Intro to Winter Mountaineering
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 onto 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.
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 and at your own pace.
On our first day we refresh core winter skills such as good footwork, cramponing, using ice axes, avalanche awareness and navigation. It's essential to have these fundamental skills at a good level before moving onto steeper terrain. We'll also introduce ropes, harnesses and basic belays.
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.
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. Your guide will climb by your side, keeping you right as you make decisions, choose anchors and make belays.
This day will be another journey into the mountains, but this time on rocky ridges. Ridges are a challenging mountain feature, requiring 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 to re-visit anything covered earlier in the course that you would like refreshed.
(Please note: weather and snow conditions can affect the order in which skills are covered and the itinerary can 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 climb safely is by having the experience to make good decisions. On our courses you'll do as much mountaineering as possible to build your confidence.
If the proposed dates of our courses don't suit you or you're looking for a shorter course we may be able to offer alternative dates, so please get in touch. If you would prefer a 1:1 ratio or bespoke dates, the cost is £295.00 per day.
Level > Difficult