Our Introduction to Scottish Winter Climbing course suits those who have winter walking, some winter mountaineering and rock climbing experience, and whose aspirations are to climb Scottish winter routes safely and independently.
On this course you will climb grade 1 to 3 winter routes using two technical axes, climbing in pitches and using both mountaineering and climbing techniques to do so safely.
We run these from Aviemore in the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland.
The course progresses as your skills and confidence grow. We'll always use locations that are appropriate and allow you to learn as much as possible.
· On our first day we will refresh your basic winter mountaineering skills. It is very important that we can crampon effectively, have the core winter skills and can evaluate the snowpack before moving onto steeper slopes. Next we’ll look at tying in, rope work, belays and simple anchors on a grade 1 gully.
· Day two and we’ll move onto climbing a mixed route (snow, ice and rock) at grade two. We’ll look at safe movement, decision-making, gear placements, anchors, belays, rope-work and stance management.
· A mixed ice route will be our aim for day three. Your guide will focus today on climbing techniques, stance management, protecting lead climbing and more decision-making. Today is a good opportunity to climb something harder than you might normally climb and to learn from watching how a climbing professional does it.
· There are leading opportunities each day, but on day four, with all that you have learned and watched over the previous three days, you’ll climb a mixed grade I/II route. Belays, protecting the climb, decision making and moving safely will all be your responsibility; however you guide will climb alongside to coach you and give advice if required.
· On day five, your final day, we refresh and consolidate what has been covered in the course. There’s the opportunity to lead more routes, focus on particular skills sets or to be guided on a harder route. It’s entirely up to you, but it’s important you finish the course with a good understanding of how to winter climb safely.
The weather and snow conditions can affect the order in which skills are covered meaning the itinerary can sometimes change.
· Learn to climb graded winter routes
· Winter climbing coaching
· Route selection
· Avalanche avoidance
· Build belays, placing gear and belaying
· Snow, ice and rock anchors
· Abseiling and retreating
· Advanced crampon and ice axe techniques
· Lots of winter climbing
· Small ratios
· Qualified mountaineering instructors
We believe the best way to winter climb safely is by having the experience to make the right decisions. That’s why on our course we aim to have you climbing and learning as much as possible to give you that climbing confidence.
These courses run with a ratio of 1:2, but if you would prefer a 1:1 ratio or bespoke dates, the cost is £265.00 per day.
Please see the dates when our courses are running, if these dates don't suit you, we may be able to offer alternative dates, so please get in touch.