Join us for a Winter Walking Skills weekend covering the essential skills for you to head out and enjoy the mountains in Winter.
This Winter, we’re delighted to be offering some Group Winter Skills Courses that small groups or individuals can book onto. These 2 day Winter Skills Courses will be based out of Fort William, in the stunning West Highlands, giving us access to the mountains of Glencoe, the Nevis Range and Mamores.
If you already enjoy walking in the mountains in Summer but want to build up your confidence to head out in Winter, these courses are just for you. You’ll get to have fun with like minded people under friendly and relaxed instruction from our experienced Mountain Professionals.
On day 1, we’ll meet up and run through some introductions before kicking things off. We’ll look at the following:
- Planning a day out in Winter and Avalanche Awareness using the ‘Be Avalanche Aware‘ Process. This includes weather forecast and avalanche forecast interpretation and how to plan a day out in the Winter Mountains.
- We’ll look at what Winter Clothing and Equipment to take for a day out. You’ll get some tops tips from your Winter Mountain Professional, gained from their years of experience.
- Movement on snow and ice:
The aim of this part of the day is to give you plenty of tools for your ‘winter tool box’ that will allow you to move well and confidently over the various ground you’ll come across when hill walking in winter covering the following:-
- Use of the Winter boot as a tool- kicking steps
- Using an Ice Axe- including self arrest and self belay
- Use of Crampons- French/Flat Footing, Front Pointing, Hybrid
Once back down, we’ll come up with a plan together for Day 2 before giving you time to relax, eat, and chill out before our next day.
For Day 2, our aim is to put the skills learned during our first day out into context by going for a winter hill walk together
Route choice, when and where to put crampons on, get your ice axe out and navigation are all part and parcel of a Winter day out and as much as possible, we’ll get you out there making these decisions whilst having an experienced Mountain Professional to coach you through this process.
As much as it’s great to learn new skills, we believe time in the mountains should be fun and enjoyable too- all of our Leaders and Instructors have a real passion for spending time with people in the mountains and we aim to create an inclusive and supportive environment on all of our group courses.
Is this for me?
If you already have some experience of summer hill walking and want to ‘winterise’ your skills, then yes, this is absolutely for you!
The group experience can be great to forge new friendships and have fun. If you don’t think the group experience is for you, you can book a private course here.
The aims of these courses are about building confidence and learning new skills.
Ratios- up to 1:6
£195 per person for the 2 day course
4th & 5th February- 0 SPACES REMAINING
25th & 26th February- 0 SPACES REMAINING
- Technical Kit
- Winter walking boots – Need to be at least B1 rated and be able to take a C1 crampon. E.g. Scarpa Manta Pro (B2), Scarpa SL Active (B1) (Hire can be arranged via Scottish Mountain Hire or Ellis Brigham.
- Crampons- C1 or C2 crampons e.g. Grivel G10 or G12’s (Hire included)
- Ice-Axe- General Walking or Mountaineering Axe- 55cm length ideal (Hire included)
- Thick walking socks
- Wicking baselayer/thermal -This keeps moisture away from your skin and reduces how cold you feel as a result. Synthetic or Merino Wool are effective- Cotton is NOT suitable.
- Warm Trekking trousers or Thermals- to be worn underneath waterproofs.
- Insulated mid layer- to be worn underneath waterproofs but on top of thermal/ baselayer for example a warm fleece or Primaloft top.
- Waterproof jacket – e.g. GoreTex, E-Vent, Paramo, Hyvent, etc
- Waterproof Over-trousers- e.g. GoreTex, E-Vent, Paramo, Hyvent, etc
- Warm hat plus + 1 spare
- Waterproof gloves + at least 1 spare pair of gloves
- Spare warm layer- e.g. Warm fleece or Synthetic/Primaloft Jacket
- Other Kit
- Rucksack – 40-45 litre recommended
- Rucksack liner/Drybags- Most rucksacks aren’t waterproof so either a large poly-bag liner or several smaller dry-bag type bags recommended.
- Food and water – around 2 litres of water and plenty of snacks and high energy foods to get you through the day. A small flask can be a nice moral boost!
- Survival bag- Several types available to suit most budgets- Blizzard Blankets are amazing!
- Sun screen, sun glasses (weather dependent!) – mountain sun can be fierce.
- Ski/ Snow goggles very useful when walking into the wind and spindrift.
- Gaiters- stops snow from getting into your boots.
- Head Torch + spare batteries or another spare torch
- Personal medicines
- Trekking poles (Optional) – can take 3 tonnes of loading off of your knees over the course of a day and also good in deep snow
What’s Included/ Not Included
- Qualified and Highly Experienced Winter Mountain Leader
- Hire of Ice axe and Crampons
- Action photos of your trip!
What’s not included
- Personal Clothing
- Boot hire (can be arranged via Ellis Brigham or Scottish Mountain Hire)
- Travel/Cancellation/Personal Injury Insurance
These will be sent out to you prior to your course but we’ll meet in the Fort William area. Expect to start around 0800- 0830hrs.