Constant snow since  tuesday night had dumped a metre plus with more falling all the time. With little chance of doing any climbing we opted to go for a short walk out to Ryvaon Bothy for lunch.
We had hoped to try out snow shoes, but the stores had instructions to keep some back as they were possibly needed in case of a search party being sent out for an overdue team of lodge students still on the hill.
It was also clear that the chances of getting home later today were close to nil as the cars were buried, the lodge track almost impassable and the A9 south closed. So we resigned ourselves to doing something constructive.

The view from our room after the first day of snow.


Mark, Willy and Bill outside Ryvoan Bothy, where we came across the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association folks out training with their dogs. See SARDALAKES for more information. 

Note the two Labradors sitting patiently in their shelter.

The Bothty got a bit crowded with us, the dogs and their handlers.


The two labs, still waiting patiently.


Note how the snow sticks to the collie's unlike the shorter haired labs.


When we got back to the lodge, it was time to dig some of the snow out to make it easier for Friday if we got the chance to leave. Here the JCB has shoved some of the snow to on end of the carpark, however there is a car just to the right of the pile of snow.

Unsurprisingly, we didn't get out till friday afternoon, after a nightmare journey via Aberdeen and endless confusing reports of road closures and openings.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

MIC Course - Glenmore Lodge, 24th February 2010

Myself, Bill, Mark and Willy were at Glenmore Lodge in Aviemore participating as "mock client" for the guys doing their MIC (Mountain Instructor Certificate). All we had to do was turn up and pay for food and accommodation and hopefully in return get free instruction for two days.
As usual everything through the lodge is first class, unfortuneatly that couldn't be said of the weather!
For over a week before we arrived the Cairngorms had almost alpine conditions - until we arrived.
Throughout the night of tuesday into wednesday the weather changed, and as we waded into Coire an t-Sneachda towards the Trident Gully we soon realised that it was going to be a hard day. Low cloud, strong wind and lots of spindrift made the MIC candidtaes jobs of trying to teach in front of their assessors impossibly difficult.
The decision was made not to attempt any climbs on the main cliffs, ie The Runnel, so instead most parties headed for the Twin Ribs area on the east side of the Fiacaill Ridge. It was too wild and windy to bother taking photos, but we briefly managed to cover taking coils, moving together, building belays and abseiling off a route.
After the very difficult job of navigating back to the car park (not by us though), it back to the lodge for some much deserved tea and cake.           

Sunday, 14 February 2010

No 1 Gully, Red Tarn Cove, 14th February 2010.

Hoping to avoid the crowds at Aviemore, myself and Willy went to Red Tarn Cove, below Hellvellyn. After a blistering walk up to The Hole in the Wall, we dropped down into the cove, passing Red Tarn and some wild campers. Having not done much (any!) ropework this season, we reminded ourselves of the various knots we use especially one handed. We then headed (after a short detour over some broken ground below with some interesting moves) up to Number 1 Gully; a straightforward Grade I in great condition, although not much protection to practice on.
We also went through direcct and semi direct belaying, placing a few nuts and slings, attempting to sort out our rope management and even a buried axe belay and a stomper at the top!
There were a few teams out but not as busy as I thought it would be (slight queue in the gullies but not too bad).
After tea and sandwiches at the summit shelter, we returned to the Hole in the Wall via Striding Edge, which is still in great winter condition.

Willy walking into Red Tarn Cove. No's 1 and 2 gullies can just be seen in the centre of the picture.


Straightforward climbing up No1 Gully.

Willy belaying me across to the other side of the gully to avoid the team on the right.

The next belay on the far side of the gully.

Looking down to Willy from the buried axe belay.


Difficult to see from the top, but No 2 gully appears on the left of the picture where the climber is, and No1 comes up to it's left (right in the picture).