Marc enjoying the slopes of Coire an t-Sneachda

Marc enjoying the slopes of Coire an t-Sneachda

 

We have just kicked off our first TMP Community Event, a Scotland Winter Mountaineering trip, based out of Aviemore.

The aim of the trip is to build relationships within our community by providing a focal point for new and existing friends to come and share a quality week with us in one of our favourite environments. Secondly, we aim to have an appropriately adventurous time, providing challenging and exhilarating experiences, but without getting into epics!

 

Today we headed into the Northern Corries to dust off the ice axes and crampons, as well as blow away the cobwebs with an easy introductory day in Coire an t-Sneachda,

 

Our winter skills team were lead by James and Nick, who put on an intensive session with Marc and Euan, running through all the essentials. These included movement with crampons, utilising the ice axe as a tool and simple, but fundamental tips, such as chopping a platform for putting on crampons or taking a breather on steep ground. The team then went on a short journey up to Windy Col (the lower area between the top of the Fiacaill a’ Choire Chais and Stob Coire an t-Sneachda) and finally to the summit of Cairn Gorm, before heading back through the ski area.

 

Topping out on the Fiacaill Ridge, Coire an t-Sneachda


The mountaineering team having completed the Fiacaill Ridge, Coire an t-Sneachda

 

In the meantime, the mountaineering team, led by me, had more of a stretching day. We walked part way into the coire, and then cut uponto the Fiacaill ridge. This is the broad ridge that bounds the coire on the right hand side. As it gains height, it steepens and throws up a narrow edge. The ridge direct is Grade II, but mainly a short mixed section of 10 meters or so, which was outside our parameters. However, Grade I ground can easily be sought to the right, which we did, and enjoyed the steep snow, which has now consolidated nicely.

 

Snow in the Cairn Gorm ski area

Sun and plenty of snow in the Cairn Gorm ski area

 

Overall, conditions were good and enjoyable for a first day. Winds were light, the snowpack was consolidating rapidly because of recent rain, plus there was plenty of snow to allow easy travel. The sun even came out at the end of the day, allowing for a brief coffee in the sun at the ski centre café!

 

Now to chill out in our amazing mountain lodge: sausage casserole, red wine, ice cream and a wood fire to boot!

 

Relaxing in our mountain lodge in Aviemore

Our digs for the week – comfy!

Categories: Blog, Mountaineering, Scotland, Winter
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