Winter Skills Day during a trip to Scotland at New Year 2009
On the first day of the unofficial New Year trip to Corrour, those of us who hadn't done any winter walking before hired a guide to teach us anything he thought we needed to know. We learned to walk using crampons and ice axes - uphill, downhill and sideways - and practised slipping (in my case often unintentionally) and grabbing the ice axe.
Learning ice axe arrests was good fun although our instructor felt we should concentrate on not needing to do one. We even tried some very easy "ice-scrambling". I discovered the truth in the phrase "the right tool for the right job" - in other words if you try to put Dave's size eleven crampons on Caroline's size four boots, Caroline will spend a lot of time carrying one of them.