Kevin Rutherford MIC

Hill and climbing conditions for the Scottish Highlands.

Winter Courses - Winter Skills, Winter Mountaineering, Winter Climbing & Norway Ice based in Rjukan

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Northern Corries

I spent Sunday and Monday working with returning clients Imperial College Mountaineering Club. Both days were spent in Coire an t Sneachda which was very busy and wintery. This is a bit of a fast track 2 days for the club members who all have summer rock climbing lead experience and some winter skills but not the norm for myself with regards to ratios. After the 2 days they then team up with more experienced members of the club and go off climbing being "competent 2nds"

Day 1, Weather and avalanche forecast, basic winter skills, movement skills on steeper ground, snow anchors, avalanche awareness, safe route choice. We spent a bit of time placing dead men/boys which is appropriate just now for the snowy conditions.
Day 2, We ascended Fiacaill Couloir in 2 teams looking at constructing winter anchors, rock, ice and snow. There is a bit of ice in the narrows which was great for looking at ice screw belays and placing screws on the lead and then a romp up the very snowy top half. We finished the 2 days navigating off the plateau in white out.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

North West

A few photos from yesterday with Giles and Al. Great to escape from the Northern Corries and even better to receive a text at 9am to say the ski road was closed due to stuck cars. A bit of an adventure with no real plan in place, great day out and the climbing so so.  The routes on Fuar Tholl didnt look in so we just kept walking along the great paths and ended up under the NW face of Sgorr Ruadh after about 7km/2.5hrs. Alot of huming and hawing, we eventually ended up climbing Splinter Ridge III/4 which was snowy, thin, a lot of loose rock and had the odd bit of frozen turf, early season conditions! Definately a venue for later on in the season with some amazing looking routes and great views towards Torridon.