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Sunday, 3 March 2013

Spring snow and winter skills...

An interesting day of Winter Skills with Stephen, Stewart and Andy once we all  finally met up in the same place!
The trio had booked me for a days private instruction when they realised that a backbacking trip to bivvy on Ben MacDui in mid-winter was not such a good idea, without some previous winter experience and basic winter skills training. 
They'd  hired ice axes, crampons, avalanche beacons and a GPS but were in need of some sound advice on their planned backpacking trip! 
We chatted about weather, avalanches, clothing and equipment and practised how to use the ice axes and crampons - as for the avalanche beacons and the GPS, my lips are sealed!!! 
Everyone learned a lot, including me, and we finished the day climbing up onto the plateau on the firm spring snow before heading back via the Coire Cas Ridge.
Despite some stern advice, the guys had fun and have promised to return with some lighter packs, for some more advanced instruction, before they tackle Mt Everest... ;-)
Plenty of spring snow in the coires with the easy gullies being fairly popular. 
A few of the snowier and icier mixed routes were being climbed although the milder temperatures and the climbers were stripping off any thin ice on the buttresses...

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