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Scotland mountaineering trip 2017: Day 1, Aonach Mor

Scotland mountaineering trip 2017: Day 1, Aonach Mor - The Mountain People
Just enough snow and ambiance to convince us that it was still winter!

Scotland mountaineering trip 2017: Day 1, Aonach Mor

Every team faced a difficult forecast today, but made the most of the venues and conditions.
Given the warm, wet and windy day, plus the lack of frozen snow, Aonach Mor was the choice for all three streams.
After the inevitable stop at NevisSport and resisting the shiny gear and kit, the Nevis Range gondola took us up to 655m and laid the platform for a good introductory day.
Out today we had three streams: winter skills, summits and ridges and winter climbing, plus a group who are with us, but climbing independently.
The winter skills team dropped off the broad re-entrant of Coire an t’Sneachda onto the East Face of Aonach Mor. Nick ran through the obligatory movement skills, ice axe arrests and introductory syllabus. This was a great venue with enough snow and well sheltered from the westerlies.
The summits and ridges team moved steadily up through the ski area and upper reaches of Coire an t-Sneacdha (not to be confused with the well-trodden namesake in the Northern Corries of the Cairngorms).
It then took in the munro summit of Aonach Mor, Aonach Beag and then dropped into the bealach above Coire Daim before traversing under the Back Corries of the West Face of Aonach Mor.
The climbing teams both dropped into Easy Gully from the plateau and made the best fist of the poor conditions they could. However, the independents then climbed back up and found a worthwhile climb on the East Face, with reasonably solid ice for ascent.
Overall, every team achieved their objectives, which goes to show that the environment, vistas and mountain journey deliver for individuals, and there are plenty of teaching points for instructors.
The first evening and day are always the busiest and chaotic of a Scotland trip, but everyone has enjoyed unhurried times together after dinner and things are looking up later in the week!
We won’t mention who managed to miss the last gondola down the mountain at the end of the day…

Check out our ‘Getting ready for Scotland winter mountaineering series’

Training and fitness for Scotland winter mountaineering
Choosing kit & gear for Scotland winter mountaineering
Winter Climbing Part I – Getting started
Winter Climbing Part II – Training
Managing yourself on the hill for Scotland winter mountaineering
The Headgame: Scotland winter mountaineering

Categories: Scotland winter mountaineering
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