Winter Skills Course

 

Our winter skills course covers a wide range of topics (see below) By no means extensive, these are the main topics we aim to 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. We will equip you with the skills needed to move safely and confidently in the UK hills.

To get the most out of our winter skills course. 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:

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.

Navigation

Snow pack interpretation.

The weather.

Emergency shelters.

Rope work.

Sample itinerary:

Day 1:

Introduction. What do we carry in our bag in winter? After this we will then head out into the hills. 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. 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 to keep as warm as possible. And 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.

Day 2:

Consolidating and building on yesterday’s techniques. 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:

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.

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

winter skills course moving on steeper terrain

 

2020 Dates:

 

Our winter skills 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. 

 

January 2020            February 2020             March 2020

10th – 12th                  7th – 9th                        6th – 8th

17th – 19th                   14th – 16th                     13th – 15th

24th – 26th                  21st -23rd                       20th -22nd

31st – 2nd                     28th -1st                          27th -29th 

 

Prices:

Prices quoted are per person and is 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. 

 

Deposit



Pricing:

A £50 deposit books a place. Either by the PayPal button, or give us a call.

Prices quoted are per person. Fee includes guide rate only. Accommodation and kit hire are additional.

1:1 = £540

1:2 =£375

1:3 =£330

1:4 =£300

1:5 =£270

Extra persons require additional instructor.

 

Further reading:

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

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.