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MIC Instruction Weekend



The MIC (Mountaineering Instruction Certificate) weekend involves four instructors (Di Gilbert, Heather Morning, Ken Applegate and Guy Steven) who provide the team with additional training and coaching from a non MRT perspective. The Saturday involved the team deploying to the Keiloch area near Braemar for a day of intensive micro-navigation training. A lot of pacing and staring at compasses ensued with team members trying to locate tiny features on the map. Luckily the weather was incredible with fantastic views over to Lochnagar! In order to make the navigation more difficult (“realistic”) the instructors sent us into the woods to complete an exercise there.




Team split into two groups – one focusing on winter belays and belay techniques on Sgor Dubh, whilst the other went to the Pass of Ballater to practice rope rescue techniques and moving efficiently on the hill.


Winter Belay Group


The winter belays group headed to the NE slopes of Sgor Dubh from the Derry Rescue post where there were deep accumulations of snow. Once there team members practiced and improved their belay building techniques with the help of instructors Heather and Ken. Typical belays such as bollards, bucket seats, stompers and ice axe belay variations were practiced. Team members lunched on the summit of Sgor Dubh in T-shirts with awesome views over the North and South Cairngorms - the weather was gorgeous!


Pass of Ballater Group


A quick discussion was had in the car park to determine the goals for the day and the decision was to focus on personal climbing skills, namely: belays, simple rescue techniques and learning to move faster, with Di and Guy instructing. Following a quick comparison of climbing rack sizes for different situations we headed up the hill from the car park. The six of us split into pairs and practiced setting belays and then we provided feedback on each other’s. We then focused on assisted hoists for the rest of the morning. In the afternoon we took the skills onto the cliffs and rescued each other from various scenarios. To finish the day off we practiced simple techniques to increase our speed when climbing in the mountains. It was an excellent training day where new skills were learnt and old ones refreshed with the added benefit of some sun!


Words and photos by Stuart Gillan & Stewart Munro


Di Gilbert - http://www.digilbert.co.uk/

Ken Applegate - http://www.applemountaineering.co.uk/

Guy Steven - http://guysteven.blogspot.co.uk/