Winter Mountain Day
Report by Mr Park, Outdoor Education Co-ordinator
As we pulled into the Cairngorm car park many cars were turning around and leaving. Not a good sign. Most were skiers heading for home as the high winds meant there would be no ski lifts operating. The minibus was being rocked from side to side by the ferocious winds. Looking at the others already outside it was doubtful we would be getting very far but we decided to brave the elements and see what the day could bring.
Within 30 seconds of setting foot onto the snow it was clear we would need crampons. We huddled behind a small ski lift building and battled to put on our crampons, being careful not to put anything down to be instantly carried away by the wind. Once our crampons were on we were ready to set off again, this time more stable on our feet. After an hour of walking uphill into the mountains we found somewhere just about sheltered enough to be able to practice some winter mountain skills. To run through the art of ice axe arrests the students built a platform on the side of a steep slope from which they could launch themselves from. Fun was had by all. More journeying brought us into one of the Cairngorm’s northern corries where some fun games with ice axes and lots of bum sliding kept us all entertained and active enough to stay relatively warm.
We eventually made it back to the safety and comfort of the minibus, wind blasted but exhilarated by the experience we had had.