Winter Mountaineering in Scotland

three winter mountaineers walking up a snowy slope

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 Mountaineering course and a five-day Winter Mountaineering course.

Is this the course for me?

Summer mountaineering experience is essential for both courses. In addition, for the five-day Winter Mountaineering course, rock climbing experience is useful, as is some winter mountaineering experience. 

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 Mountaineering course covers the following areas:

  • Movement coaching with axe and crampons in ascent and descent

  • Movement over grade I gullies and ridges

  • Basic rope work and belaying

  • Constructing and using snow anchors, and selecting rock anchors

  • Abseiling using snow anchors

  • Snow pack evaluation, avalanche awareness and risk assessment

  • Route planning and winter navigation

  • Snow shelters

Possible routes might include the east ridge of Beinn a Chaorainn (Creag Meagaidh), Coire an Lochan via the zig zags (Cairngorms) and No 4 gulley on Ben Nevis.

The five-day Winter Mountaineering 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 mountain days. 

What's the maximum ratio?

Two-day Intro to Winter Mountaineering: 1:6
Five-day Winter Mountaineering: 1:4
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 Mountaineering: £190 non-residential
Five-day Winter Mountaineering: £445 non-residential
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
5 Reasons Why You Should Learn To Navigate Using Contours

What do our clients say about us?

Chris has worked with us on a number of school trips and each time he has been fantastic. He has inspired the boys with his unique enthusiasm, whether climbing classic rock in the lakes, icefalls in Norway, winter routes in Scotland or 4,000m mountains in the Alps. Consequently, we have all been amazed by the quality and difficulty of the routes that have been climbed. Whatever the conditions, Chris has found an unforgettable challenge that has been perfectly suited to the group. We will undoubtedly be signing up for more adventures with him again soon. 
Alex Brighton, Oundle School

I like Chris’s emphasis on moving safely and well, rather than rescue techniques. The approach seems to be to avoid getting yourself into a bad situation, rather than what to do when you are in one. He seems to coach from the standpoint of what he knows has worked well for him, rather than sticking to a fixed syllabus, which I like.
Louis Waterman-Evans, Intro Winter Mountaineering two-day course, December 2018

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