>Back from Scotland


Yesterday we had to back off No.6 gully on Aonach Dubh after a meteoric rise in temperatures meant that the snow-ice was rapidly turning to slush and unclimbable; a slightly disappointing end to what has been an enjoyable week or so in Scotland.

For the past 7 days I’ve been working with a whole bunch of staff from Cotswold Outdoor who joined us on a winter skills training week and despite the insanely long days it certainly beat being in the office!

‘Proper’ Scottish weather

And true to form, the January weather has been unpredicatable and a little stormy. We’ve had everything; Dampness, slush, ice, avalanches, rain, sleet and snow. Eerily quiet weather followed by winds so strong that you were struggling to stay upright coupled with armour plated snow granules (which hurt alot!) and even a little bit of blue sky. In short it has been a week of Scottish winter weather.

I spent most of the week working on the introductory winter hill-walking courses and the mountaineering courses and during the week we’ve been on Aonach Mor, we’ve been to the top of Buachaille Etive Mor, we’ve been on Buachaille Etive Beag (a number of times!), we’ve had to walk all the way back to the base station at the nevis range after they decided to have a short day and shut the lifts (thanks, guys), we’ve watched in awe as a huge avalanche ripped its way down the North Face of Beinn Fhada and we’ve been ice-climbing on the lower outcrops of Stob Coire Nam Beithe.

A huge avalanche – luckily on the other side of the valley to us!

Some folks got their first tase of winter climbing (Dorsal Arete, Curved Ridge etc) and everyone managed to have a great time, even if everyone didnt manage to complete every single day.

Learning the basics of climbing under the expert tuition of Dave Macleod


Avalanche on Beinn Fhada from Richard Talbot on Vimeo.


About Richard Talbot

An accomplished fell-runner as well as being a keen climber and mountaineer. Since 2005 he has worked for the UK based manufacturer Mountain Equipment and is currently Director of Product. He has worked in the outdoor industry for over 15 years.
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