Our introduction to Winter Climbing courses are designed for anyone wishing to develop from a winter walker/mountaineer into a winter climber. The aim for this course is to teach you to be a safe, efficient and independent winter climber.
Throughout the course we will climb a variety of grade 1 – 4 routes, using two technical axes. This will allow you to learn in a realistic and practical environment and to develop both your skills and your confidence.
Our winter climbing course is for those who are already competent winter walkers. Ideally who also have some summer rock climbing and some winter mountaineering experience. Throughout the week we will be developing and refining skills in belaying, choosing rock, snow and ice anchors, building belays and placing gear. We will also discuss good management of the rope, people and kit on a belay ledge (referred to as stance management). Progression through these skills will allow you to become an independent winter climber.
We offer both Two Day Winter Climbing Courses and Five Day Winter Climbing Courses.
Our five day courses can be considered the complete package. We will begin by refreshing winter mountaineering skills and quickly progressing on to rope work in gullies. We will look at refining more advanced ropework and climbing techniques on progressively harder grades. Allowing plenty of opportunity to build confidence on efficiency on lower graded routes first.
Our two day courses are perfect for those with time constraints, or those less confident in going straight into a 5 day course. We will cover everything within the 5 day itinerary but we will have much less time to refine those skills properly. It will give you the knowledge needed to develop further and practice in your own time, or to come back to us again in the future for more instruction.
Our Winter Climbing Courses take place in and around the Torridon Mountains. This area is famous for its world class winter climbing therefore, it is a fantastic place to learn. With no shortage of excellent routes at a huge variety of grades, you will have plenty of opportunity to practice and refine your skills.. All within a realistic and inspirational environment. The largest village in the area is Gairloch, with excellent local facilities and amenities, including B&Bs, self catering, hotels, shops, pubs and takeaways.
We offer both two and five day courses. Below is an example itinerary for a five day course. This is not fixed though, we can tailor this around your needs and goals. In a two day course we will cover all the basics you need so that you can go and refine those skills on your own. The five day gives us more time to really get to grip with the techniques needed.
We will begin with a refresher on your current winter mountain skills. It is very important that your basic movement, crampon technique and understanding of snow pack is all sound before moving on to steeper terrain. Once confident, we will head on to a grade 1 to look at tying in, ropework, anchors and belays.
Today we will move on to a Grade 2 mixed route (rock, snow and ice). We will continue to develop and refine skills in ropework and building anchors and belays. Also, considering more carefully our decision making processes and also stance management (managing the rope to avoid tangles, where to position people at belays for efficiency and handing over kit).
Today we may well try a harder route than you would usually, perhaps extending into Grade 3 or 4 terrain. We will focus on climbing technique and protecting lead climbing, while continuing to practice and refine the skills we have looked at over the past two days.
We will head back into Grade 1 – 2 terrain today and consolidate everything we have learnt so far. Today is much more about building your own confidence and independence. Therefore, much of the decision making, choosing anchors and building belays will be down to you. Your guide will of course be climbing alongside you and on hand for any additional advice and guidance you may need.
This is the final day of the course and what we do may vary depending on how you have progressed so far. Our main aim is to give you the skills and knowledge to be a safe and independent climber. Therefore, we will give extra attention to any areas that you wish to practice and further refine. We may do this on a grade 1 – 2 route to give you the opportunity to fully focus on a particular skill set or get additional practice at leading. Alternatively, we may guide you up a challenging route if your personal climbing is something you wish to work on.
In order to provide the highest level of learning and safety we maintain low ratios for our courses. Below you can see the details. Small numbers allow us to make sure you get the tuition you need and the course is tailored around your aspirations.
|1:2||£270 per person|
|1:2||£675 per person|
Ice axes, crampon and helmet hire are all included in the course fee.