This is an arduous and demanding course which lasts 5 days. It is necessary for candidates to complete the Summer ML, as well as the Winter ML training course. The course is based at HF Holidays Country House Alltshellach near Glen Coe.

Who is this course for?

There are a number of requirements as part of this course. Particularly relating to past experience. In order to be successful on this course, the following must be complied with:

Log Book
  • Completion of Winter ML training course, or evidence of completion
  • Evidence demonstrating experience since training. Which includes a minimum of 40 ‘quality mountain days’ in winter conditions. And a minimum of 10 winter climbs. This must be grade 1 standard as the leader of the rope
First Aid
  • Your first aid certificate should be current and acceptable to the MLTS
  • You should be familiar with the Winter Mountain Leader syllabus. You should be prepared for all aspects of this
Home Paper
  • Home paper should be completed
What will I be doing as part of this course?

It is possible that this course might have to be changed at short notice due to uncontrolled circumstances such as weather. This ensures the Mountain Leader syllabus can be conformed with at all times. Over the five days, it will be split into the following areas:

  • Axe only movement on neve slopes
  • Axe self-arrest
  • Cramponing
  • Assessing weather conditions and avalanche risk
  • Navigation
Grade I terrain
  • Emergency rope techniques for ascent and descent
  • Personal performance on grade 1
Three-day, two-night winter mountain expedition
  • Keeping secure on steep ground and ice craft
  • Moving up, down and across ice steps
  • Ground preparation and safeguarding the party
  • Descending a short section of difficult winter terrain
  • Types of equipment
  • Staying overnight in a snowhole
  • Navigating in poor visibility
  • Finding the correct route
  • Managing a party in winter

As part of the course, you will be expected to complete a home research paper. This will test a number of syllabus areas, including winter weather, snow structure, avalanche risks and physiological hazards.

The winter mountain environment can be harrowing. However, courses do normally run irrespective of the weather conditions. Nevertheless, we do make sure that candidates are not put at un-necessary risk. We do want our candidates to experience realistic conditions however.

Where does the course take place?

HF Holidays House at Alltshellach. This is located between Glencoe and Fort William on the West Coast of Scotland. It is a Victorian style building which stands meters from the sea. On the shore of Loch Linnhe. Incredible views can be seen towards Ballachulish Horseshoe. And also over the Glencoe valley. And we have great access to a range of West Highland peaks. Such as:

  • Ben Nevis
  • The Mamores
  • Creagh Meaghaidh
  • The Summits of Glencoe
What accommodation will I be staying at?

The house is warm, friendly and comfortable. And it has a bar, shop, drying room and roaring fire. The accommodation is shared rooms with single beds. Some are en-suite. Breakfast and dinner are served in a spacious dining room. We are able to cater for vegetarian diets. And our meals and packed lunches are nutritious. Perfect for a busy day after climbing in the hills.

Pricing: This course is £900 on a one to one basis. For a two to one basis, it costs £550 per person. Please note this course can only allow a maximum of two people at a time.