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Friday, 30 January 2009

Windy and wet

The forecast was for strong SSE winds and occasional showers of snow grains. We got the winds but the precipitation was most definitely rain.
The freezing level rose to well above the summits and the snow pack got a good wetting. Once the temperature drops on Saturday and on Sunday it should freeze up solid and be ideal for climbing on.
We have Nottingham University's MPS mountaineering club with us today and tomorrow looking at Introductory Winter Mountaineering (Winter Skills) and Introductory Winter Climbing (Advanced Winter Mountaineering)
Conditions were especially good for ice axe braking and for digging snow belays as well as for testing the absorption properties of gloves and waterproof clothing systems...!
Fi, Tracey and Ian had an interesting day with their groups in Coire Cas while Jonathon, Karl and myself covered everything from navigation, avalanche awareness, snow belays and ropework in preparation for whatever tomorrows weather will bring.
Chris and a few of the senior club organisers took a walk into Coire an t-Sneachda, round the whole coire and back out again before they realised it when they later checked the compass... With all the snow down to the coire floor this is actually quite easy to do in poor visibility as you think you are traversing up to you chosen route and end up walking in a complete circle - I've done it in the past too!
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