Winter Skills day two, fresh snow, a considerable avalanche forecast on most aspects and trail breaking into Coire an t-Sneachda, meant avoiding steep snow slopes and gullies seemed like a sensible idea.
We decided to look at basic ropework and direct belays on Fiacaill Ridge and practise moving together on mixed ground with our walking axes and crampons.
We headed up towards Twin Ribs using the rocky islands of safety and then made our way onto the upper easy section Fiacaill Ridge.
With the fresh slabby snow, cornices and poor visibility we kept to the crest before tying back onto the rope and then tackling the upper section direct.
Rick and Chris aren't climbers but enjoy scrambling, so with no technical climbing gear apart from a couple of slings and rope, we weaved between the large blocks. We used counter balance and direct belay techniques to safeguard our progress. With practise it's a quick, simple and effective technique used in the Alps and ideal for many Scottish ridge climbs and scrambles.