Intro Winter Mountaineering

Learn to Travel Through Steeper Terrain in Winter

Our Introduction to Winter Mountaineering Course is perfect for anyone looking to develop from a winter walker into a winter mountaineer. Winter Mountaineering is the gap between winter walking and winter climbing.

The aim of this course is to give you the skills and the confidence to stay safe in more technical mountain terrain. Allowing you to access steeper slopes, gullies and rocky ridges using ropes and other mountaineering techniques.

Who is this course for?

Our Winter Mountaineering Courses are for people who already consider themself a competent winter walker and are looking to progress into mountaineering. Mountaineering is that gap between winter walking and winter climbing. Developing these skills allow you to progress into challenging and exhilarating ridges and routes that would be beyond the proficiency of a winter walker. A great book for examples of these inspirational mountaineering routes is “Scotland’s Winter Mountains with One Axe” by Garry Smith.

Two v Five day Course?

We offer both two day winter mountaineering courses and five day winter mountaineering courses. This gives you the option to choose a short course to learn the fundamental mountaineering techniques you’ll need to have your own adventures or a longer course to cover these skills and more in greater detail as well as giving you the option to test the skills you’ve developed while being assisted by your instructor.

Find out more on our itinerary page

Inspiring Location

Our Winter Mountaineering Courses take place in and around the Torridon Mountains. This area is famous for its world class mountaineering and therefore, it is a fantastic place to learn. With no shortage of steep and technical terrain, 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.

Open and Private Courses

We offer both open courses and private courses. On an open course you sign up to a date we’re offering and will meet with other people who book that same course. For private courses you will book a course specifically for you and can choose a date that suits.

See our dates and pricing for more information

heading into the hills

Itinerary

We offer both Two Day Winter Mountaineering Courses and Five Day Winter Mountaineering Courses.

Our five day course can be considered the complete package. Starting with a refresher of your basic winter walking skills we will soon progress through the techniques needed to turn you into an effective winter mountaineer. By the end of the week the aim would be for you to be confident and safe in mountainous terrain, belaying, building your own anchors, and developing good judgement of both rock and snow conditions.

Our two day courses are perfect for those with time constraints, or those less confident about going straight into a 5 day course. We will cover everything within the 5 day itinerary (below) but we will have much less time to refine those skills. This will give you the tools needed to get out to practice and improve independently or to come back to us again in the future for more instruction.

Day One:

We will start the day by refreshing your core winter skills, looking at good movement and footwork, use of crampons and ice axe, navigation and avalanche awareness. Refreshing and refining these skills is essential before we move onto steeper and more technical terrain. Once confident we will begin to introduce some simple ropework.

Day Two:

Today we will begin to build on the ropework we developed yesterday. Looking now at steeper terrain and considering how and when to use a rope. We will introduce harnesses and learn how to build snow anchors both safely and efficiently.

Day Three:

Today we will head into more complex terrain and rockier ridges. Getting the opportunity to practice belaying, developing a sound judgement of rock, building anchors and equalising. We will also be looking at how to retreat from a route by both down climbing and abseiling. To ensure you are getting a realistic and practical experience, today we will be operating on grade 1 or 2 terrain.

Day Four:

On day four we will practice and refine all the skills you have learnt so far on a fantastic mountain journey. This will give you plenty of opportunity to gain a better understanding of the various techniques in the context of an excellent winter mountaineering experience. Once again we will aim to undertake this journey on grade 1 or 2 terrain.

Day Five:

This is our last day together and your chance to build on your current skills while developing the confidence to be independent. Your guide will be on hand at all times to advise and answer questions, however today the focus is on you to be more self-reliant. Making smooth and safe decisions and becoming an efficient winter mountaineer.

Dates and Pricing

In order to provide the highest level of learning and safety we maintain low ratios for our courses. For our Winter Mountaineering courses we never go beyond a ratio of 1 guide to 4 clients. These small numbers allow us to make sure you get the tuition you need and the course is tailored around your aspirations whether you’re booked onto an open or private course.

Open Courses

Open course are where you can book onto a date and join other like minded people. These are great for individuals looking to share an experience with others and make new friends and climbing partners. Our open courses are run to a maximum of four individual spaces (with one instructor) on each open course to give the perfect balance between a social experience and effective learning in the mountains.

2 Day Courses

Our two day open course are perfect for those looking to refresh their skills or time strapped individuals who intend to go of and practice afterwards.

5 Day Courses

Our five day open course are the complete package, covering all the skills needed to start out winter mountaineering.

Date Price
24 Jan 2022 to 28 Jan 2022 £600 per person
21 Feb 2022 to 25 Feb 2022 £600 per person

Private Courses

Private courses are totally flexible and tailored directly to your needs. These can be run on any dates during the season and will only have yourself or those you have booked with on the course. This works well for those where they need specific dates or where they would rather not be on a course with someone they don’t know. We have a maximum ratio of 1 guide to 4 clients for winter mountaineering courses to ensure your safety.

Winter Mountaineering Two Day Course

Ratio Price
1:1 £500
1:2 £270 per person
1:3 £190 per person
1:4 £160 per person

Winter Mountaineering Five Day Course

Ratio Price
1:1 £1250
1:2 £675 per person
1:3 £475 per person
1:4 £400 per person

Open Courses

Date Price
24 Jan 2022 to 28 Jan 2022 £600 per person
21 Feb 2022 to 25 Feb 2022 £600 per person

Find out more

Course Highlights:

  • Qualified and Experienced Instructor
  • Choice of private instruction or small group instruction
  • 2 or 5 day Itinerary to suit you
  • Developing core foundation winter skills
  • Use of harness, tying in, belaying, placing gear
  • Building rock and snow anchors
  • Abseiling and descending methods
  • Using skills in context on excellent mountain journeys

What’s included:

Ice axe, crampon and helmet hire are all included in the course fee