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.
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 inspirational mountaineering routes is “Scotland’s Winter Mountains with One Axe”
We offer both two day winter skills courses and five day winter skills courses. This gives you the option to choose a short course to get the basic skills you’ll need to have your own adventures or a longer course to cover these skills in greater detail as well as giving you the option to test the skills you’ve developed while being assisted by your instructor.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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|
|1:3||£190 per person|
|1:4||£160 per person|
|1:2||£675 per person|
|1:3||£475 per person|
|1:4||£400 per person|
Ice axe, crampon and helmet hire are all included in the course fee