Winter Mountaineering Courses

Introduction

Throughout the winter season we run winter mountaineering courses in Scotland in the Cairngorms, Glencoe and on Ben Nevis. We may also visit other parts of Scotland such as Torridon and the Isle of Skye. If conditions permit, we also offer them in the Lake District and Snowdonia.

Purpose

We aim these winter mountaineering courses at those who already have some experience as winter mountain walkers and who want to take their skills to the next level. These clients generally want to learn how to deal with more varied and steeper ground in winter. Typically this involves climbing some of Scotland’s exhilarating but exposed mountain ridges, or technically easy routes up steep faces and gullies.

We can adapt these courses to suit anyone, from those just starting to venture onto steeper terrain in the winter mountains, to those preparing for their Winter Mountain Leader qualification.

Instructor:client ratio

Depending on exact aims and locations, there is usually a maximum ratio of 1:4 on this course.

Other courses:

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

Winter mountaineering courses in Scotland - the Cairngorms, Glencoe or Ben Nevis

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. 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 mountaineering courses are generally held on the west coast of Scotland, for example Glencoe and Ben Nevis, but we frequently go to the Cairngorms if conditions are better there. We may also visit other parts of Scotland, including Torridon or the Isle of 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?

  • 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).
  • 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 £220 for one person; £240 for two people (i.e. £120 per person); £260 for three people (i.e. £87 per person); £280 for four people (i.e. £70 per person) etc. From the 4th day, a discounted rate will apply.