Avalanche week-end

This last week-end I was working for the Mountain Rescue Commitee of Scotland. I was helping to run and avalanche training course for rescue team members in Fort William. We were on Aonach Mor both days Saturday turned out to be a nice day weather wise a bit blustery but otherwise good with interesting snow conditions to look at. Unfortunately the avalanche in Glencoe pulled the Glencoe and Lochaber boys and girls away to do it for real.


We in the Oban team were called out as well to some climbers in Bridge of Orchy. Luckily that one ended a lot happier. So after a late night it was back up Aonach Mor on Sunday for some more shovelling and probing and some rescue scenarios.


The search dogs fron SARDA were excellent. A well trained dog is a real asset to be treasured in an avalanche situation. They are so fast and amazingly accurate.

Heres some pictures of the Oban MRT boys and girls doing there stuff

ava-3 ava-4 ava-5

By Sunday evening we were all knackered, and yours truly fell asleep in the medical talk at the end… very embarrassing.

Looks like a wintery week. Have fun out there

Back to winter again

Yesterday I was up on Aonach Mor and Aonach Beag for a bit of a dog walk / ski tour with Anne and Molly. We caught the gondola up with a few hardy skiers and a few climbers heading for the crags. I put my skis on just outside the station and we headed up the hill cover is very patchy and thing with a few inches of new snow blown in. I certainly wouldn’t go piste skiing at the moment.

We made good time up the hill with Molly barking at all the passing skiers and snowboarders and after a quick tea break a the top of the chairlift we go to the summit at about mid-day. Conditions were heavy going underfoot with ankle deep drifts on the plateau. The weather was not as good as hoped with an overcast sky and cold wind blowing a little snow around. Heres a snap of the view towards Carn Mor Dearg

After first lunch we headed over to Aonach Beag. The steeper ascent to this big Munro was a little icy and required care. The big crags on the north east ridge of Aonach Beg had some ice on them but still looked a little thin.

Aonach Beag from Aonach Mor

The return journey was eventful with a full whiteout on the return over Aonach Mor I even had to get me compass out and navigate. Shock horror. But we soon found the pistes again and  I enjoyed a good run back to the Gondola with Ali charging down the hill after me.

The climbers reported the mixed routes and even some ice routes were in good condition with the old snow being rock hard. Even the aproaches and exits weren’t to bad today.

Thanks to Anne for a sterling job ploughing through the snow and to Molly and Ali for enjoying there walkies

Where has all the winter gone?

I am just resting up after a busy few days and just as well as the weather and conditions are awful. After such a promising start things have got very warm and very wet.

I was out working for a few days last week trying to climb but conditions on the west were very poor. the Ben was melting fast, there are still things up there but very mushy and a lot of rock and ice falling off.

We sloped off to the Northern Corries for a day and there isn’t much left over there either we did the Runnel which was o.k. but the wind was so warm it was like walking into a hair dryer walking into the corrie.

Sunday I was out with the Oban mountain rescue team doing winter skills on the Glencoe Ski area. The forecast was bang on, the early morning was o.k. then the cloud came down and it rained. Not much skiing left up there.