Introduction to winter mountaineering course

Introduction to winter mountaineering course

Why should I do an introduction winter mountaineering course with Climb365?

Introduction winter mountaineering

Our Introduction winter mountaineering is a 5-day course which includes all the elements of the winter skills course. In addition, the winter mountaineering course focuses in more depth on the challenges of winter navigation and route choice in extreme conditions like white out or when there is high avalanche risk. We also cover safe ascent of steeper snow slopes, snow belay techniques and when to use them together with an introduction to winter scrambling. There is the opportunity in the week for clients to choose, plan and lead routes of their choice, making decisions about avalanche risk or route direction under the guidance of qualified instructors. So if you are a keen hill walker with a small experience of winter or a “Munro bagger” and want to safely enjoy the Scottish mountains in winter, then this winter mountaineering course will give you all the skills you need. No previous winter experience is needed for our winter mountaineering course, however, a degree of hill fitness is ideal to get the most out of the course.

Course programme

The night before: We’ll meet up with all the winter mountaineering course participants and run through the kit that you have, issue hired kit and discuss what you need to carry for each day.

Winter mountaineering day 1:

Winter skills including walking on snow and ice, using crampons, step cutting, ice axe breaking, and basic avalanche awareness.

Winter mountaineering day 2:

Mountain journey including more detailed avalanche awareness, route choice and Winter navigation skills including compass use, contour interpretation, timing and pacing to judge distance.

Winter mountaineering day 3:

Steep groundwork including snow belays and techniques for a safe ascent of steeper snow slopes. Emergency snow shelters will also be covered.

Winter mountaineering day 4:

Advanced navigation skills including whiteout navigation, relocation skills, micro navigation and fine contour work. Route choice including avalanche awareness and weather considerations. There is an opportunity on this day for clients to choose, plan and lead routes of their choice, making decisions about avalanche risk or route direction under the guidance of qualified instructors.

Winter mountaineering day 5:

An introduction to winter scrambling. We aim to reach a summit by scrambling up a rocky ridge using crampons and mountaineering axe. The order of the winter mountaineering days 2-5 may change weather dependant.

The kit we provide.

Included in the price we provide:

Helmets, harnesses and any ropes we might use during the course.

If you have your own kit that’s great and of course you will prefer to use them but if you are flying or travelling by train to Scotland and space is a premium then feel free to use ours.

What do I need to bring?

You will need to bring clothing suitable for the demands of a Scottish winter, here is a Winter kit list for you to download and check through. We often give advice to those buying new kit for the course. We know what works through experience and can advise you on the best kit for you prior to the course.

 Kit hire prices:

If you don’t have the specific winter kit needed for the course you can hire it from us. We will arrange this for you when organising your place on the course.

Winter climbing/mountaineering boots are £15 per day
Crampons £10 per day or £40 per 5 days course
Walking axe supplied free as part of the course
We also supply free of charge Technical axe and hammer.


In the past, we have offered set course dates but have generally found that clients prefer dates that suit their diary.
Responding to this, we now offer this course on any 5 consecutive days to suit both your and our availability.

If you have the choice weekdays are quieter in the hills but many clients have busy lives and weekends suit.

This is no problem, just get in touch and we will dovetail you into the programme.

Introduction to winter mountaineering courses price:

Prices are shown as a day rate per instructor.

1 instructor to 1 client £230
1 instructor to 2 clients £250
1 instructor to 3 clients £270
1 instructor to 4 clients £290
1 instructor to 5 clients £310
1 instructor to 6 clients £330

The max ratio is 1 instructor to 6 mountaineers. However, if we have 1 person it enables us to tailor the week and introduce any skills that you feel you wish to cover.

All our courses are run in the West Highlands including areas such as Ben Nevis, Aonach Mor, Glencoe, Creag Meagaidh, or based in the Cairngorms.

As you are the one booking, you can choose and we can suggest where would be best or you might have some routes in mind that you would love to do.

If based over in the West look for Fort William if over in the Cairngorms (East) look for Aviemore: please follow this link to suggestions for accommodation.

You will need to travel to and from the course but we often can provide transport during the course.

You can simply book online and fill in the booking form all in one go.

We use world pay to make things safe and as easy as possible for you.

Once you have booked online, you will receive a confirmation email for your booking with all the arrangements for your activity.

If you are wanting to book an activity which starts within 48 hours of the booking date, please call us so that we can process your booking on the phone. This will ensure you don’t miss out and can have a great time on the activity.

If you would like to email or chat please don’t hesitate to get in touch.