Ski Touring in the Drummochter Pass

The Falkirk High Tops Team and I have been out today ski touring in the Drummochter Pass. We completed The Boar of Badenoch and A’Mharconaich.

We had a thirty minute ski carry to where we started skinning and a twenty five minute carry out. The rest of the time we had skis on our feet. There was excellent snow above 500 metres for downhill skiing on south, south east and easterly aspects.

Significant redistribution of snow was taking place.

Above the clouds.

Creag Dhubh and Geal-charn

The last two days I’ve been based in the Aviemore area working for EICA Ratho. Pamela and Claire, Jacqueline and Paul and I have been looking at some winter mountaineering skills.

The weather has been pretty wild with high winds and a plenty of new snow above about 600m, with rain below that today. The Cairngorm ski road was closed today and yesterday. Claire, Jacqueline and Paul did a great job of coping with the conditions and managed to keep smiling throughout.

The team on the summit of Creag Dhubh

The team on the summit of Creag Dhubh

On Saturday we chose to stay beneath the worst of the weather and climbed Creag Dhubh (756m) near Newtonmore. This worked well and we were able to use a sheltered crag to look at using crampons on rock and frozen turf; use of an ice axe and also take in the summit. The snow at this level on the hill was all soft, with no real old snow around and only limited accumulations of fresh snow even on the North side of the hill.

Jacqueline abseiling from a snow bollard

Jacqueline abseiling from a snow bollard

Today we headed up to the area between Geal-charn and A’Mharconaich off Drumochter. Here we found some snow to look at boot work, ice axe arrest and some snow anchors, including abseiling off a snow bollard. Even the scoured snow we came across today was relatively soft. There was snow fall on and off all day on strong Southerly/South-Westerly winds and just the odd break in the clouds. Sheltered areas were building large accumulations of fresh and wind blown snow.

A rare break in the cloud today giving stunning views

A rare break in the cloud today giving stunning views