Winter Climbing Course Details

Who is the course suitable for?
Our 3 Winter Climbing Course is designed specifically for outdoor enthusiasts with some experience in the winter mountains (our 2 or 3 day Winter Skills Course or 3 day Winter Mountaineering Course would be ideal preparation)  and who now want to progress onto harder graded winter climbs.  It is particularly suited to participants with some indoor or outdoor climbing experience (although this certainly isn’t essential).
 
The course is suitable for adults of all ages and we are happy to have participants as young as 16 (although under 18’s need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian).
 
What is the format of the course?
We ask clients to arrive the evening before the course starts if possible (full joining instructions will be sent with your booking confirmation).  The next morning we’ll meet the team, check equipment and the weather forecast before heading off to a suitable venue to start our adventure. 
 
To make the best use of the weather and conditions the delivery of the course is kept as flexible as possible.  We will select the best venues to cover some great terrain, tick off some classic climbs and ensure you have covered the essential skills required to move towards becoming a confident winter climber.
 
Skills covered will include:
 
Selection of suitable equipment for winter climbing
Revision of basic winter skills like cramponing and ice axe self-arrest
Personal climbing skills on snow, ice and mixed ground
Efficient techniques for ascent or retreat
Constructing snow and ice belays
Placing winter protection in rock, snow and ice 
Moving together over easier technical ground
Avalanche risk assessment and safe travel
Winter mountain navigation
Route selection, route finding and assessing conditions
Operating efficiently in harsh winter conditions
 
In the evenings we usually meet for an informal lecture to support the information given during the day.  Typical topics include avalanche avoidance, emergency winter shelters, cold injuries and hypothermia or further training on winter navigation. 
 
How fit do I need to be?
Continuous days climbing in the winter mountains require good fitness levels.  If you can walk uphill for 2 or 3 hours at a sensible pace with a few short rests and repeat this over several days then you should be fit enough. A typical winter climbing day will see us out in the mountains for over 8 hours. 
 
Where is the course based?
All our winter courses are based from our comfortable valley base at Inchree which is near Fort William in the heart of the Western Highlands.  We use the west coast of Scotland because there’s a wide range of venues, the most stunning winter scenery and the most reliable winter weather.  Infact, you can’t get a better location for winter activities as a short drive gives us access to many world famous venues such as Ben Nevis and Glencoe while we still have the Cairngorms within driving distance.
 
How do I get there?  
Getting to the Highlands is easier than you might think.  It is well served by road and there are several options for public transport.  We have a dedicated travel information page that can be accessed here.
 
Accommodation
We have comfortable and convenient accommodation available for course participants and we prefer clients to stay with us.  However, we don’t include this in the course cost to give you as much choice as possible and some clients prefer to make their own arrangements.  Full details on our winter accommodation is available on own dedicated page here.
 
Who will be looking after me?
Peak Mountaineering prides itself on the quality of its instructors and our excellent reputation.  The instructor that leads your day will be fully qualified and fully insured.  They will also be one of our close knit instructor team and personally known to us.  We only use instructors who know the area well so they can ensure you get the most from your day.  
 
Having said all that, we know that the views of past clients are probably your best guide to the quality of our provision.  Please take the time to read the independent reviews clients have left before you book.  
 
What do I need to bring?
We can provide all the technical equipment including ice axes, crampons, harnesses and helmets (although you are welcome to bring your own if you have them).  Unlike some providers we provide these completely free of charge (more details on our policy are here).  We also have boot hire facilities available if you don’t have suitable footwear.  Infact, all you will need to bring is suitable clothing and a rucksack to carry everything in.  Full details about the equipment you’ll need and our boot hire option are available on our winter kit list here
 
Other benefits for Peak Mountaineering customers
We have negotiated some great discounts with a selection of retailers for all course participants.  Full details will be sent with your joining details but you also can have a look at what’s available here.
 
Finally…..Although we have already got a web page of frequently asked questions (which can be found here) there are so many different aspects to winter that we felt a selection of frequently asked questions about winter courses (which you can find here) might help you. Of course, if you need any other information don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01433 620283 or click on the contact us  tab.