Above: Michelle approach the belay whilst the weather was nice.
Today was the first day of Michelle and Izzi's learn to lead course. We headed up into Stob Coire nan Lochain. There had been quite a lot of snow over night and still the odd bit falling as we walked in. There were quite a few teams going towards Dorsal Arete, so we made are way toward Summit Buttress. The snow under foot was powery and too thick. We decided to have a look in Boomerang as the wind was not really blowing either. All was good and we made excellent progress as Izzi and Michelle swung leads. The wind had then began to pick up and we had a bit of spindrift as well. The snow however was still all good and not throwing out any alarm bells. As the gully narrow, only a rope and half length from the end the snow changed. After putting in some protection to look after ourselves, I moved up a little to check it out and managed to trigger a small pocket to release. It was time to reverse thrusters and head down. The increase in the wind had caused a quick build up in the narrows, so we took the safe option. this gave us a great opportunity to look a bailing off a route. The bottom section of the gully was still fine, so we lowered back down the steep step and worked back down this.
Above & Below: Izzi and Michelle dealling with the spindrift as the wind picked up just before retreat.
Despite not getting the route down, we managed to cover loads of teaching. Hopefully we can get to the top of something tomorrow.
We saw an impressive avalanche come out of Twisting Gully caused by a soft cornice collapse as we ran away, as well as what looked like a small slide below the gully. There was also an avalanche out of NC Gully.
There were teams on Twisting Grooves, Original Route, Dorsal and 1 team retreating out of NC Gully.