Our Introduction to Scottish Winter Mountaineering course bridges the gap between walking and climbing. It is aimed at people who have winter hill walking experience in Scotland and who have aspirations of moving on steeper and more challenging terrain.
The course aims to teach you the skills required for moving safely on steeper terrain during winter such as gullies, headwalls and rocky ridges; using ropes and mountaineering techniques.
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 refresh the core winter skills such as good foot-work, cramponing, using ice axes, avalanche awareness and navigation. It is essential to have these fundamental skills at a good level before moving onto steeper terrain. We will also introduce ropes, harnesses and basic belays.
· Next day we’ll move onto steeper terrain, looking at personal techniques for moving safely, how and when to use a rope, simple snow and rock anchors, and belaying.
· Day three and you’ll put the skills you have learned into practice as we move through the mountains on steeper snow terrain, typically a grade 1 gully. You’ll have your guide climbing alongside keeping you right as you make decisions, choose anchors and make belays.
· Day four is another journey through the mountains this time on rocky ridges. Ridges can be a challenging mountain feature that require a different strategy to climbing gullies and headwalls.
· Our final day will see us moving on mixed snow and rock terrain using a combination of the different techniques you have learned. There is also an opportunity on this day to re-visit anything covered earlier in the course.
The weather and snow conditions can affect the order in which skills are covered meaning the itinerary can sometimes change.
· Planning a mountaineering day
· What to wear and carry
· Route selection
· Advanced crampon and ice axe skills
· Tying in, building belays, placing runners and belaying
· Snow and rock anchors
· Abseiling and down climbing
· Problem solving
· Avalanche avoidance
· Lots of mountaineering and hill time
· Small ratios
We believe the best way to winter mountaineer safely is by having the experience to make good decisions. That's why on our courses you will do as much mountaineering and learning as possible to give you that confidence.
If you would prefer a 1:1 ratio or bespoke dates, the cost is £315.00 per day.
Please see dates when our courses are running. If these dates don't suit you or you are looking for a shorter course we may be able to offer alternative dates, so please get in touch.