This week I am irecting a Summer Mountain Leader Assessment course. It should be called an Autumn Mountain Leader right now as the colour of the landscape has changed dramatically over the last couple of weeks. The bracken is deep red, the deer grass is vibrant orange and the whole mountain side is in fabulous autumn colours. We have had some quite autumnal weather as well with storms coming in off the atlantic bringing strong winds, rain and even a bit of lightning.
The program startes out with how to manage things that go wrong! We looked at dealing with emergencies, incidents and improvised mountain rescue as well as dealing with water hazards and techniques for stream crossings. The river Nevis was back down again after it burst its banks at the weekend, damaging our new all abilities path a little. As it turned out we had quite a dry day yesterday but it was certainly windy and really quite stormy as Ophelia went past last night.
Today we were in Glen Coe looking after groups in awkward terrain as well as steep broken ground and scree. We stayed in Coire na Tullach to keep out of the wind and found a route through the base of the crags on the east side of the coire facing west. We got the ropes out to demonstrate emergency rope work to safeguard group members going down a section of scrambling type ground and got back to the van all in one piece. Our three day expedition is next and there is quite some uncertainty about the weather. Let's hope it works out OK and we don't get Ophelia's twin coming our way!
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.