Winter CPD at Glenmore Lodge

25-26 January 2014

This year started with a great Mountain Training Association event at Glenmore Lodge. Celebrating winter skills, the weekend was really well attended by Association members who grabbed the opportunity to learn more about the Scottish winter environment.

The weather wasn't perfect, proving that operating in the winter really isn’t for the faint hearted. It was also a stark reminder that winter is all about being well organised and efficient and that good preparation and planning go a long way. The weekend started with this in mind and once everyone was united with their workshop providers, it wasn’t long before the teams were heading out into the white stuff.

Teaching core winter skills was led by George McEwan (Mountain Training Scotland Executive Officer) and Alan Halewood, both well-equipped with the knowledge to ensure that everyone was up to date with current good practice.

The security on steep ground groups headed off to get hands-on practice of confidence roping and building bucket seats, amongst other skills. The navigators got to practice lots of winter techniques in the challenging conditions and those new to the winter environment learned a whole host of new skills and techniques. Snow holing, transceiver use and snow shoeing were all workshops designed as an opportunity to progress beyond the scope of Winter Mountain Leader as well as act as an introduction to other snow based activities.

One of the most valued benefits of attending these events is the opportunity to meet like-minded people working towards a common goal. Alongside sharing ideas, gaining some invaluable personal experience and making decisions out there against the elements, quite a few people (and their new best friends) headed off to have their own adventures when it was all over!

On behalf of the members I would like to thank the Chris Walker Memorial Trust for funding the Avalanche workshops, Mark Diggins for an excellent lecture and Alan Kimber, a trustee, who worked on the weekend.

Thanks also to Glenmore lodge for hosting the event and all the instructors for putting together some great workshops.

Here is some feedback from the people who were there:

Keith Gault, who kindly sent us some great photos of the weekend, said:

“Saturday was spent in the company of Mark Diggins, Co-ordinator of the Scottish Avalanche Information Service ably assisted by Keith Miller. A font of knowledge and widely-acclaimed expert on the white stuff, Mark gave us a morning of classroom theory before taking us up into Coire an t-Sneachda with snow shovels and probes to investigate the snow pack. All very useful stuff even if the weather limited our scope for travelling higher into the mountains."

“I wanted to say thank you for the MTA winter weekend. The programme was excellent and the instructors did a fantastic job making the best of some challenging conditions. It was great to meet up with a few familiar faces and get the chance to share practice, and experience, with so many knowledgeable professionals - everything a CPD event should be. How do I sign up for next year!” Jim Godfrey, Mountains of Adventure

"Great sessions at MTA CPD. Thanks for further insights and excellent demos. Great weekend, great imput from Mark Diggins on Avalnache avoidance, highly recommended." Ross Worthington, Raw Adventures

"Thanks MT and GL for a top weekend." Will Close-Ash

"Just a short note to thank you for organising last weekend's winter training at Glenmore Lodge. I, for one, got a lot out of the 2 workshops I attended and am grateful to you and the instructors for all your efforts." Keith Gault, Hillways

"I really enjoyed the weekend. It was good to meet up with a lot of new people." Steve Frampton

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