Yesterday before the Ice Factor we got the group from Llandrillo College to plan a route, up to the Window on Creag Meggy, then back along the ridge to the car. Today we got them to carry out the walk. So we slapped up to the corrie, and cramponed up to make it up the slope into the Window. Another chance for the group to put into practice their winter skills, that we taught them on Monday.
Despite Liz assuring me that the group we slow, they managed a rapid pace up to the window, and then along the ridge. Navigating their way back along. Just before the final peak we found a great little crease in the snow, where two snowholes were rapidally collapsing. We then got the group to cut two snow bollards, very large ones in the current conditions, before we got them to practice abseiling down over the edge of the small edge formed by the wind hollow.
It was interesting, as something I have learnt over the past few years is that cutting snow, is more like attacking it. So at one point I had to point out to the group I was with that they needed to cut the snow and not tickle it, and to get their hands in to scoop out all the loose snow they had cut out. Although I think, well I know the group were starting to tire by this stage. After that little skills session we ticked the last peak, before making the long descent to the car.
Everyone did really well, and I think all of the group fell asleep on the drive back to the supermarket in Fort William. Which wasn’t surprising, as the group had been on the go since 6am. An absolutely stirling effort put in by everyone on the hill, it was probably the biggest hill day of their lifes, and there first experience of a proper winter hill day.
I have to go now as we have another planning session for tomorrow at 9pm!