This week has seen me running our first winter skills course of the season, in a week that the mainstream media are reporting that winter has failed to install. We have been based in Fort William and have had great days out on Aonach Mor, Aonach Beag, Bidean, Stob Coire nan Lochain, Creag Meghaidh and Cairngorm.

This week on Aonach Beag

We have found snow every day and practised all of the skills that I aim to teach on our 5 day winter skills course. At the same time we have managed to tick off some fine summits, something which is not always easy to do if there is fresh snow down to the road as we had this time last year. When the snow is that deep its almost impossible to get up high without skis or snowshoes.

This week from Aonach Mor

The Scottish winter is a series of freeze/thaw cycles. It is this constant temperature flux that delivers the conditions that make Scotland unique in winter. We have to take the rough with the smooth if we truly want to enjoy the mountains all year round and that means maximising the enjoyment during the thaw as well as the freeze! If you are prepared to put the effort in, get high and get out in all weathers the mountains can be truly rewarding. You don’t have to take my word for it though – here is what my clients this week thought:

Looking across to Ben Nevis

Rob – I Had a fantastic time! Can I just say I have enjoyed this week so much the guys were a great bunch. This was the first course like this that I have done and certainly won’t be my last ,you were a fantastic leader and teacher. Many thanks again for the 5 days and wonderful memories. Cheers – Darren.

Hi all, pleasure to share an awesome week with you all! 

Rob – I would like to reiterate Adrains comments, it been a great week and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the course and your company.
Be good to meet up again. – David

Hi Rob – Thanks for the course I really enjoyed it and there was a lot of stuff learnt besides hot black current and how to change my layers without losing my top coat. You succeeded in re-ignited my passion for mountaineering so I’ll be selling my time-trial bike this spring. Tri’s are so dull as is the training for them. – Cheers, Brian’s Ledge

Great snow for crampon skills everywhere this week
Practising ice axe arrest this week