We were in the Moelwynion today looking at micro navigation techniques . The weather was fantastic (again) so we concentrated on consolidating key skills with 1:25,000 maps and lots of top tips and handy hints.
The weekend was all about preparing Raf, Chris and Gwen for their ML summer assessments in the coming weeks and months. We went over to Cwm Clogwyn today to look at the type of rope work that would be expected of a mountain leader and I also built in some navigation along the way. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Cwm Clogwyn it is the valley below Llechog on Snowdon. It's a fantastic place to look at security on steep ground as well as having plenty of locations to practice rope work and confidence roping. The weather was stunning but very cold in the shade.
I was working with a group from the Prince's Trust today. The plan was to make an ascent of Tryfan but, unfortunately, by the time some of the group had got out of bed, had breakfast and then decided that they didn't want to do anything it was a bit late for Tryfan. A small group opted for a walk over Bwlch Tryfan from Ogwen Cottage and down to Gwern Gof Isaf. It was a gloriously sunny day with clear skies but it was cold in the shade.
It was a terrible forecast today and it proved to be correct as it pored it down until early afternoon. I decided that we should stay low (ish) to do some more navigation and also some rope work. Even though it was an awful morning it turned out really nice in the afternoon. We carried on into the evening to do some night navigation.
The photo is of some of the team just below the summit of Crimpiau.
I was working with a group of teachers from an independent school in London today.
The weather forecast was quite bad so I decided that go over to the northern Carneddau for some shelter from the rain and the wind so that we can work on some navigation and mountain skills. The plan seemed to work as we remained dry all day and we only experienced moderate winds.
We took a risk that the conditions in Glen Coe would be OK but even though we had light winds and blue sky's we, unfortunately, were confronted with deep fresh snow with no base.
The walk up to Stob Coire nan Lochan was very pleasant as we approached the main crag we discovered that the snow was unconsolidated and was really hard going through the bolder field to the base of the crag. We were looking at SC Gully but decided that NC Gully would be better but by the time we got to the bottom of the route the snow conditions were worse than ever so we turned back.
Photo 1. Rob on the approach to the route
Photo 2. Stob Coire nan Lochan
We had a long look at the weather forecast yesterday and decided that the east may be better so we headed over to the Cairngorms for some more winter skills and a mountain day. We were blessed with light (ish) winds and some blue skies. The snow was perfect and we managed to study the snow pack in relation to avalanche prediction and we also covered snow anchors. The snow was a bit hard to go sliding around doing ice axe arresting but we covered the theory.
As soon as we had covered what we needed to cover we left the Ciest headwall and headed on to the ridge and then to the summit of Cairngorm. The hot chocolate in the ptarmigan was a perfect end to a perfect day.
We were out on Aonach Mor today to try and get a mountain day in and to also cover some winter skills such as cutting steps in ascent and descent as well as the use of crampons. The forecast wasn't good with increasing winds and snow and by the time we got to the top ridge the wind was gusting 60-65 mph so we decided to call it a day and get back to the gondola before it shut with the winds.
The snow level is about 700m but as it's now snowing is coming down to about 500m with the freezing level at Fort Williams at about 1.5 degrees C.