UPDATE July 2015: Ken and Hannah are now running Scottish walking, mountaineering and climbing courses for West Coast Mountain Guides.
It’s been a busy stint, and as the title suggests, I’ve (Ken) been running winter mountaineering days in various locations over the past week. Last weekend, I was working for Cairngorm Adventure Guides, needless to say, in the Cairngorms. I was out with Suzie and Katie, who have aspirations to summit Mont Blanc later this year, so I tailored the two days towards the skills that they will require for their trip to the Alps. On the first day, with a more favourable forecast, we climbed Aladdin’s Couloir, which enabled them to move on steeper terrain, whilst looking at a number of different anchors en-route. Day 2 was mild and windy, so we spent the day getting to grips with much of the ropework that they’ll need when in the Alps.
I then ran a 5 day winter mountaineering course back in the west. We made the most of a varied forecast by covering some core winter skills and climbing Dorsal Arete on Stob Coire Nan Lochan on the first day, had a productive day in the Ice Factor on the second, looked at snow anchors on Beinn a’Chaorainn on the third, and climbed the Zig Zags, the first pitch of the Zig Zags Direct on the fourth, with a couple of abseils thrown in for good measure. For our final day, we climbed School House Ridge behind Ballachulish, and took in the Munro of Sgurr Dearg.
Today, I’m in the NW Highlands, working for Moran Mountain. I’m out with Martin (not Moran), who is ticking off the Munros. We were out together last year and summited Slioch, Beinn Fhada and A Ghlas Beinn. Today, with such fierce winds, what we needed was a Munro with a height of 200m above sea level. Unfortunately, such things don’t exist so we cut our losses and enjoyed a low level day on Glas Bheinn. Fingers crossed that the next two days prove to be more fruitful for Martin’s quest.