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

Saturday 28 April 2012

Summer or Winter?

I have been at Glenmore Lodge for the last few days working with the John Muir Trust. A number of their employee's had come to Glenmore Lodge for some training relating to their outdoor work, with all sorts of different back grounds we had a varied few days looking at 1st Aid, Emergency Procedures, Working Alone procedures, river crossings and navigation.

It has been very wet in the Cairngorms with the rain turning to snow above about 600m. Reports are of there being a lot of fresh snow high up and with a good forecast this weekend I imagine there to be some good ski conditions. Shame this was not the case during March. However I imagine there would be some fairly unstable snow as well, more info on the SAIS website.

I am off to Inverness to do the M C of S FUNdamentals course at the climbing wall along with a few other instructors.

Wednesday 25 April 2012

Skiing Indoors!

I have been down in Tamworth for the last 5 days working at the SnowDome. This has been part of the process in gaining my BASI Level 1 qualification in Alpine Skiing. I am glad to say it all went well and once I have finished the paper work I will be a qualified ski instructor. Now to start working on the next level!

I am off to the Cairngorms tomorrow for my first summer work of the season, shame that there is more snow now than there was in March!

Thursday 19 April 2012

Light and Fluffy!

Light and fluffy was the snow on our last days skiing for our Easter trip! We headed to Grimentz and were treated to about 20cm of fresh powder and a quiet resort.

Now back in Scotland and it seems that there is more snow in the hills now than when I left! After a few days mountain biking I am down to Tamworth to spend some time at the Snowdome completing the next phase of my BASI course.

Monday 9 April 2012

No go in the Silvretta

Approaching the Heidelburger Hutte in good weather
Laura and Chris enjoying a beer in the Heidelburger Hutte

The Heidelburger Hutte in not so good weather the next morning
Chris and Laura enjoying the views in the white room
Laura showing us how to ski breakable crust in poor vis!
Enough is enough! Pulling the plug and heading for home!

A brief clearing in the weather whilst hunting out some off piste at Verbier
Laura and Chris and I headed over to Austria a few days ago with the plan of doing the Silvretta traverse starting at Ischgl. However with the weather forecast not looking great we were not holding our breath. We drove across from Switzerland in almost continuous rain, however the next day we had some visibility and spent the morning skiing off piste in Ischgl before skinning up to the hut in the afternoon. The hut is fantastic with great food, good rooms and showers a real plus in a skiing touring hut.

Unfortunately the next day we woke to zero vis, snow falling and warm temperatures, so we decided to go for a day tour from the hut to see what was what. It soon became clear that the crust was not going to hold weight and with poor visibility and unpleasant skiing we decided to head for home as the weather was due to be the same or worse for the next few days, after all this is a holiday and meant to be fun!

Back at Chris's in Switzerland we headed to Verbier for a day to enjoy some off piste skiing in the fresh snow that had fallen. Now is is time to hope for some better weather for our last few days holiday.

Monday 2 April 2012

High Pressure and Snow!

Laura and I have been out in the Alps for a while now enjoying some great weather and spring snow. Although it has been very warm during the days the clear nights have meant that the snow has been refreezing well and as long as you time your descents you can get great snow. We have spent time skiing in Les Contamines, Chamonix, Les Marecottes, Villars with friends which has been great. Now for a rest day or two before heading across to the Silvretta for 6 days touring fingers crossed the weather does not change.