You may already have some experience in hillwalking but now want to take this to the next level. You will further your existing winter skills in steeper snow and winter scrambling terrain. A range of topics will be covered including:

  • Winter navigation and avalanche evaluation
  • Emergency procedures of building a snow shelter
  • Basic ropework for steep ground

As part of this course, you will climb a range of ascents in the Western Highlands. Which will equip you with the skills required to complete the more complex challenges of Glencoe and Lochaber.

Who is this course for?

Although not essential, it is highly beneficial to have experience with axes and crampons. Along with a good level of summer hill walking fitness. This will allow you to deal with the harsh conditions. Be prepared to commit to long and demanding days. As this course can be long and demanding. Ultimately, this course is good for those that have previously attended the Scottish Hillwalking course.

Do I have to be physically fit?

You will need to have a certain level of hill fitness. And you should be able to walk 6-8 hours at a time walking along steep paths. You will be completing 800-1000m of ascent and descent every day. It is also necessary to carry a rucksack with spare clothing and equipment. Which can weigh up to 9 kgs. You will need to have a certain level of fitness gained through summer hillwalking and regular weekly exercise. Although not required, upper body strength can help. But leg fitness and stamina are the most important things.

What will I be doing as part of this course?

You will learn the skills of winter mountaineering throughout this course. And the program is determined by weather conditions. Which will be reviewed each morning by the course director. You will meet in a group, ensuring that decisions will be made collectively. A number of topics will be covered as part of the course:

  • Use of ice axe and crampons
  • Ice axe arrest
  • Winter navigation
  • Avalanche risk assessment and avoidance
  • Emergency snow shelters/survival
  • Elementary ropework and snow belays
  • Terrain – ridges, rocky steps, cornices, steep snow (Grade 1)
  • Mountaineering decision making

On an evening, you will take part in a number of lectures which will help re-enforce activities carried out during the day. These include:

  • Avalanche risk assessment
  • Cold injuries and hypothermia
  • Winter mountain navigation
  • For two days, the course will cost £420 for one individual to one instructor.
  • For two days, the course will cost £250 per person and will be run with one instructor.
  • For five days, the course can be run one to one at a cost of £950.
  • Alternatively, if you would like it to be run on a 2 to 1 basis, this will cost £550 per person. And a maximum of two people can be involved.