One week and I will be in my wonderful home country of Scotland! I cannot wait to hit the road and drive up North, ready to start a Winter Mountaineering course with Jagged Globe. The course is preparation for the August Mount Elbrus expedition and will enable me, along with many other things, to learn how to use my new ice axe and crampons. We are staying at the Ballachulish Hotel and given the recent weather, I am confident of a lot of snow and freezing conditions. They say that the Scottish winter might be colder and harsher than the Russian expedition in August…I am ready to pack every warm item of expedition kit I own!! This trip is going to be a real eye opener for me to appreciate what I might face in August.