In winter it’s always a good idea to have a Plan B and sometimes a C, D, E, F and G. Today I was out with a Falkirk Community Trust Winter Climbing Team of John, Robin, Alan, Derry, Doug and Paul. Our Plan A was Bridge of Orchy, but snow on the road and falling steadily at Tyndrum this morning forced a change and we headed for Burger Van Falls at Glen Ogle. This gave us a good day and by climbing multiple lines on each fall allowed plenty of climbing on ice and a good opportunity to concentrate on technique.
The falls weren’t thick and generally weren’t taking screws in many places, so we led some sections and top/bottom roped others. The main fall hadn’t touched down and was still running and not climbable today. It was snowing at crag height when we arrived, which changed to rain in the morning, this stopped by early afternoon, but the falls were thawing fast as we left.
The past two days I’ve been running a Mountain Training Mountain Skills Course for Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors. Gina, Lesley, Paula and Andy were looking to consolidate, improve or learn new skills for walking in mountainous terrain. The course had some classroom elements, but was largely delivered outside in appropriate terrain.
The weather over the weekend meant some careful planning was required to avoid being hindered by high winds and rain. On Saturday we drove to the head of Glen Ogle and from there walked up on to the slopes of Meall Buidhe and Beinn Leabhainn. These two hills have lots of interesting small features and are great for working on your navigation in rough trackless terrain. On Sunday with higher winds forecast again we went to the Corbett of Meall Tairneachan north of Weem. This allowed quick access to the hill on a good track and shelter from the southerly winds for large parts of the day. It’s worth noting the access track is very much a working track for the mine and probably best avoided during the week. Two good days running a very rewarding course, thanks to the team for their interest and enthusiasm, which made for a good course. We were even rewarded with some excellent views towards the end of Sunday.