Thursday, 18 February 2010

Glencoe News

About 3 weeks I ago I met Glencoe's new owner in the Patrol Hut at Glencoe and had a chat.  We got to talking about things that would encourage more folk to come up to Glencoe Ski area.  I suggested a Transceiver Park and got a positive response and asked to run with it.  I contacted the Scottish Mountain Safety Officer Heather Morning who has been really helpful and supportive.  I have as it happens an account with "Anatom" who imports Back country Access (Tracker) and "Snow Pulse" (ABS) as this is now my winter line while the bikes are quiet. They have also been kind enough to sponsor our Avalanche courses and provide me with a DTS 2.  Heather mentioned they had been really helpful in supporting her avalanche awareness days with gear and would put them in touch with me.  After contacting the Guides Association, Scottish Mountain Trust and the Mountain Rescue Committee for support, things have come together nicely. Andy Meldrum and the staff at Glencoe Mountain Ltd are enthusiastic to host the on snow park and "Anatom" will sponsor it with a BCA system. I am really chuffed that this has come together although it has taken me lots of phone calls, meetings and writing, but I have no doubt it will save the lives of mountaineers, mountain rescuers and skiers.  Having dug out over 33 fatalities in avalanches and god knows how many broken folk, it's nice to get something going that helps us be our "brothers keeper" instead off just witnessing tragedy.  Clip below of a park in the states and some stuff from Glencoe skiing today. Click on any of the images to enlarge as they are big format jpg.
I took some time out today to go up and see the Keith and Christine who are really keen on running sessions in the training park when it comes.  I wanted to ski the Fly Paper. But, part of the face was in sun and the steep North facing section in shade.  At 48 deg and after a lot of new snow 48 hours ago I thought I better do some stabilty testing.  6 taps for a 10cm soft shear and at 28 taps a 40cm hard slab shear.  While not an easy shear, when from the elbow then shoulder, this is still red zone and likely to be a slope that would get skied a few times then pop due to "shear propogation".  So backed off and had a word with patrollers who quite rightly were concerned about folk skiing it.
Good advert for FIPS on my off piste bag, and also my ANPSP Securistes from Tignes back in the day. Below is the view East over Corrie Ba and above the off piste route "Wagon Wheel" and also looking West above the off piste route "Cama Doon".  Both of which run at about 4:6 which is Black off piste and needs care due to avalanche risk.  "Wagon Wheel" could be stable, but "Cama Doon" even though windward was still loaded and unstable IMHO 
Below at the top of "Cama Doon". Cornices on Creise, some collapsing with the sun
I forgot to add that I want fatter ski's. Some really fat bastard twin tips and big mountain long at 175. Just as well  "Movement" ski's are making a deal.

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