Saturday, 2 February 2013

Winter ML Assessment Day 3

Home, sweet home!
 Yet again, I had a poor night's sleep; probably 2 hours max. The following morning it was a final check of kit and rucksacks while Neil and Steve headed up to the Ski car park to pick up the Cairngorm Poo Tubes ( a brilliant idea by Heather Morning-Rich to cut down on the faeces found around the snowhole sites) and then we drove round to Glen Feshie to meet George MacEwan who was moderating Steve.
 We headed out in nice conditions up the Allt Ruadh with each of us taking it in turn to navigate different legs. Steve left it to us to choose our own legs as it was also assessing our abilities to choose suitable routes. This is a realistic way of seeing whether the candidate can choose safe and suitable routes for groups.
It was becoming apparant though, that the Low Pressure was winning the Battle of the Pressure systems as the cloud was building up and it was already quite windy. Not a good sign for things to come!
We summited Sgor Gaoith and then dropped down to the Allt Sgairnich to find deep banked snow for snow holes. The next three hours or so were spent digging until we all had snow holes to call our homes.
The construction was made more difficult as the snow had not banked out as much as expected and we kept hitting turf bank at the back. As a result our snowholes elongated sideways and I had to build my sleeping platform by taking snow from the sides and stamping it out.
We had two hours from 8 pm to sort out food and get organised and then at 10 pm we set out on our night navigation over to Meall Dubhag and Fionna Choire. Visibility was still good and so loving navigation, I was able to relax into timings and pacings.

We finally returned to our snow holes at 2.30 am and after brewing up it was time for kip. Unfortunately my brain would not switch off. I also had cold feet and was worried about frost bite and spent most of the night wiggling my toes to keep the circulation going.

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