Kevin Rutherford MIC

Hill and climbing conditions for the Scottish Highlands.

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

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Wild Wintery Weekend

Just spent a long weekend with returning clients, ELC Hill Walking Club. We spent the first 2 days refreshing winter skills and also to tie in with with wild weather on Friday, the ski road was closed, we walked into the Ciste before being blown back down. We continued the skills theme on Saturday walking into Sneachda, up and over Cairngorm and into Ciste Mhearid. Sunday, we retreated off a very windy and snowy East Ridge on Beinn a Chaorainn and Monday we retreated to the coast at Cummingston for some rock climbing and abseiling. A varied 4 days with the weather dictating things.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Winter Skills

A winter skills weekend at Glenmore Lodge.  
A wild weekend weather wise and the additon of a high avalanche risk on Saturday gave students from Dundee University Rucsac Club and interesting weekend. Lots going on in these conditions and they were definately put out off their comfort zones at times, all good for the learning process.

Saturday was spent in the Ciste ridge area looking at movement skills and cutting, slipping, sliding and stopping. A bit of time was also spent making observations on the avalanche risk and eventually digging into drifts to gather more info on what was happening in the snowpack.

Sunday we battled our way into Coire an t Sneachda where we played the survival game basically trying to keep on the move and staying warm before we ran back over into the ski area. The corrie was very scoured compared to Coire Cas and Coire an Lochain with alot of wind blown snow lurking on leeward slopes and the odd pockets scattered about on other aspects, very gusty.     

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Northern Corries

Had a good day today in Coire an t Sneachda with Scott who had booked a days winter climbing. Given the forecast for a wet afternoon and thaw conditions, we were very surprised to find a coolish corrie and firm snow underfoot, the thaw and rain never materialised even when walking out at 4pm. The buttresses have been stripped but still enough to go at in the grade I/III range. A bit of sunshine and blue sky in the afternoon topped the day off.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, all the best in 2013.

Early start this morning meeting Giles and Iain in Tomintoul at 6am. We started walking at 730am and 2 hrs later we were traversing across the coire on crisp neve. Polyphemus Gully was in good nick considering how early it is in the season, alot of old avalanche debris on the aprons. The 1st pitch was thin and a bit chossy in places but not bad ice just where you needed it, after that we romped up good snow ice turning the cornice on the right. Great day out. Lots of big cornices remain, not the place to be in the forecasted thaw!