Winter Climbing Courses

Introduction

During winter we run winter climbing courses in Scotland mainly on Ben Nevis, in Glencoe and in the Cairngorms. We also offer guided climbing in these areas too. However, we also visit other areas of Scotland and, if conditions permit, we may also run courses in the Lake District and Snowdonia.

Purpose

While we can adapt the courses to suit anyone, those who have at least a little bit of summer ‘trad’ rock-climbing experience are likely to progress more quickly. However, many people often want to start off by trying ice-climbing, so this is another common entry-point.

An instructional course is usually the best choice for someone who wants to develop their own independence. The most common profile is that of a summer rock climber who wants to ‘winter-ise’ their skills. On a course like this you will learn about the different sorts of equipment and techniques that are used in winter.

Guided climbing is usually the better choice for those who simply want to try the activity for the first time, or who perhaps have some winter climbing experience but want to try a route beyond their current level of ability.

Instructor:client ratio

The maximum ratio for this course is 1:2.

Other courses:

If you are not looking for a winter climbing course, then have a look at some of the other courses and guiding that we offer:

A climber balances on his front points while climbing The Curtain on Ben Nevis - typical of our winter climbing courses in the Cairngorms, Glencoe and Ben Nevis

Course Details

Who is the course for?

This course will best suit someone with at least some winter mountain walking and/or summer rock-climbing experience. As a minimum, you should have attended at least 5 days of winter skills training (not necessarily with me) or have accumulated at least 10 days of walking using an ice axe and crampons. You are also likely to have done a fair amount of rock-climbing in the summer. In addition, 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 climbing courses and guiding are generally held on the west coast of Scotland, for example Glencoe and Ben Nevis. but we also visit the Cairngorms frequently if conditions are better there. We may also visit other parts of Scotland, including Torridon or Skye. 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 long, 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?

  • Climbing technique using two ice tools and crampons on rock, ice, snow and mixed terrain
  • Using winter climbing protection, such as ice-screws
  • Managing stances and belaying in winter
  • 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 tools (a matched pair) and crampons; and a rucksack of 40 litres or more.

We will:-

  • Help you to hire: ice axes and crampons (if you do not own them).
  • Provide anything else required during the course.
  • Discuss an appropriate kit list when you book.

What  does it cost?

Prices for one day start at £200 for one person; £220 for two people (i.e. £110 per person); etc. From the 4th day, a discounted rate will apply.