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Last weekend the SOAP students were joined by three Dunbar Students for a Winter Skills weekend in the Cairngorms.
Based at Glenmore Lodge the group spent the weekend enjoying the last of this years white-stuff and learning some new winter skills. On the Saturday the group left the mini-bus at the top car-par in dismal wet conditions. After only walking for about 30 minutes up into Corrie Cas the weather improved and the group were able to practice moving (and stopping) on steep ground using their ice-axe. Next was up over the plateau for a spot of lunch in the snow-holes at Corrie Domhain.
After lunch the conditions varied between bright sunshine and complete white-out as the group navigated Cairn Lochan just on the edge of the nothern corries. Here again very poor visibility needed careful navigation with large cornices, and even larger drops! To complete the round a route west and north of the corries led back to the car-park. That evening the students were able to attend a Winter Navigation evening lecture by one of the Lodge’s instructors.
Sunday was a fairly slow start, all of the group were tired form Saturday’s fairly long day … and the hour-change. Despite this the group headed back up into the corries for a couple of hours practicing avalanche search and rescue using transceivers.
This has been the third residential weekend with the SOAP students , and it’s been great to see them becoming more confident and accomplished on the hill. Next trip away for them will be the Summer Expedition … which from general consensus the group would like to go out to explore some of mountains on the islands off the west coast.