Running mountain leader courses in October is difficult when it comes to the expedition. We need to walk through coires, off the major ridges and paths. However stalkers are out shooting stags and it is a really busy time of year for them. So we went to Creag Meagaidh where SNH manages its estate very differently. For the last couple of decades SNH has had a policy of shooting deer to keep the numbers far lower than is usual. This has resulted in a very different environment - it is much more diverse and healthy with regeneration of trees and shrubs, more plant, insect and animal life and a very different feel to the place. It also means we can walk through the estate without disturbing their stalking quite as much as on other estates.
We started at Aberarder and went up the big climb to Carn Liath. It was very windy and cold when exposed to the wind but it stayed dry for us for the whole two days. It made for challenging conditions and good leadership was required to look after everyone. We did lots of navigating before setting up camp for the night near Lochan Uaine on the other side of The Window.
Last night we spent three hours practising night navigation on a very dark night and today we packed up in even stronger winds despite the forecast for lighter winds. It was now too windy for any useful practise so we went through The Window and back to Fort William where the sun was out and it was very warm out of the breeze. We did a last bit of good visibility navigation training on the back of Cow Hill before wrapping up an excellent training course. All the trainees were very experienced before this course and we have had great fun tuning this experience and capability into the skills required to be a mountain leader. Thanks for a great few days team!
Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These blog posts and conditions reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.