I've spent the last two days with James and Mark on the UHI winter workshop climbing programme. Yesterday we were round on the West face of Aonach Mor having a skills check and throwing in a few problems that usually occur during winter routes and how to solve them. The lower parts of the West face buttress routes are pretty bare now but the gullies are holding snow well and we pitched the ground below the routes to give us 200m of turf, ice and snow.
A bit of movement practice on a small step.
Today the guys wanted to look at some mountaineering rope work to help them work towards some of the Scottish classics like Tower ridge and N.E. Buttress. We spent the day looking at moving together whilst placing runners and using natural pro, taking chest and hand coils and switching between the appropriate techniques efficiently. Last nights frost had really firmed things up, with the snow being rock hard this morning and it stayed that way all day in the shade. Plenty of people out on the classic ice lines and Observatory ridge.
The lower section of Tower ridge.
Mark on the traverse.
Abseiling into Douglas gap.