Day one of the inaugural Mighty Coe Festival
Day one of the Mighty Coe Festival was finally here. I woke in the car to a pink glow on Buachaille Etive Mòr. And once I’d finished and published the morning video post for the event, I boiled up a coffee and took in the sunrise that was happening in the east.
What is The Mighty Coe Festival? Well, it’s a new festival of skiing, snowboarding and the Scottish backcountry. There you can discover new kit, new skills and snow sport adventure. as well as on snow activities, you can enjoy, on-hill music, food and drink as well as a film night on the opening night of the rebuilt cafe.
Activities would include backcountry courses and The Planks Super Jam in The Mighty Freestyle Park.
Of the many courses on offer over the weekend, I was luck enough to take part in a tester of Wandering Workshops Guided Backcountry Tours.
Run by three-time Olympic snowboarder, Lesley McKenna and photographer, Hannah Bailey. Wandering Workshops aims to provide a safe space for people to try splitboarding or ski touring for the first time or get more comfortable in the backcountry, whilst also taking part in a photography workshop and meaning-making adventure.
We started with the basics of avalanche and mountain safety, getting to know the equipment and discussed the tour planning process. Hannah and Lesley also helped to bring some perspective to the surroundings, encouraging us to share our thoughts and the meaning this environment had to us, both in words and visuals.
I had the most amazing, mindful, introspective touring experience with Wandering Workshops and can’t recommend them highly enough for a different backcountry experience. It was very different from your average tour. Very thoughtful and inspiring.
I don’t think you get many better locations, to reflect and discuss the landscape you are traveling through. We talked about the lines and creases in the landscape. The corners that are physical in the land and more figuratively in our lives.
The technical aspects of touring were taught also. I was lifting my feet too much. A hangover from using snowshoes I think. I have to get used to shuffling my feet forward, letting the skins do their thing in the snow. Kick turns would also require I worked more on my poise sticking that rear leg out like a figure skater, keeping my weight over the downhill split ski.
Second Olympian of the day, Billy Morgan stopped by at the summit. He’d be giving a chat to festival goers later in the day.
Planks had sponsored the freestyle competition, which took place in the Mighty Freestyle park.
There was a bit of a crossover with another interest of mine as Lauren from Protect Our Winters UK spoke with the audience. Letting them know about the good work being done to combat climate change. Something that everyone there has a vested interest in.
It’s great to see the organisers of The Mighty Coe supporting great causes like POW UK, helping to empower the outdoor community to act and protect the places we live.
The crowd were then treated to a movie night before shifting into apres mode. It was great to see the smiling faces enjoying the newly opened cafe/bar at Glencoe Mountain.
Had to keep a clear head however as I had another day of the festival to cover tomorrow!