One of the 19 projects being delivered by Nevis Landscape Partnership is about training volunteers. I got to work with the current Trainee Volunteer Rangers for the last two days and we had a great time exploring Ben Nevis. The four TVR's are on a ten week programme during which they get to learn about and get involved all aspects of being a ranger including counting moths and mink, surveying visitors to Ben Nevis to write an economic impact study and learning some mountain skills while thinking about managing people on Ben Nevis.
Yesterday we went up Ledge Route and round to Number Four Gully and today we went up Coire Leis and all along the top of the cliffs to Number Four Gully from the opposite direction. We were thinking about scrambling skills, safeguarding each other on steep ground and learning the topography of the complex North Face cliffs.
Much of this is to get them ready to help out on the North Face Survey, another of the Nevis Landscape Partnership projects, in August. We'll be looking at the remaining cliffs and gullies we have not yet surveyed for rare species of flowers and plants. We already know that their condition on Ben Nevis is favourable aftyer the previous two years but we need to check all of the North Face to record what is there and, potentially, find some new things. These incredible little flowers are used to being covered by snow for much of the year. Now that the snow patches are receding quickly they are getting ready for their short season for growing and reproducing before the next snow arrives.
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.