Totally calm and clear and the start of another winter mountaineering course. Richard, Abhishek and I had a really fun day going through the basic axe and crampon skills and exploring numerous wind sculptured snow drifts as we looked at safe route choice, avalanche assessment and developed our footwork.
Generally the snow was nice and firm with a few cm of fresh powder and great for step cutting and cramponing. Windslab wasn't an issue where we were but we saw a lot of helicopter activity and heard later about the avalanches in Coire an t-Sneachda near Fiacaill Buttress due to isolated pockets of slab on a NE aspect.
As Richard works for the Met Office in London and is involved with mountain weather reports, we had plenty to talk about and plenty of info to exchange.
Totally calm today but it looks like that will change and no doubt give the Met Office some direct feedback on their own Cairngorm mountain reports - unfortunately Richard can't actually change the weather!