Is It For Me?
This course would be ideal for an experienced piste/ off piste skier or ski tourer who is looking for the next challenge. You should be a competent skier, skiing in control on steep and bumpy red and black runs in ANY condition and have experience of skiing off-piste with a rucksack. You should have some basic experience of using crampons and an ice axe but this is not essential. A good level of hill fitness is required so that we can explore the Scottish mountains fully and enjoy some long ascents and descents.
Pre Tour Preparation:
Your plan is to get a fit as possible. The fitter you are, the more you will enjoy the course.
If you’re more of a skier: Some of the days are quite long, so stamina would be a good asset.
Perhaps try and get out into the mountains carrying a rucksack with a 10/15kg load in it. Doing some
work in the gym or aerobics will certainly help.
If you’re more of a mountaineer: Make sure you get some ski lessons at your local ski slope to
freshen up your technique. It’s useful to have a range of different types of turns you can use to suit
the varying snow conditions encountered off piste. These can range from perfect powder or spring
snow; through to difficult windslab or icy conditions!
If you’re a bit of both: Do a bit of everything.
Navigating effectively in winter on a pair of skis or a board is very challenging. We will breakdown the skills and knowledge of this complex task so that you over the day develop your own set of navigational tools. Mixing classroom theory sessions with on the hill practice is a great way to gain the knowledge required to effectively navigate in all conditions. We will endeavour to conduct a small ski journey that allows us to put into practice as many of the tools and techniques as possible. This will obviously be weather and condition dependant and will be tailored to suit the groups ability level. In order to maximise our teaching time we may plan to use the ski lifts on Cairngorm, please come with your pass or be prepared to purchase a suitable lift ticket.
Our course content will be tailored to the individual needs of the group but will also take into account the weather and conditions. Listed below is a range of topics that we will be able to select from to aim to meet your needs and aspirations.
Navigational tools: compass, altimeter, gps, mobile phones etc
Maps and contours
Strategies for Navigation on skis/boards
Coping techniques for bad weather.
This sample programme will give you a flavour of how this 2 day might run and is therefore only for guidance as the weather, conditions and student ability/experience will dictate the actual programme delivered.
Day 1: You will meet your at 09.00 hrs. and once everyone has been fitted out with the correct ski touring equipment they will lead a short planning. This is your opportunity to discuss your previous experience and your ambitions for the future. Once everyone is ready we will head up the ski road and most likely stop at the lower ski car park if the snow line is low enough.
Once we have attached skins to our skis we will leave the car park and head out towards Coire Laogh Mor. This wide open bowl is perfect for you to learn how to use a compass and altimeter to navigate through the terrain. Your instructor will explain various tactics and navigational strategies which will help you venture further away from the obvious features and still remain geographically located! As you head further up the mountain and the snow cover gets thicker the instructor will introduce the use of digital mapping, either on your phone our on a handheld GPS. Mixing all these techniques with the correct strategies is the key to being a successful navigator and the Cairngorm plateau is the perfect practice venue. Of course the reason we are learning to navigate is so we can find the best snow for skiing and that is what you will do, navigate to the top of a great ski line.
Returning back to the Lodge have skied from summit to valley we will , over tea and cakes review the day and plan tomorrows tour.
Day 2: Having planned a ski tour the previous night you will start the day quickly checking the weather and avalanche forecast to check that your plan is still achievable. One of the best day tours local to the Lodge is to ski to the top of Sgor Gaoith from Glen Feshie. This tour has lots of terrain features that will allow you to put in to practice the skills and strategies from yesterday and still get to ski from the summit of a munro.
What Will I Need?
Glenmore Lodge is in a unique position of being to offer clients equipment at no extra charge. We do however, strongly encouraged clients to have their own equipment especially suitable ski mountaineering boots, please ensure that your boots have been fitted to your feet by a competent professional. If you have any questions about kit or you are about to buy your own then please contact Glenmore Lodge and we will try and answer all your questions and offer advice where possible.
Personal Equipment (* Starred Items are available to borrow from GL Stores – see equipment request form)
*Skis with touring bindings, skins.
* Ski Crampons/Harscheisen – essential for all ski touring copurses.
*Ski Poles – ideally fixed length.
*Ski Mountaineering Boots – for example Scarpa Maestrale or Maestrale RS
*Helmet – Recommended
*Ice Axe 45cm– for example Petzl Snowracer
*Light weight Crampons – for example Petzl Vasak (leverlock)
*Avalanche Transceiver – for example Peips DSP Sport or Pro
*3m Probe and Shovel
Waterproof Jacket with hood
Waterproof Ski Trousers
Thermal Bottoms or fleece trousers
Thermal Tops – long sleeves
Mid Layers – Fleece or synthetic
Soft Shell or fleece Jacket
*Lightweight Belay Jacket
Warm Gloves or mitts: Thick and Thin
*Altimeter and GPS – please bring these items if you have them already.
*Compass (Silva type 4) and whistle.
*Ski Touring Rucksack – 35 – 45 litres – ideally with a separate pocket for shovel and probe.
Rucksack liner and/or dry bags.
Waterbottle – 1ltr Nalgene, camblebacks tend to freeze.
Suncream and Lip Slave – SPF 30 minimum
Personal first aid – some tape, Compeed, plaster for blisters and your own pain relief (aspirin, ibuprofen, paracetamol)