Meall nan Tarmachan, Cairngorms and Glen Shee

On Wednesday I was out with John and a Falkirk Outdoors Mountaineering team of Alan, John and Neil climbing McKay’s Gully and descending Easy Gully on Cam Chreag. Older snow on the crag was refreezing, but windslab was building throughout the day on a strong south-westerly. Unfortunately, due to a user error on my part with my camera I don’t have any photos from Cam Chreag.

Looking down the lower part of Anvil Gully to Jim.

I then headed to Aviemore and met up with the Ashbourne/Balfron/Stonehaven team. On Thursday Jim and I headed to Creagan Cha-no and climbed Anvil Gully and True Blood, whilst Chicken, Murray, Nick and Rob ski toured in the Lurcher’s Burn area. Strong winds and snow on Thursday morning was forming windslab on North and East facing slopes and cornices were building noticeably.

The team above The Tiger this afternoon at Glen Shee.

Today, having been joined by Andy, we had a very pleasant day ski-ing at Glen Shee mostly in sunshine with low winds and generally good snow on the pistes. Away from pisted areas there was an icy crust on scoured slopes and windslab in sheltered areas.

Aonach Eagach and Ski Touring in the Cairngorms

Jon, Mikey and I have been out over the last couple of days. On Sunday we visited Glencoe and traversed the Aonach Eagach. We wore crampons for the whole ridge. Some sections are dry but not enough to warrant taking crampons off.

Yesterday we visited the Cairngorms and traversed Cairn Lochain and Cairn Gorm via Lurchers Gully, a descent into Coire Domhain and a final descent of the pistes. We wore skis for the whole journey excluding two minutes on the approach to Lurchers Gully and one minute on around Point 1083m.

More photos on the facebook page.

Two Days out on the Skis

For the past two days, I have been in the Cairngorms with the Falkirk High Tops Team. Some of the team were completing a ski touring introductory course while the rest of the team were completing a winter skills weekend.

The team on the ascent of Lurchers Gully.

The team on the ascent of Lurchers Gully.

Yesterday, the skiers and I ascended Lurchers Gully. On the way up we looked at the use of avalanche transceivers, the use of ski touring equipment and skills such as skinning. The descent was on good snow and we managed to ski all the way to the burn exiting Coire an t-Sneachda leaving only a fifteen minute walk back to the bus.

Today, the weather conditions were particularly difficult resulting in the ski centre being closed. We still had a good day out though looking at more important topics. We climbed high into Coire Cas looking at skills such as; searching with transceivers, shovel and probe, kick turning on steep ground in ascent and kick turning in descent. Following a lunch stop with Craig and his team in their newly built shelter, we made the ascent to the Ptarmigan restaurant.

The precipitation during the ascent was rain below 800 metres and snow above. This new snow gave us a great run down the M1 piste and due to the resort being closed we had it all to ourselves. The snow continued all the way to the car park meaning no walking was required.

We left the ski car park at 2pm. The rain had turned to snow at this level by this time.

Craig exiting the improvised snow shelter built by him and his team.

Craig exiting the improvised snow shelter built by him and his team.