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Friday, 1 February 2008

Very deep snow and blocked roads

Very difficult road condition today with the A9 blocked at Drumochter and the snow gates closed on the ski road. We had a large group from Nottingham University MPS with us today and had to rearrange our meeting arrangements due to the road conditions. We eventually got everyone together and up to Glenmore before splitting into five groups for winter mountaineering skills, intro and advanced winter climbing. Travel on foot was very hard going and time consuming with knee and even chest deep drifts to wade through. Great winter conditions for testing stamina, snow stability, navigation, gear and goggles in a blizzard but with an average travel speed of less than two kilometres an hour not great for getting anywhere quickly...! Saying that, the different groups visited Coire na Ciste, Coire Cas and the Chalamain Gap and found lots of fresh snow everywhere. Tonight I haven't been able to get home as the old A9 at Slochd had not been cleared with snow up over the bumpers I had to abandon the car and travel on foot for a mile to collect my kit. The back roads in Aviemore haven't been cleared either with the wet snow now freezing hard. The weather is to be slightly better tomorrow with the return of strong winds on Sunday.

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