I have been out with Russel and Mark today on the first day of a winter skills course. It has been a great day to look at the effect that aspect and altitude have on the snow pack and we spent the morning looking at the distribution of the snow on Aonach Mor, understanding the layers that have built up in successive storms and the major impact of the wind in determining safe travel in the mountains in winter. We also focused on slope angle and trying to accurately assess the slopes we were travelling on as well as natures clues to snow stability. As we gained height the breakable crust we had endured lower down thickened enough for us to look at the use of crampons, movement on the snow and introduce ice axe arrest.
It has been a much better day than forecast and we had some lovely views, some fresh snowfall and bearable winds. The overall snow cover is fantastic, loads of the stuff to play on and in, it should be a great week! (Apologies for the quality of the photos at the moment, I have no wifi so am having to upload at a fairly low resolution)