17/5/2015 Alpine Training Weekend in Fort William

Despite some cool & wet West Coast weather, Micheal & Andy enjoyed an action packed weekend of alpine training which was quite challenging from both a physical & cerebral point of view!

To quote Andy, the weather was "invigorating!"

Here is a summary of an action packed alpine training weekend, from the Guide, Andy....

Saturday started with  tying in / taking coils recap in the bouldering wall at Calluna.   Then despite the heavy rain / sleet / hail squalls in Glen Nevis, we covered "Glacial Travel" and hopping crevasses across the flat into short roping / moving together on Scimitar Ridge. Then we strolled round to the Gutter and spent some time placing gear, and constructing belay anchors then climbed the Gutter in several short pitches practising changeover routines etc. Then back to Alan's climbing wall to do some prussiking and stacked abseil set ups...by which time his head needed a rest!

Sunday was similar weather with snow falling from Rannoch Wall upwards. We climbed Curved Ridge and swung leads with some short roping / moving together, some short pitching with simple quick belays, and some more formal belay structure where steeper ground was encountered. Then we descended Curved ridge again as peers...Michael looking after me on the simpler ground, and down climbing all of it, sometimes placing the odd runner to protect the 2nd descending climber, sometimes using spikes to protect yourself in descent then flicking the rope off at "parking places" and repeat...
We visibly went faster in ascent and descent than other groups on the mountains, so it was satisfyingly evident we were utilising expedient techniques whilst remaining acceptably safe. 
Here is a summary of the weekend from our client Michael's point of view...

Just a note to say thanks for a great weekend. I hope Andy won’t be embarrassed if I say he was a brilliant coach and great company. He managed to impart a huge amount of knowledge without (completely) boggling my mind:

• Glacier travel and moving with the rope

• Natural and placed gear

• Simple rope work 

• Abseiling short pitches / retreat

• Alpine hazards and route planning

Of course, there’s only so much my brain could absorb in 24 hours but I’ll try to keep the skills fresh until the summer. Andy - could you remind me of the book you mentioned? Was it Alpine Mountaineering by Bruce Goodlad?

Anyway, thanks again for a brilliant course. Hope to climb with you both again soon.

All the best,  Michael 


We have 1 place still remaining on our next Alpine Training Weekend running 6-7 June, based in Llanberris, Snowdonia