Thursday 3 February 2011

Winter fun in Scotland with Kendal Mountaineering Services.

Well, its been quite a while since Iain's last blog post as he has been busy. This photo - taken last Saturday shows Iain demonstrating ice axe braking during a five day winter skills and climbing programme he had arranged for a couple of clients in the Cairngorms.

Since January 10th, Iain has been in all sorts of places in Scotlands winter mountains. The weather wasn't too good for the first week and that was when the last blog post of Iain's excursion up Ben Nevis was posted. Thankfully, since then, it's largely been colder and conditions have been better - at least until this week!

Iain spent a day out with Ed Chard from Jagged Globe on Jan 16th during one of their introduction to Winter mountaineering courses. Ed is also the Development Officer for the Association of Mountaineering Instructors. Iain also had a fantastic day out on Creag Meagaidh solo and saw lots of people climbing winter routes such as North & South posts, Missed the Post and The Wand all in good nick at the time!

The second photo is also from Iain's last winter skills & climbing course and shows a client setting up a hoist for crevasse rescue. Obviously, there haven't been crevasses in the Cairngorms now for over 200 years but at Kendal Mountaineering Services - we pride ourselves on giving you what you want! All of our winter mountaineering climbing and winter skills courses are bespoke packages and these clients asked for such specialist techniques as abseiling past the knot and crevasse rescue skills - and Iain made sure they got it!

Photo three is one taken from Iain's day out and shows two climbers (Theo & Owen Samuels) climbing Missed The Post in Easy Gully on Creag Meagaidh. On this day, Iain ascended Easy Gully and then headed over to the summit of Creag Meagaidh before continuing around all of the tops to the west of Coire Adair.

Photo four shows Mark Hendry short roping up easy ground on to Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis the following weekend. The Association of Mountaineering Instructors had arranged a weekend workshop entitled working on The Ben & Aonach Mor.

This was run IFMGA guide Alan Kimber along with Mike Pescod and Richard Bentley and was aimed at giving an insight for MIC'S and MIC Trainees of where one could take
clients on both mountains when the popular routes are busy or when the weather is bad.This was a most useful workshop for all of us who attended.

The last photo shows two chaps from UKClimbing who had contacted Iain about a two day winter skills & climbing course. Terrance - on the left had moved to Scotland to climb for the winter and had had some epic experiences with one climber who was clearly less competent than he had let on so Terrance was clearly happy to take up the offer of tuition from an experienced Mountaineering Instructor and learn skills to be able to take over and lead on should he find himself in a similar situation again.

Mark (in blue) wanted to revisit winter skills and was quite happy to be a belay bunny when, on day two, Iain coached the pair in winter climbing techniques on Dorsal Arete in Glen Coe. On the day when this photo was taken, Iain had done a one day winter skills refresher in Coire An Lochan in Glen Coe. Over the two days, the pair picked a great deal of new skills from Iain and were very happy to have had the benefit of his experience.

So what now? Well, after a five day winter skills and climbing course here in the Cairngorms, Iain has two days off and an opportunity to catch up - hence the blog post. However - he is so busy that it may be a while before you get another. He will be spending the next 6 weeks going back & forth between the west coast and the Cirangorms. If you want to catch up with what Iain from Kendal Mountaineering Services is getting up to here in Scotland - regular photographs and comments are being posted here - it's much quicker than putting up a blog post! We are now starting to receive bookings for the spring so have a look at our website for things you could be doing outdoors or if you want Iain to arrange a guided winter climb for you, a winter skills course or if you want to learn the techniques of winter climbing for yourselves - you can contact Iain here. See you soon.

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