Saturday, 11 February 2017


Navigating in a whiteout

Brief glimpse of Coire an Lochain

The best of the views in the Cairngorms today

Fingers Ridge

Good day for navigation

Poor conditions even at 800m
Plenty of windslab on the Goat Track
Another very cold day in the Cairngorms with more overnight fresh snow down to Aviemore level. This morning saw further snow fall, making difficult walking conditions at lower levels. Seun was out with me for a one day navigation course. Perfect conditions with low cloud for much of the day. Some folk would say the top of the pile of 'winter skills' is navigation. This is way, way, way more important than ice axe arresting! We covered loads of ground high up on the Cairngorm plateau with micro navigation required for much of the time. Up around the Cairn Lochn area it was near whiteout on  many occasions. Coping in strong winds, high windchill, setting map and compass with big gloves on is all part of navigating in winter! Seun did a brilliant job, his map and compass skills fine tuned by the end of the day and feeling more confident to head out in the winter mountains. Do check the SAIS Avalanche reports before planning your route. We have had persistent cold temperatures for many days now. Strong winds and snowfall on most days has created windslab on many aspects. There are weaknesses within the snowpack. Careful route choice folks.

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