Where has all the snow gone???

Today was my final day of two weeks working with Tollymore on the winter mountaineering course. For the last day we headed up into t-Sneachda to consolidate on all the new rope work skills. The corries looked like a very different place than yesterday, with the rise in temperatures dramatically striping back the snow. We had planned on pitching up the snow at the back of the corrie looking at a combination of snow and rock belays, however we arrived to find three other teams all heading up the same narrow stretch of snow, time for plan B!!
We moved round into the area above where the flat ice normal is, and found some remaining ice bulges to place screws and have a go at make abalakov threads. We then moved across to the snow slopes below the Fiacille buttress, which provided us with some excellent ground for pitching on snow, using snow anchors to begin with, then once we reached rock, using rock gear as well. After three short pitches up we looked at how to retreat using retrievable abseils. A great day to finish of the week, giving the guys a good opportunity to run through all the new skills covered during the week.

Placing screws in the last of the ice

Chris starting up the snow slope

Rory abseiling back down to the packs

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