Day two of the Summer Mountain Leader Training Course we are running was all about leadership and the environment. We started yesterday by going through the programme for the six day course and exploring the scope of the award and the kind of work you might end up doing with it. We then did a whole lot of navigation training from basic through to really quite complex. We also looked at the weather and how to read a synoptic chart, and a couple of models of leadership ready for today.
We went up to the CIC Hut on Ben Nevis. we could not cross the Allt a'Mhuilinn easily lower down as it was quite high after rain last night. We looked at assessing and leading groups in all sorts of situations from simple paths to complex and difficult terrain as well as the leadership styles required to do so. We practised safeguarding people on steep sections in a command style and how to manage differences in abilities in the people in the group. We also looked at techniques to build confidence in people to help them down terrain they are not happy with.
Land management and the impact of deer, humans and many other things on the ground were hot subjects. The botany on Ben Nevis is a favourite subject of mine and we were treated to a display of sibaldia and moss campion in flower, dwarf cudweed, speedwell and what I think was wavy meadow grass. This was certainly in the area that we found it last august on the North Face Survey but it has been a while since then and I might have got it wrong. Finding lots of wavy meadow grass, and in two new locations, was a great result of the survey.
We went to the foot of Number Five Gully, up to the top of Moonlight Gully Buttress and across Coire na Ciste to come out underneath Douglas Boulder. Thankfully I know my way around these areas as we were in thick mist just about all day! We only saw one patch of snow in the left hand gultch - I don't think the snow patch counters will have a big job this year.
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.