Last weekend eight students from Musselburgh and Dunbar Grammar Schools attended a two day Winter Skills course delivered by East Lothian Council Outdoor Learning Service. The group were based at Lagganlia Outdoor Centre and spent two days in the Northern Cairngorms.
Saturday was a ‘mountain journey’ from the top-car park at Cairngorm Mountain up into Corrie an Sneachda. During the day the group learned to use boots and ice-axes to cut steps in hard-packed snow, and then how to use crampons to travel on on the ice that covers the upper corrie. The weather was ‘challenging’ and gave the group ample opportunities to practice low-visibility navigation using map and compass in near white-out conditions.
Sunday was a snow-craft and skills day in the Alt Mor area near the ‘Sugar Bowl’ car-park. The recent heavy snow gave plenty of areas to progress movement on steep ground and to practice ice-axe braking to arrest falls.
The weekend gave these these 5th and 6th year pupils from East Lothian schools an opportunity to start to learn the basic skills needed to safely experience the beautiful and hostile Scottish mountains in winter. And maybe for some this may inspire them to progress their mountaineering adventures after they leave school. Thanks to Mr Brown from Musselburgh who helped organise the MGS pupils and for his assistance with the smooth running of the weekend.