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Summer update August 2022

Andy practicing abseiling on a summer mountaineering course on Skye

It's been a busy summer with various things on and running. I thought I would put together a few pics and words as the leaves begin to turn and perhaps the first signs the weather will turn towards Autumn and then fingers crossed towards a great winter. We have had some significant chunks in Europe this summer working in Baveria delivering some outdoor eduction programmes. Its been fiercely hot and certainly on the time off we have had and spent in Chamonix and Zermatt the heat has been having a devastating effect on the Alps glaciers and snow cover. The combination of a dry winter coupled with a hot summer has led to huge ice loss and rockfall. It is something which has been happening for many years and a visit to the shrinking Mer Du Glace and seeing the various years of loss marked down the slabs leading to the ice highlights that but this year seems to have been particularly bad. We stuck to some rock climbing where there as the easier snow lines and tops where looking pretty unpleasant and with complicated glacier approaches. Although on a positive as we left the higher mountains where starting to get a little fresh snow and lower temps which will hopefully begin to have a positive effect. That said though some experts have suggested that in the Chamonix Valley the worst of the rockfall could be yet to come. Due to the nature of the granite and its loss of permafrost, ice and snow it cracks vertically and will now have significant gaps and cracks in it meaning that fresh snow and rain will wash into those crack in the Autumn weather shearing things off as the water rushes through it.

Closer to home we where able to deliver the first of a series of skills courses for Austrian Alpine Club UK members. I joined Andy who came up from Yorkshire for a mountaineering skills course. WE looked at pitching, building anchors, gear placements and abseiling. We carried this out on the ridge in some fairly typical Skye weather. Skye offers without doubt the finest scrambling and mountaineering objectives in the UK with its Alpine in length ridge stretching across numerous munro’s and famous sections.

Working on the Ridge

Although it's not all about the ridge on Skye it plays host to a variety of shorter lower level walks through some fantastic scenery and unique features. We took visiting Gunjan from NYC with her husband on a tour of Storr which gave us a great day. A trip to the Old Man of Storr is well worth doing if you're visiting the island. We have also been busy in Glen Coe working with Andy Spink and HPL delivering some outdoor education to you people. If your looking for a summer mountaineering/scrambling or rock climbing course then we are available up to the first snows, click here for summer programmes.

Are you ready for winter, we are and the site is, take a look

Looking ahead we have a few things to finish off the summer with and some work down in Glen Coe and also some MTA events to deliver. I am now the regional coordinator for the Mountain Training Association and will be hoping a few people can make the events. Stay tuned for those. We are also starting to think about winter and although the hills haven’t had their first coat of snow yet our website has and things have been shuffled around for the winter season, so take a look at the winter layout. We are taking bookings for the winter now and the dates are live on the calendar. We are also offering this early winter some prep days for those who are looking to refresh the winter skills prior to the season getting fully underway.

We will leave you with a quick set of clips to some music of clipping bolts in the Chamonix area over the summer.

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