Winter Lead Climbing in Scotland

Approaching Tower gap, the crux of tower Ridge, Ben Nevis

Please check out the Essential Info for Scotland page for info on equipment, locations, accommodation, transport, preparation and useful blog posts.

We offer a two-day Intro to Winter Lead Climbing course and a four-day Winter Lead Climbing course.

Is this the course for me?

Summer rock climbing experience is useful, and winter mountaineering/climbing experience is essential.

What level of fitness do I need?

Fitness level 2: you exercise regularly through the week – running, walking, cycling or playing sports. You can sustain a raised heart rate for a 45 minute run or a 2 hour bike ride. You can walk in the mountains or climb all day, but feel tired at the end.  

What does the course cover?

The two-day Intro to Winter Climbing course covers the following areas:

  • Recap of core winter skills in ascent and descent

  • Rope work and anchor selection

  • Use of technical ice tools and crampons on a variety of ground - rock, ice, snow, turf

  • Abseiling off winter climbs from a variety of anchors.

  • Snow pack evaluation, avalanche awareness and risk assessment

  • Route planning and winter navigation

  • Leading techniques: placing gear and building anchors

  • Lead climbing protected by a ‘ghost’ rope, progressing to leading without.

Possible routes might include Curved Ridge on Buachaille Etive Mhor, Ledge Route on Ben Nevis, and Dorsal Arete or Broad Gulley on Coire nan Lochan, Glen Coe

The four-day Winter Lead Climbing Course covers all the above, but also gives time for developing and consolidating the skills learnt and gives opportunities to plan and carry out winter lead climbing days. 

What's the maximum ratio?

PLEASE NOTE: we need two bookings for these courses to run.

What dates are available?

No courses currently scheduled - please contact us if you are interested.

How much does it cost?

Two-day Intro to Winter Lead Climbing: £265
Four-day Winter Lead Climbing: £495
These fees are non-residential. You will need to arrange your own accommodation - check out the Essential Info for Scotland page for ideas.

Useful blog posts

Top Tips For A Safe Fun Winter Season
Do You Recognise The 10 Early Warning Signs Of Hypothermia?
Why Do Hill Walkers and Mountaineers Need Movement Coaching?
Why do some mountaineers end the day with energy to spare?
How to Navigate Like a Pro
7 Ways To Get More Out Of Your Time In The Mountains
Top Tips For Successful Snow-Holing
7 Ways To Make Your Goals More Achievable In 2018 (And How We Did In 2017)
Managing Risk in the Mountains #1: The Three Variables
Managing Risk in the Mountains #2: Heuristics & Mind Sets

LW 19.01 winter climbing in the Lake District 01 1500px.jpeg