Summer mountain leaders don't plan on using a rope but in the event of an emergency they need to know how to secure members of their group on steep broken ground. This was today's subject on our training course and we went to Glen Nevis to do it. Persistent rain and strong winds were forecast for the afternoon so we stayed low down, going up and down Scimitar Ridge near Poldubh.
We selected and graded lots of anchors of different types, used them to secure the leader to belay the group members down the steep ground and then used the rope to safeguard the leader as well. We got lots of practice on the many short steps of the ridge in descent - it's hard to think of an emergency in which you'd need to go up some steep ground so we did all the practice in descent. It did turn into a wet and wild afternoon and it looks set to continue through tomorrow in the same way. The weekend looks a bit more settled though.
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.