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  • johnorr55

Early Winter Skiing and Walking

Updated: Mar 18, 2019

From blue skies and steep ice in Canada it was back to hillwalking in North Wales in some rather wet and wild weather. Its the variety of locations, weather and people that means no two weeks or days of work are ever the same!  A few days at home for Christmas in Ireland with the family rounded off a great year and allowed for a bit of respite before the winter season kicked off properly.

One of my favourite views and places to go climbing…the small but atmospheric Hen Mountain on the edge of the Mournes.

The incredible view up Llyn Padarn on the way to the airport…superb!

Winter 2015 started in the Alps this year with a few weeks skiing in preparation for my BMG Skiing induction. Due to lack of snow at the start of the season my skis took a bit of a hammering from the rocks and grass showing through…more akin to skiing in Scotland really! A great days touring above the Col de la Forclaz with Tim, Dave and Lee meant we were able to escape the crowds and chopped up pistes and get some good turns in before the inevitable combat skiing through the trees at the end!

Shadows and light skinning up to Pointe Ronde

Eastern vista across to the Valais and beyond.

Tea break anyone?

A superb ski technique course in Leysin, Switzerland was followed by the ski induction which went well and then a 5 day avalanche course run through the European Avalanche School. This looked at all aspects of snow science and avalanche education which was very useful for my own personal benefit but also for thinking about how I deliver avalanche education to students.

Snow science and Mark Diggins showing us how to record it.

On return to Wales the snow had arrived and so I had a great week running a winter skills and walking week with work including an amazing day on Snowdon with the best inversion I’ve ever seen! I spend a lot of time in snow throughout the year between Scotland and the Alps but when it happens on your back door, whether that’s Snowdonia or the Mournes it makes it even more memorable and special!

The start of a great week on Moel Siabod.

Lliwedd floating in a sea of cloud.

Incredible inversion with Lliwedd and, in the distance, Moel Siabod rising above the clouds.

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