Monday, 1 February 2010
Learn the skills for winter walking
So the hills are still covered in snow and ice - but your feet are itching to get back into their walking boots. While many walkers will wait for the fairer weather of spring before tying their boot laces again a growing number are discovering the delights of getting out in the hills in winter.
Word has it that this year in particular there has been a huge demand for winter mountain skills courses. Indeed, places on this Saturday's Glentrek Winter Skills Course were filled so quickly that we're thinking of running more.
The Winter Skills Day is being instructed by Highway 2 , a local adventure and outdoors instruction company.
And even the list of supplied kit – including ice axe and crampons – has us excited and keen to get out on the hills in the snow.
Obviously, walking in winter is a potentially more dangerous activity than heading out in the spring or summer so there are a range of skills to be addressed on the Winter Skills Day. Highway 2 will be showing Glentrek participants (all women except one brave husband!) how to:
* Move on winter ground using the boot as a tool
* How to use an ice axe
* How to cut steps in ice and snow
* The skills of ice axe arrest
* Crampon techniques without an axe
* Crampon techniques with an axe, including front pointing
* Avalanche awareness.
While the skills day will be hugely informative it will also be tons of fun. And it offers an ideal opportunity to get out in the hills and see some of the fantastic scenery that our Scottish winter has to offer. Find out next week how the day went.