Kevin Rutherford MIC

Hill and climbing conditions for the Scottish Highlands.

Winter Courses - Winter Skills, Winter Mountaineering, Winter Climbing & Norway Ice based in Rjukan

Sunday, 30 March 2014

WML Training week

A few pictures from last weeks Winter Mountain Leader Training course, i was working for Glenmore Lodge. It was a mixed week weather wise which is always good for folks going through the scheme giving them the full experience of potentially being a leader, or what you can expect or put up working on the hill in winter. The week was rounded off with a broken shovel after 5 mins of digging a snow hole and then i found a hole in my thermarest..... i was glad of having a very warm sleeping bag, its amazing how much insulation you get from a couple of hill ropes, an empty rucsac and a group shelter, thanks to the team for their donations.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Ben Nevis CIC Hut

Ben Ice climbing course with Glenmore Lodge staying in the CIC hut, great company but challenging conditions on the hill which required some good safe route choice. Very windy, mild for a few days and then more wind and alot of new snow.

Castle ridge, Tower ridge, skills around the the CIC hut, SW ridge Douglas Boulder, Tower Scoop and Tower Cascade.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Terms of Endearment & Pateys

Great day today on the above routes. I was working for Cairngorm Adventure Guides with Loui and Anne. Alladins buttress as very busy first thing and then cooled off.


Intro Winter Climbing

IntroWinter Climbing for Glenmore Lodge this week with James and Damien and at last a decent weeks weather.

Day 1 - Skills and Mountaineering in Coire Sneachda before climbing up and onto the Fiacaill Ridge.
Day 2 - Fiacaill Couloir before abseiling off due to a change in the weather.
Day 3 - Cha-No, a sunny warmer day, Jenga Gully and Anvil Gully.
Day 4 - Original Route Summer
Day 5 - Honour Amongst Thieves



Sunday, 23 February 2014

Learn to Lead

At last a week of better weather but there are still very large cornices around. I was working for Glenmore Lodge this week with Charlie and Cathal.

Day 1 - Winter Mountaineering skills before climbing some short routes on the Ciste Crag.
Day 2 - Cha No - Anvil Gully IV before the guys were let loose on grade I ground around Dukes Rib.
Day 3 - Fiacaill Ridge from Sneachda col before abseiling off.
Day 4 - Local day around Glenmore covering weather, avalanche, planning, anchor set up, abseiling, escaping the system and then some dry tooling on the towers.
Day 5 - Twin Ribs in 4 pitches before abseiling off.

Great week and great company!


Friday, 14 February 2014

Intro Winter Climbing

Groundhog Day, The Day After Tomorrow..... frustrating, stressful, possibly could sum up this weeks work. Continual stormy weather, high avalanche risk and the fact that nearly all of the "normal" climbing venues in the Northern Corries are buried, they dont have safe access or have massive cornices above them. I was working for Glenmore Lodge this week.

Day 1 - Fiacaill Ridge
Day 2 - Ciste Crag
Day 3 - Abandoned just below Lurchers as the next storm system arrives early and kicks in.
Day 4 - Ciste Bowl, navigation, snow anchors and avalanche awareness training.
Day 5 - Twin Ribs

Although the avalanche forecast has dropped to Considerable, great care is still required. Lurchers is probably the only "safe" feeling normal winter venue.

Sneachda today, next weather system on its way

Safe travel accessing Twin Ribs

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Intro Winter Climbing

I have been working for Cairngorm Adventure Guides for the last 5 days with Sharon and Matt. The ski hill was closed for most of this time due to the weather and we also had to work around a high avalanche risk. Ciste Crag on a wild survival day, Twin Ribs on our avalanche day, Cummingston rock climbing, Fiacaill Ridge on our one and only good weather day and back to Cummingston today for more rock climbing, thats sometimes the way it goes. Pictures below of our good weather day.