During February half term (18th – 23rd February), Reaseheath College’s Level 3 Adventure Sports students took a trip to the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland for a week of winter mountaineering.

The study tour was a fantastic opportunity for students to develop the skills and techniques required for mountaineering in winter conditions, in what can be one of the most inhospitable environments in the UK.

Student learned how to move on snow, ice and rock, and how to use ice axes and crampons for safe travelling. They helped to plan for each day by interpreting weather and avalanche forecasts, while consolidating their decision-making skills and planning skills from curriculum. Students also learned how to dig emergency shelters and how to use their navigations skills with a map and compass in poor visibility.

The trip also gave learners plenty of opportunity to develop vital personal and social skills as they all shared the same accommodation, cooked together and ate together each evening, which was brilliant team building.

The activities that took place each day included:

Day 1

Movement and intro to ice axe and crampons in Coire An t-Sneachda.

Day 2

Group 1 headed to Coire Domhain and then to Cairngorm Summit and group 2 headed to Cairngorm Summit via Windy Ridge.

Day 3

Steep ground management in Coire An t-Sneachda.

Day 4

Group 1 headed to Ben Macdui via Coire An Lochain and group 2 headed to Coire Domhain via Fiacaill a’ Coire Chais.

During the evenings on Wednesday and Thursday, the group also visited Glenmore Lodge which is the National Training Centre and Centre of Excellence for Scotland. Here they had an important lecture about winter mountain hazards, and the following day there was a general interest lecture about a 2003 Royal Navy Everest Expedition which was really inspiring.

Reaseheath College Adventure Sports Lecturer Jack Stanyer, who was one of the staff members accompanying the students, said:

“Major highlights of the trip would be on our final day, we were expecting the weather to be particularly grim, but we were met with beautiful sunshine all day. Spindrift whipping through the wind and battering us in waves, but it didn’t stop anyone. We fully embraced the conditions and soaked it all in.

“The trip was fantastic with loads of learning, loads of laughing, and we were fully rewarded for the hard work we put in throughout the week!”

Want to study Adventure Sports at Reaseheath College? More information can be found on the course pages of our website.