The group was split in three with those having more experience with Al Todd and those with less going with Brendan whilst the Telemarkers departed with Al Bird. Cairngorm ski area was to be our classroom for the Saturday alongside a number of other groups from Glenmore and punters on the piste. We started off by skinning up the Fiacail T-Bar, and I quickly remembered what a sustainable pace is and what it isn’t when moving up hill on skis. Brendan was able to provide advice on how to move over the varied (read rocky) terrain often found in Scotland and how best to knit snow lines together. Our first transition went well, with everyone very focused on holding onto skins and skis after hearing horror stories the night before of skis flying off and disappearing for good. The first turns of the season (for me) were predictably ropey but no falls were witnessed and the group decided to take the opportunity to use their ski passes and get a few more turns in.
Although the descents were very welcome, it was time to focus on learning (or re-learning) some of the skills the weekend was named after. For our group this started with how to carry skis as a trip over rocks to the bottom of Fiacail a’Choire Cas was required