I had an amazing week in Glen Coe with Jagged Globe on my Winter Mountaineering Course. I drove up on Sunday, enjoying the views along the way, arriving after seven hours ready to check in to the Isles of Glen Coe Hotel and to attend the first briefing at 6pm. After a kit check and dinner, I prepared my rucksack for an early start on Monday morning. Each day we ate breakfast at 7am and left the hotel at 7.30am, making an early start into the mountains. After a full day of mountaineering, only stopping briefly to grab a bite to eat en route, we returned around 5.30pm to get ourselves cleaned up before dinner and to turn our rooms into drying rooms for our wet kit! On two evenings we had lectures, on one avalanches and one on the range of climbing and trekking peaks we can tackle. They were both really interesting and certainly got me inspired for future challenges!
Each day we were challenged to learn new skills, including:
- Ice axe use and arrest
- Crampon familiarisation in variety of trekking and climbing situations
- Abseiling and belaying over cornices
- Bucket seat belaying
- Stomper belaying
- Navigation in zero visibility
- Ice climbing techniques
- Plus many more!
The course was led by two superb experts, Mungo and Andy, and I was in a team of six, with five blokes ranging from 15 – 53! We had five fantastic days together, summiting in some terrible conditions and completing our first snow gully climb up Broad Gully to the Stob Coire nan Lochan summit (1115m). The week was spent up to our knees in snow, sometimes up to our waists, or if we were below the ice line, in torrential rain. We climbed, puffed, got a little scared, celebrated our achievements and laughed. It was a brilliant week and I feel really challenged to start full on training for the Mount Elbrus expedition in August. Plus, I also have a few new ideas for the December trek this Christmas!
So, that means challenges 8 and 11 are nailed!