Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These Conditions Reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

To finish the Summer Mountain Training Course we went for an over night walking expedition to a great couple of hills near Inverlair. The focus of the two days was navigation but we also explored many aspects of leadership, the environment and camp craft. With very strong winds forecast we stayed next to the bothy at Lairig Leacach in case the tents were blown down. This also gave us a great venue for practicing night navigation.

The autumn colours were vivid - whole hillsides of vibrant orange with details of rich red under the boots. It's a wonderful time to be exploring the mountains of Scotland with reed deer stags bellowing and mountain hares sprinting away. This team of trainees on the Adventure Tourism Degree course was particularly strong having had lots of input to their navigation, leadership, "Leave No Trace" and Scottish Outdoor Access Code awareness. I have every faith they will go on to be really strong mountain leaders and it's great to give them a wee step up in that direction this week.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Lairig Eilde in Glen Coe was a noisy place today with several stags bellowing at each other across the glen. They were making no effort to hide themselves as they competed with each other for the hinds. The path to the lairig crosses the main stream twice so it is a good place to go to consider water hazards, stream crossings and dealing with emergencies on the Summer ML Training Course.

It was slightly warmer and a little wet but nothing like as warm and wet it will be over the weekend. Lucky for us to be going on a two day camping trip to wrap up the course. Next week though it looks like the wind will turn to the North and bring snow to the hills down to low levels. Have you sharpened your ice axes yet?

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

As a summer mountain leader you should only use a rope in an emergency. This is what we were practising today, emergency rope work to safeguard group members and the leader on steep broken ground. We were on Meall Cumhainn above Steall in Glen Nevis and it was another beautiful autumn day with a cold easterly wind. The last few days have been cold enough to make some ice on the high crags of Ben Nevis and the rocks were slightly rimed as well. It's all change for the weekend though with strong warm winds coming in on Friday, just in time for our two day camping expedition!