Monday, 15 March 2010

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Even more adventurous training

Another week for me working with Ron's Talisman Adventurous Training Group and much more amenable weather this time!
Our first day was a navigation day in the Lairig Ghru and over Castle Hill then on day two, we walked into Coire an t-Sneachda and up to point 1141 and on to Cairngorm summit. It was a beautiful sunny day with huge views across the snow covered mountains.
Our next three days were spent out on expedition again up the Lairig Ghru to the snowhole site I had used before. This meant that there were already some good snowholes so we renovated them, linked them all up with tunnels and built walls on Thursday then navigated our way up Sron na Lairig in thick cloud on Friday before getting back to the snowholes for our second night. On Saturday we were up early for the walk back out.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Another fun day at skiing at Cairngorm

Ron and I had a few runs in the ski area to begin with especially enjoying the Ciste Gully area. After a while we found ourselves back at the Ptarmigan Restaurant so after a quick break for lunch we stuck the skins onto the skis and headed up to the summit. From there, we had a great run down the south side of Cairngorm then skins on again to get back up to Windy Col.
Then the fun began with a jump over a little cornice and a descent down the slope underneath the Mess of Pottage. I must admit that I thought we were heading towards the easier slopes but hey...if Ron could do it, I could follow! My descent began ok then I had a bit of a hiccup with a couple of turns which left me a bit covered in snow but after that it was all good! After reaching Ron I wanted to go back up to ski down again without falling into the snow!
The visibility deteriorated too so after a long traverse and a few nice turns we were back in the ski area and to enjoy a couple more runs before heading home. Another great day out on the skis!
See Ron's video of two fantastic days skiing here

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Skiing at Cairngorm

Ron and I had such a good day out skiing at Cairngorm yesterday that we went back for more today! The snow was just incredible and after a few runs working our way up the ski area, we traversed off towards Coire Laogh Mor in search of fresh powder to ski. We poled our way across some huge drifts, a bit like skiing over sand dunes, then flew down into the coire on the perfect, powdery snow. The shuttle bus was running every half hour between the Ciste and the Cas car parks so back up and across to ski another descent of the coire. Ron has the video clips from us both so it will be interesting to see what he does with them.
As the day went on, more lifts were up and running although there still seemed to be a lot of digging going on at the track for the funicular.
Going back for even more skiing tomorow! It is so good to be floating on the snow rather than wading through it.

Friday, 26 February 2010

More adventurous training and lots more snow

Over the past few days I was working again with another Talisman Adventurous Training Group.
Our first day was spent looking at navigation, weather and snow then on day two, we headed down to the drifts below the Coire Cas car park to practice ice axe braking, step kicking and cutting and more navigation. We headed up the stream towards Coire an t-Sneachda in white out conditions and deep snow so after a bit we decided to navigate our way back out to the car park.
The amount of snow that fell that day meant that day three was spent partly indoors looking at avalanche awareness skills on video then we moved outside to have a snowman building competition, to try out the tranceivers and to dig out the cars.
This has been the first time I have been glad to have snowchains to put on my car!
This morning I woke up to find a tractor digging out our car parking area then I had three hours more digging to clear a big enough parking space for the cars! I'm beginning to think that digging a snowhole might have been easier. Maybe I should dig one in my garden!!!!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

A great day out around the Northern Corries

A perfect day for our walk on the plateau around Coire an Lochain and Coire an t-Sneachda with some great views again! The snow sparkled in the sun and the hoar frost on the snow's surface made it feel like walking through feathers.

Loads of people out ski touring and a few climbers in Coire an Lochain, many more in Coire an t-Sneachda and quite a snake of people heading up the Fiacaill Ridge, Ron and his group included.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Snow, skills and sunshine

Out today with Janice, Wendy, Gaud, Carol and Kirstin for a day of winter skills with great snow for sliding on, kicking and cutting into and for burrowing into some emergency shelters though the digging was a bit hard under the softer snow on the surface.
Fantastic weather with blue skies and sun and looks like more for our day out tomorrow too.
We spotted some strange marks in the snow which, on further examination, turned out to be where the grouse were landing and taking off!
Ron was at a neighbouring snow drift and photos from him here

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

More snow here in Aviemore

Gosh, more snow! Me and my neighbours have been out clearing the snow from our cars. The chat locally is that this is a normal winter!!!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Aberfeldy and Ben Lawers area

Over the weekend I was working for Stuart Johnston's Climbmts and the Trail magazine walking group. We had a skills day on Saturday with a walk up to Meall nan Tarmachan. Sunday was rather misty with poor visibility as we made our way up to the summit of Ben Lawers then the views appeared as we continued over Beinn Ghlas and back down.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Snowhole and bivi exped

For the past few days I have been out on a great snowhole and bivi expedition with Ron's Talisman Adventurous Training group. We dug out some luxury snowholes then had a fantastic day climbing Braeriach the following day. The low cloud meant that good navigational skills needed to be used to avoid the cliffs and the cornices hiding them then as we reached the summit, the sun came out and brought out the views across the whole of Cairngorm. As if this was not enough of a challenge, the team decided to bivi out under the stars for their second night and woke up to find a covering of snow on the bivi bags.
The pictures tell it all!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Lairig Ghru

I was out this afternoon with one of Ron's Talisman Adventurous Training groups. We headed out into the Lairig Ghru and around Castle Hill for navigation and skills practice in mild temperatures, light wind and visibility that was none too bad for a cloudy day.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Coire an t-Sneachda

A short day out today so Alan and I went in to Coire an t-Sneachda to see all that we didn't see yesterday and we got lots of opportunities for photos and cramponing on the flat ice at the back of the coire.
There were climbers on Hidden Chimney, Central Gully, Spiral, Patey's Route and lots on Mirror Direct and more. It all looked stunning! Ron was out with Mark on Jacob's Edge and Hidden Chimney, more here.
My trusty laptop is still not playing so I'm slowly getting the hang of vista for uploading pictures...! Technology is obviously not my forte!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Goat Track Gully

Alan and I followed Ron and Mark up Goat Track Gully today. We went up to the right of the buttress initially over the steep, icy step then back into the gully and up with the wind increasing as we climbed up. Great neve and ice and the rock was plastered with rime ice.
By the time we reached the plateau, we had snow showers and cloud giving white out conditions.
Thanks to Ron for digging out the belays!
More from Ron here

Monday, 1 February 2010

More snow fun

Alan and I went to some huge snow drifts to dig out some belays and visit the snowholes dug out the other day by Notts Uni MPS. There was a cold wind today though we did see some occasional glimpses of blue skies.
Photos to follow when I find out which pc they are on! My usual laptop for working on my blog has crashed...aargh!

Copyright Fiona Chappell 2003-2012 (updated Wednesday, 10. October 2012)