Sarah and Rosie are up in Fort William for a few days to brush up on their winter skills before heading out in the Scottish mountains on their own. Yesterday we went up towards Stob Ban in the Mamores to find some good snow and shelter from the wind to go through the basic skills, including kicking and cutting steps, using our axe to stop a slip and lots of avalanche awareness. We were then ready to move on to a day of navigation today.
After a brief session indoors we went to Beinn a' Chrulaiste in Glen Coe. Being fairly rounded it is a great place to practice some nav without having to go too high. And yet, despite being only 857m in height, it gave us a proper Scottish experience and even a bit of white room navigation at times. There was a cornice forming around the top of the north east coire as we approached the summit and it was tricky to see the edge, so it just goes to show that the smaller mountains should never be underestimated.
The ladies did a fantastic job and confidently took us to the summit in some tough conditions. Tomorrow they'll use all of their new skills to plan a route based on the conditions and safely take us around it. It's looking like another snowy and windy one!
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.