I have spent the last 5 days with Don and Maddy on an intro winter climbing course. The weather has been a bit mixed and their aims and objectives varied, so it has made for a great week.
On Monday we went up to the CIC Cascades and climbed a number of pitches to give some coachinmg and find their level. It was very clear that easy snow was not going to put them through there paces, so we were going to have to bump the grade a little. They both made short work of the first IV,4 route and then coped very well on the next that had a short section of tech 5. We spent the reminding time of the session coaching placements and footwork around the base of the crag in preperation for Tuesday.
Don and Maddy enjoying No.6 Gully
No.6 Gully Crux Pitch
Tuesday was the best day of the week. so we could not waste it. We fired off No.6 Gully on Aonach Dubh, which was a little hollow at the bottom, but improved with hieght. A great day on a great route.
Maddy finishing up No.6
Wednesday saw a turn in the weather. This meant that a trip to the Ice Factor, which was a great way to firm up some skills, then introduce some new ones. After the 9 am ice session, we focused on building belays and taught both Don and Maddy to lead climb. A mammoth 6 and half hour factor session was extremely productive.
Thursday was not a great day weather wise, but we had a good plan. Unfortunately, a stomach upset gave us a slow start and change of plans. Instead we went to Glen Nevis to build on the skills introduced at the Ice Factor. This culminated in Maddy leading the Gutter Diff***, her first outdoor rock climb, Skills!!!
Today, we tried to make up for the lost route and headed up on to Aonach Mor. We climbed Left Twin III,4*** and The Split IV,4** which were in good condition. It was a great way to finish an excellent week.