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Winter walking advice

Winter walking advice

Postby Newwalka » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:06 pm

I recently completed a winter navigation course. My navigation skills are improving and I now feel comfortable heading onto the hills!

When I met with the ‘leader’ he initially spoke of route selection and looked at the avalanche forecast prior to heading on to the hills! As we were in glencoe area, he went over the glencoe forecast and showed that on a daily basis the avalanche forecast is predicted!

I’ve done etive mor in the summer and have always wanted to complete etive mor in winter but the instructor said care should be taken if doing this hill using the normal summer route as given the shape of this and if an avalanche happened you could potentially be caught in the middle because of the ‘bowl shape’

He suggested finding an alternative route but given I am new to walking and the only other route I’ve read about is the curved ridge. I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing this!

Any ideas of what other route? Or what tips could be used if walking up the normal route? Was my instructor right? Should this route be avoided?

Cheers for any help
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Re: Winter walking advice

Postby helenw » Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:32 pm

Yes, good advice. In snowy conditions this route is often banked out by snow and the very steep coire headwall makes it a notorious blackspot for avalanches. If conditions are ok for it you could try heading up the way this WH route description comes down and just go up and down the same way - click on the map to see the route.
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Re: Winter walking advice

Postby jmarkb » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:10 pm

The ridge to the west of Coire na Tulaich will often be a safer choice in such conditions. There have been some very big avalanches on the normal route in the past: see http://glencoeblog.sais.gov.uk/2014/02/coire-na-tulaich-avalanche/ and a triple fatality about 10 years ago.

Of course, simply choosing a different hill is always an option!
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Re: Winter walking advice

Postby Newwalka » Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:00 pm

Thanks for confirming!

Much obliged
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