Mountain Skills Courses
For Mountaineers, the winter is perhaps the most magical time of year. Blue skies and the sun glistening on the summits and the crunch of snow underfoot can make for some of the most rewarding and memorable days out.
For summer walkers wanting to take the next step into winter, there are additional skills and equipment to confidently make the most of this magical season!
If you would like to discuss this course for for friends/family/clubs or societies, please see the Private Courses page or just get in touch to discuss options and prices
Introduction to Winter
2 day courses in the Cairngorms or Snowdonia
I have had 15 winter seasons in the Scottish Highlands as well as working for 6 months in Antarctica as a research scientist. I will teach you the basic skills that have not only kept me alive throughout but also enabled me to absolutely love and look forward to winter in the mountains.
These courses will provide you with the foundation skills and knowledge to be able to plan your own winter mountain journeys and deal with different snow conditions. Coming on a basic winter skills course is also recommended if you want to go on a guided walk in winter with either me or other providers.
The courses are run primarily in the Cairngorms National Park (Kingussie, Aviemore, and Cairngorm Mountain in Scotland).
In winter 2021, it is likely that courses will be held in Snowdonia. Given the nature of the pandemic and travel restrictions I am only offering private courses on request. There are no scheduled courses running until winter 2022.
The instructor:client ratio is 1:6 with a minimum of 2 clients to ensure that everyone gets the most benefit from the course. Peer-experience and sharing is an important aspect. 16-18 year olds are welcome if accompanied by a parent or guardian also on the course. I run open two day courses at weekends which you can book below online.
These 2-day non-residential courses cost:
£190 per person for booking 1-2 people
£175 per person for booking 3-4 people
£165 per person for booking 5-8 people onto the course
Three day courses I can put on weekdays and can be 2-4 days depending on what you are interested in.
The prices are as above but +£100 for a 3 day and +£150 for a four day on the above prices.
If you would like a longer or more bespoke course, please just get in touch. Likewise if your club/society large group want to book a course, please get in touch separately about dates and prices and see the Private Courses page.
You will need to ensure that you have all the essential winter equipment beforehand. You can hire the technical equipment on booking if you do not have your own but you will need to collect these items from the relevant shop before the start of the course which is 0800 on the Saturday morning.
Please note that I cannot refund you the price of hire equipment as this is at the discretion of the shop should the need arise. It is worth you contacting the shops yourself (details in FAQs below) if in doubt or hiring locally near where you live before coming.
We can cover a range of different skills and techniques and a lot will depend on weather / conditions and the group aims:
Avalanche and weather forecasts
Equipment and clothing
Personal movement skills
Efficient use of your boots in different terrain
Walking in crampons
Use of the ice axe
Ice Axe arrest**
Going on a mountain walk bringing together different skills
Emergency snow shelters
**This is quite an advanced skill which can take a lot of time to demonstrate and practice - it isn't always feasible to cover this skill. It's fun, but you will need to practice this many more times to get good at it and hope you never have to actually use it!
We can look at the use of a rope for emergency situations on these courses if requested. However, this is not a climbing course and it is not expected that most walkers will go out with a rope.
If you want to chat to me about any of the courses feel free to do so - email is a good start as I'm often out and about with limited phone reception.
If you don't like the idea of the online booking or would prefer to pay a 10% deposit for now, that's fine as I can simply raise an invoice.
Simply choose the date you are interested in, click 'Book Now' and follow the instructions. You'll get an automated confirmation reply but I'll follow that up when I get back to civilisation to say thanks and with more detail about the course..
Please ensure you've read the Terms and Conditions and you are aware of what you need to bring by downloading the gear list.
A quirk of the website hosting system means there are a range of ticket options (apologies about that). Please check the number you are booking for on the ticket options and ensure you request that number of tickets...
Any problems then please get in touch
Upcoming Two Day Intro to Winter Skills Courses
Because of the pandemic, different tiers in different nations and potential for localised lockdowns, I am only running winter skills courses as private courses by request during winter 2021.
It is likely these will be held in Snowdonia, North Wales.
I will hopefully be able to resume normal open and scheduled courses in the Cairngorms in winter 2022
The 2022 dates are below:
Summer Mountain Leader
Winter Mountain Leader
Rock Climbing Instructor
LGBT+ and BAME friendly
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