Sandy Paterson Mountaineering

This is a blog of my personal and work climbing along with all the other things I do in the outdoors. Please feel free to have a look at my main website.

Over winter I will try and blog at the end of each week, however I will aim to tweet each day so feel free to follow me @SandyPMIC

Monday, 23 January 2012

Wild Avalanche Weekend in the Cairngorms

Probing for a body.....I think there is one in there!
I have been running an Avalanche awearness course for Glenmore Lodge over the weekend in the Cairngorms. Saturday was wild with gusts of 114mph on the summits. We spent the first few hours inside discussing avalanche theory, forecasts, snowpack structure and the recipe needed for avalanches to occur. We then headed up to the Ciste West wall to have a look at the snow pack and the tools we can use to make decisions on stability. I was wild up there but we managed to have a good session and with new fresh snow being put down there was lots to look at.
On Sunday the weather was not nearly as wild, thankfully! The team were a mixture of skiers and snow shoers and they were keen to look at Transceiver and companion rescue techniques. We spent the first few hours re capping Saturday and then looked at Transceiver searches in the transceiver park at Glenmore Lodge. We then headed into Sneachda carried out some search exercises before looking at probing techniques and tactical digging. We then rounded the day off with a few more stability test and thoughts.
A great weekend with new snow being put down in the Cairngorms, gully lines are still very thin and buttresses are turing white but at present it is mostly cosmetic. Fingers cross this snow continues.

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