Winter Mountaineering Courses

Throughout the winter season we run our winter mountaineering courses in Glencoe and other parts of Scotland. If conditions permit, we may also offer them in the Lake District and Snowdonia. These courses can be adapted to suit anyone, from those just starting to venture onto steeper terrain in the winter mountains, up to those preparing for their Winter Mountain Leader qualification.

These courses are generally aimed at those who are already have some experience as a winter mountain walker, and who want to take their skills to the next level and learn how to deal with more varied and steeper ground in winter. Typically these will be some of the famous exhilarating but exposed mountain ridges, or technically easy routes up steep faces and gullies. (Maximum 4 people depending on exact routes and activities).

Climbers ascending a snow gully on a winter mountaineering course

Course Details

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone who is already a competent winter mountain walker, from relative novice to aspiring Winter Mountain Leader. As a minimum, you should have attended at least 5 days of winter skills training (not necessarily with me) or have accumulated at least 20 days of walking using an ice axe and crampons. You are also likely to have done a fair amount of scrambling in the summer. You need to be a fit mountain walker capable of walking long mountain days carrying a moderately heavy rucksack and be accustomed to dealing with poor weather conditions.

Where is it held?

Our winter mountaineering courses are generally held on the west coast of Scotland, for example Glencoe and Ben Nevis. We may also visit other parts of Scotland, including Torridon or the Cairngorms. If conditions allow, we also run this course in the Lake District and Snowdonia.

How long is the course?

This course is a minimum of two days in duration, but can be booked for longer periods, perhaps separated by a few days to give time for you to reflect and practice, or run as a block of days to give you an intensive burst of learning and practical experience.

What does the course cover?

  • Route planning and avalanche avoidance
  • Ice axe and crampon technique on steeper terrain
  • Route finding and using guide books
  • Simple rope-work for winter mountaineering
  • Avoiding winter hazards

What equipment is included?

You will need to provide: warm clothing including a waterproof jacket and trousers; stiff mountaineering boots suitable for use with crampons; ice axe and crampons; and a rucksack of 40 litres or more.

We will help you to hire: ice axe and crampons (if you do not own them).

We will provide anything else required during the course.

We will discuss an appropriate kit list when you book.

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Hill walking; rock climbing; scrambling; navigation; winter mountaineering; and guided expeditions.