Winter makes a return #winterskills #ski touring #cairngorms

14th January 2017

Winter really has been like a yoyo this season so far. Last week things didn't look great and now we've got full on winter conditions with about eight inches of snow in Aviemore!

We managed a ski tour yesterday at Drumochter. It was good to be back on skis, but it was a pretty wild day with only patches of snow to link up. Today was the start of an intro ski touring course, a women only winter skills and a normal winter skills course. The skiers found fresh snow and good viz on the hills behind Aviemore andd the skills teams ventured into the Northern cories and up to Cairn Gorm. Plenty of other folks enjoying the winter conditions.

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Excellent couple days of private guiding (saved our trip) Chris and I spent to days with Rory from Cairngorm Adventure Guides. Rory was fantastic. He manage to maximize the amount we learned, tailored his instruction to our levels of expertise, and adapted the whole trip on the fly to the weather conditions. Without the help the trip would have been a total write-off. We'd come up to Aviemore the previous year and been blown off the mountain by 80 MPH winds. This year, we had 100 mph winds (AGAIN!) with the added obstacle warm weather melting almost all the climbable gullies. Fortunately... we had a guide! Rory completely saved the trip. One the first day - with winds making the mountains unclimbable - we went to sheltered crag nearby and got in a full day of climbing and instruction. The second day we only had the warm weather to contend with, but Rory plan a great day - up the one gully that was still climbable, down into another valley and then a multi-pitch climb back up to Cairngorm Mt. So in essence - (1) Rory was great, and (2) you can't rely on Scottish weather, so hiring a local guide company like Cairngorm Adventure Guides is a very good idea. Without the local expertise our trip would have been a total waste; instead we had a great weekend a learned a huge amount about efficiently and safe climbing.

w7626YZgXp, Feb 2019

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