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Winter Mountaineering Course

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Working hard to belay in ‘proper’ Scottish conditions

Options: 3 day private, tailored courses (just you/your group)
How much: From £380
Where: Glencoe, Fort William & Aviemore/Cairngorms
When: On a date that suits you
For who: Winter hillwalkers and summer scramblers, keen to progress to more technical winter terrain

Are you an experienced winter walker who is keen to progress into steeper and more technical terrain to enjoy the fantastic positions that Scotland’s winter mountain environment has to offer?

Based out of Fort William and Glencoe in the West Highlands, our private 3-day Scottish Winter Mountaineering Course will give you the skills needed to move safely on technical ridges and easier gullies of around Scottish Grade I to II. Learn to look after yourself and your mountaineering partner on classic routes such as Glencoe’s Aonach Eagach and Ben Nevis’ Ledge Route.

Our professional instructors will cover areas including:

  • A refresher of movement skills, crampon work and ice axe use on steep ground
  • A refresher of navigation skills and the assessment of avalanche risk
  • Snow anchors and ropework for ascent and descent on Grade I terrain
  • Ropework and movement on technical mountaineering ridges at around Scottish Grade II
  • Ropework and movement on steeper gully lines at around Scottish Grade II

We run private courses 3-day courses and often clients tag on a 4th day of private guiding to get a cool winter route done while they are in the area. Just let us know if you’d like to do this.

A typical itinerary on a private 3-day course follows.

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Digging a bucket seat to belay high in a gully

Day 1

  • Selecting and carrying the appropriate kit for the winter mountain environment
  • Refresher of personal movement skills on steep ground (around Scottish Grade I)
  • Refresher of ice axe use and arrest
  • Core winter navigation skills, avalanche awareness and forecasting
  • Creation and use of snow anchors in ascent and descent, such as buried axe belays and snow bollards

Day 2 & 3

  • Guided winter mountaineering routes (technical ridges or gully lines, dependent on conditions
  • Winter mountaineering ropework relevant to terrain (protecting rocky steps, cornices and steep snow)
  • Efficient movement and route choice
  • Mountaineering decision making and risk management

Information

Dates and prices: are shown in the table below.

We run private courses so please let us know when you would like yours to run and we will do our best to fit in with your availability. If you are on your own then please let us know as we may be able to match you up with other like-minded clients.

Private coursesPrice per person - private 3 day course
1 person

2 people
1 person (1:1) £695

2 people (1:2) £380

Get in touch for larger groups.

 

Click here to make a booking or to find out more. You can also contact us by telephone on 07702 942980.

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A ‘direct belay’ on technical terrain

Accommodation & transport: You will need to source your own accommodation & transport to the meet point each morning. The meet point will vary depending on conditions on the mountain and the ambitions/skill level of the group. For courses in the west, consider accommodation in the Ballachulish/Glencoe areas. For those in the east, Aviemore works well.

Ages and abilities: The winter environment can be extremely challenging, so this course is for adults only and for those who already have experience of winter walking in the high mountains of the UK. Fitness is important as days are long, approaches generally tough and packs heavy.

Group sizes and ratios: Our instructor to client ratio never exceeds 1:3 on day 1 and will not exceed 1:2 on technical terrain.

Kit: We will share a kit list with you when you book, but you will need warm and waterproof clothing and ideally B2 or above crampon compatible boots and crampons. You will also need a walking/alpine axe and basic climbing kit. All kit is available to hire from a partner company. We can offer advice on all kit at booking.

Association of Mountaineering Instructors