Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Shelter from the storm!

Transceiver practice, Glen Feshie
We have had a pretty wild day here around Cairngorm mountain. We skinned up on our touring skis as far as we could go in the strong winds then abandoned the skis, stashing them behind some big boulder. We continued on foot into Coire an Sneachda and did some short roping skills on the steep ground there. Eventually we end up at Windy Gap and then made our way back to 1141 and part way down the Fiacaill to our stashed skis. It was wild work removing the skins and trying to stand on the skis , but the new wind blown snow (potential wind slab!) made for some nice skiing over the frozen crusty old snow. Once we were down to the Cairngorm Mountain ski area (which was closed for today, due to high winds) we enjoyed the freshly pisted run back to the car park. These piste machines and drivers have done a fantastic job up there and if this snow continues, there is going to be some good skiing to be had by this weekend if not sooner!
The wind prevented us from doing any out door skills there so we went round to Glen Feshie ( gealic translation: the sheltered place from the story blasts) and carried on with some avalanche transceiver work in the long heather which makes great hiding places for such practice.
Glen Feshie lies within the Cairngorm National park and was first settled about 2500 years ago. It hosts fantastic woodland, including Scots Pine, Oak, Alder and Birch. Red deer run wild and the deep pools of the river Feshie hold salmon. Map makers in the 17 th century discovered the huge reserves of woodland and by the end of the second world war the woodlands had been felled. Edwin Lanseer visited Glen Feshie in the 1820s and his famous painting "the monarch of the Glen" put him amongst the leaders of the Highland Romantic painters.

Alison and Julian at Windy Gap

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