Skip to main content

Winter Skills Courses

winter skills course

winter mountaineering courses

Winter Skills – Winter Mountaineering Courses


Book on one of our winter mountaineering courses, covering all the essential winter skills that you are most likely to need and use whilst in the UK hills in winter time.

Our winter skills course covers a wide range of topics (see below) By no means extensive, these are the main topics we will cover. Therefore we can alter and adapt the course content depending on the individual or the needs of the group. If you’re looking for some guided winter walking then head here.

The aim of the winter skills course is to make you feel more confident when heading out into the hills at wintertime. Whether that’s on your own or with a group of friends. Therefore we will equip you with the skills needed to move safely and confidently in the UK hills.

Because winter mountaineering is far harder than summer hiking, it’s therefore necessary to have a good fitness level. We recommend a Bronze level of fitness as a minimum, and above would be excellent. See here. That said if you have ticked over and been in the gym/training for a while you may be ok. Get in touch to discuss, we’d be happy to advise/help you.


Topics covered include:

In addition to the below core topics, these can be adapted and changed to the group.

Movement in a winter environment

Use of crampons. Ascent/descent. When/how?

Using the boot as a tool.

How to use the Ice axe.

Arresting with the ice axe.


Snow pack interpretation.

The weather.

Emergency shelters.

Rope work.

Lot’s of time to play with the techniques!

Sample itinerary:

Winter Mountaineering Courses/Winter Skills Course 

Day 1: winter mountaineering courses

Introduction. So what do we carry in our bag in winter? After this we will then head out into the hills. So the first part of the morning will be brushing up/learning general movement over a variety of terrain without the use of crampons. We will then look at the use of boots in conjunction with an axe. In order to move efficiently we look at how to make steps, and using them efficiently.

Afternoon we will look at using crampons, again on a variety of terrain. All this will be done on the move so that we keep as warm as possible. Likewise this gives you the best chance to learn the skills shown. Depending on group knowledge, we may cover some of day 2’s topics on day 1. We will be overing in detail the importance of boot work in snow and ice and how it can be overlooked.

Day 2: winter mountaineering courses

Consolidating and building on yesterday’s techniques on your winter mountaineering course. Today we’ll look at efficient movement, arresting, weather and snowpack. A basic grasp and understanding of the weather and what it has/is forecasted to be doing is essential. We’ll then introduce slowly the various methods used to help you in case of a slip or a trip whilst out in the mountains. Depending on group’s needs we may cover some basic rope work used on steeper terrain. In addition we will look at some emergency procedures and shelters that just may save you’re life. N.B. This is not a climbing course. See our climbing course for further information. Here.

Day 3: winter mountaineering courses

Putting everything together learnt on the winter skills course. We head out in the hills again for a journey. We aim to get one or more peaks in, as well as covering and re capping on the skills learnt from days 1 and 2. Return to base, debrief and depart. So In conclusion after your winter mountaineering course has finished, you will come away feeling far more confident and able to head out on your own or with friends when the snow falls.

At the time of booking, we will send out a comprehensive kit list that we advise for our winter skills course. Some of which you will most likely have already if you are a hill walker.

winter-skills-course moving on steeper terrain


Equipment can be hired in advance. Ice axe and crampons. We can also hire winter crampon compatible winter mountaineering boots out for a small daily fee. The prices shown are for the duration of your chosen course – So if your booking for 3 days this is the only price to pay. Please check out the BMC video in the links section below on ‘what boots for winter’ very useful if you are unsure.

  • Crampons – £10.00
  • Ice axe – £10.00
  • B2 boots – £20
  • Our ‘Trio’ package – All 3 above – £35


Our winter mountaineering courses have proved useful and successful over the years. Above all we go at the groups speed when it comes to topics covered. The courses start in January through to March. Sometimes we can run into April but obviously weather affects and dictates this. Get in touch if you prefer April as a date. We can run the courses on a 1-1 basis, but a group is better for learning and working together. We keep the groups manageable, and run with a maximum ratio of 1 instructor to 5 clients. 



Prices are per person and are for our 3-day winter skills course. Includes guiding fee only. Equipment hire, food and accommodation costs are extra. We can arrange accommodation for you/and the group. Having worked in Scotland, Lake District and Snowdonia national parks, we tend to know the best places to stay whatever you’re budget. 


A £50 deposit is required to book a place. See our Contact and Pricing page for more details. winter skills course

For larger groups of 5 persons please get in touch for pricing.

Extra persons require additional instructor.


Useful Links:

BMC / Glenmore Lodge – Chosing the correct boots for winter

BMC / Glenmore Lodge – Getting ready for winter

Andy Kirkpatrick’s – Essential staying warm in winter tips. winter mountaineering courses

SAIS – The essential information on snow pack and conditions in Scotland.

BMC – Great videos to get you ready for you’re winter skills course!

Avalanche tips  – Heaven forbid anyone gets caught in the dreaded avalanche. Some essential tips to try and help yourself.