Sunday, 17 February 2013

Arran MRT Cairngorms Training Ex

Its been a bitter tough week for our cousins in the Cairngorms MR teams, and it was with heavy hearts that a group of us from the Arran team set off towards Aviemore on Thursday evening for a couple of days training in the Cairngorms. The events of that day and the lives lost in the Chalamain gap were never far from our minds throughout the trip.  However it was a good opportunity to experience a full range of winter mountian conditions- not something we get often on Arran or for long, enabling us to train for those occasions when we might need a full range of winter skills to get around the Arran hills.

On Friday, we headed in to Glen Feshie and on to Carn Ban Mor.  Here the white room closed in for much of the day and it was a great opportunity to practice the navigation in a white out.

 Not much to see.

We also found an easy angled slope to look at the snowpack.  After some digging in wet soft snow we found a layer of very hard dry windslab overlying an extremely weak layer. Similar weaknesses were reported elsewhere by the SAIS at the time, and even now persist at locally above 1,000m.

On Friday we split in to smaller teams.  I joined Wally and Kirstie for some skills practice and a walk up on to the Fiacaill Coire an-t Sneachda. I wasn't on top form so I left them to it at the steepening and enjoyed a leisurely wander back in to the coire in mild springlike sunshine.  Kudos to Kirstie for climbing her first winter route in fine style.


Gerald Davison said...

Can Ban Mor? Thought you'd have had enough of being up there in whiteout? :-)
Nice write up.

Lucy Wallace said...

Ha ha yes you are right, there was a sharp intake of breath before we set off that morning! Not sure I'll be back for a while....