Scottish Winter Courses available during each winter period between January and March. Other dates on request.
Winter Skills 5 days – £425 4:1 ratio – dates on request
Winter Climbing 3 days (long weekend) – £390 2:1 ratio – dates on request
Winter Climbing 5 days – £650 2:1 ratio – dates on request
Private Winter Guiding – £230 1:1 and £270 1:2 ratio – dates on request
Accommodation can be provided on request with all courses.
Renowned for having the best mixed climbing in the world, Scotland is the training ground of professionals. If you want an experience worthy of remembering, stunning scenery, quality climbing and guaranteed adventure – winter climbing in Scotland may be for you. This isn’t a beach holiday, this is winter climbing, and Scottish winter climbing is an epic adventure.
All technical equipment is included in the cost of the course but you are expected to have your own personal equipment and clothing. If you need to borrow any equipment for a course, please let us know before hand.
SCOTTISH WINTER SKILLS
This course is designed to give you the skills to get out in the mountains in winter conditions, learning to become independent and safe in the winter environment. You’ll be working in a maximum ratio of 1:4 (instructor to client) to make sure you maximise your learning. Your instructor will coach you in a range of skills for the winter mountain environment.
Course content can include: ice axe use, ice axe arrest, safe travel in the mountains, navigation, understanding weather and avalanche forecasts, snow pack analysis, rope work, snow belays, and of course reaching some of Scotland’s superb mountain summits.
Course costs – £425 per person. Accommodation on request.
SCOTTISH WINTER CLIMBING – LONG WEEKEND
Our Scottish winter climbing long weekend is designed to give you a great taster into winter climbing. With three action-filled days based over a long weekend, you have the choice of adding Friday or Monday to the weekend to suit your travel/work needs.
You’ll be in a 1:2 ratio to maximise your time on the climbs and get the most from your three days. In order to come on the course, you will need some previous winter skills training and be familiar with crampons and ice axe use. You don’t need to have done multi-pitch winter climbing before as your instructor will teach you the full range of skills needed for Scottish winter climbing.
Course content can include: pair ice axe use, movement coaching, winter belays, stance management, rope work, gear placements for winter, safe travel in the mountains, winter route choice, guide book use in winter, navigation, understanding weather and avalanche forecasts, snow pack analysis, rope work, snow belays, and of course lots of great winter routes.
Course costs – £390 per person. Accommodation on request.
SCOTTISH WINTER CLIMBING – 5 DAYS
This is a 5 day action packed Scottish winter climbing course. This course is designed to get you feeling comfortable seconding Scottish winter climbs and moving through the mountains in a winter environment. If you have climbed in winter before then this course will be perfect to get you into leading winter routes.
You’ll be in a 1:2 ratio to maximise your time on the climbs and to get the most from your 5 days. In addition to practical work, there are some theory sessions on this course, such as being able to read weather and avalanche forecasts to help you plan days out.
In order to come on the course, you will need some previous winter skills training and be familiar with crampons and ice axe use. You don’t need to have done multi-pitch winter climbing before as your instructor will teach you the full range of skills needed for Scottish winter climbing.
Course content can include: pair ice axe use, movement coaching, winter belays, stance management, rope work, gear placements for winter, safe travel in the mountains, lead climbing, winter route choice, guide book use in winter, navigation, understanding weather and avalanche forecasts, snow pack analysis, rope work, snow belays and lots of great winter routes.
Course costs – £650 per person. Accommodation on request. This course can be run Monday to Friday or over a weekend.
- Experienced UK guide/instructor (first aid qualified)
- Transport to the crag each day
- Technical equipment (if needed)
- Photos maps/guide books
- A fun and outgoing instructor
- After course information and advice
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Flights/transport to Scotland
- Food (unless arranged)
- Accommodation (unless arranged)
- Travel insurance
- Personal spending money/tips
- Fitness – please do what you can to turn up fit for the course 🙂
- Personal equipment
WHAT CLIENTS SAY
What an epic day. Dave gave us an amazing day on Wintours leap. We covered more than I could have hoped. Dave understood exactly what our objectives of the day were, excellent value for money. Dave was the most professional, and clearly knew his stuff.
Dave and his team hosted Noah’s Ark Charity Dangle event Sunday 16th October 2016 from Newport Transporter Bridge and we couldn’t have picked a better team of instructors to help us..
All of the guides were extremely supportive and had the groups best interest at the forefront of everything we did, they were also very knowledgeable about the mountains and what lay ahead of us. This is the first time we have used Dave but definitely not the last!
Dave and Robyn guided a group of us to four 4000+m peaks in the Atlas Mountains, including Toubkal – the highest in North Africa. They were always full of energy and continually kept the team motivated. You were never in doubt that they were fully prepared for all eventualities, using ropes when required and even having a foam roller for those of us with tight muscles! On top of this, they were always teaching us important mountain skills, with demonstrations and giving everyone the chance to practice these skills in a safe and fun but relevant environment. I also thought they were excellent at tailoring the experience to different peoples wants and needs.
Without a doubt my favourite adventure holiday of the year – i’m already looking to book another one with Dave in the New year!
Highly recommended 🙂 Dave was a great guide, super fun and a good photographer too, capturing all the best bits of our expedition.
The best rock climbing instruction I’ve ever had. Extremely clear and engaging.
I just wanted to add that the quality of instruction was actually more than excellent! I learned loads of things that were very empowering and challenging, while always feeling very safe and in a friendly atmosphere. I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed my day. Many thanks to Dave!
I will happily tell all my friends that it is one of the best things I have ever had the good fortune to do.
Dave, was excellent. He manages to combine an inspirational passion for climbing with very knowledgeable advice and instruction and an unerring eye for safety.
It has been an amazing experience. A gigantic sincere Thank you to Dave for his care, effort and lovely sense of humor! He made us really happy.
Just wanted to pass on my thanks for a fantastic abseiling service from you guys yesterday. The feedback from all was what a professional and warmhearted company you are and even the very fearful felt safe and cared for and thanked you for your patience and reassurance.
It would be an understatement to say the Abberley Hall Clock Tower Abseil event exceeded my expectations.
SCOTTISH WINTER CLIMBING KIT LIST
Below are some Scottish winter equipment essentials. If you book a course with us, we’ll send you a detailed kit list and joining instructions. If you have any questions on equipment choices for a course then feel free to get in touch.
Here are some top tips on winter climbing from UKC.
A large holdall – A large holdall bag or very large rucksack (around 100 litres in size). This is to store all of your mountain clothing and equipment.
Rucksack– Your rucksack for the winter environment needs to be around 40 litres in capacity, so that you can fit all your spare kit, flask, food, hats, gloves, crampons etc in. This is the rucksack that you will wear when on the mountain, so it must be comfy. Rucksacks aren’t waterproof so make sure you have a liner or multiple waterproof bags inside to keep things dry.
Boots – Winter boots must be able to take a crampon and kick steps into hard snow, and need to be more rigid in the shank and on the sole section. Walking boots are classed as B0 (zero), B1, B2 or B3. B0 boots do not support crampons and should not be used.
B1 or B2 boots will support crampons. These boots are good for winter skills courses. Go for B1 boots if you think you’ll be venturing out onto very easy winter walks now and again. Go for B2 boots if you think you’ll be going up slightly steeper routes or scrambles. If you’re on a Scottish winter climbing course then you’ll need a B3 boot.
Crampons – These should be compatible with, and fit your boots. Crampons are similarly graded to boots going from C1, C2 to C3. C3 crampons are high end crampons aimed at steep winter climbing. You should go for a C1 or C2 crampon if you’re on a winter skills course. A higher C rated crampon should be used if you are on a Scottish winter climbing course.
Ice axe – A walking axe is needed for a winter skills course. It should be 50-65 cm in length and dictated to some degree by your height. Two technical climbing axes are used for winter climbing courses. These can be borrowed for the duration of your course.
Gloves – Bring at least 3-4 pairs. The winter environment in Scotland can be damp and once your gloves are wet they’re not as warm as when dry. Changing your gloves regularly keeps your hands toasty and warm. You’ll need:
- One thin pair for walking in, with an under glove if needed.
- Two midweight climbing gloves – these want to fit well and be warm, but you also need to be able to perform simple tasks such as tying and untying knots in them.
- One very warm pair – you’ll need a big pair of very warm gloves. These can be mittens or over gloves. Just make sure that they’re warm enough to get your hands from cold to toasty warm.
Thick socks – try Thorlo or Smartwool winter walking socks; wearing two thin pairs works for some people. Make sure you try out your boots and socks before turning up on a course. Cotton socks are useless in the winter environment, and having cold feet or hands is one the biggest annoyances people suffer with on courses so make sure you get the right ones.
Goggles – Ski goggles are not to be left behind. They are essential in bad weather and snowstorms so that you can see and move around easily. If you can, get a pair of goggles that have a clear lens.
Down jacket – Whilst not essential, this is a great item to just shove over the top of your shell jacket for lunch stops or when you’re feeling a bit cold. Down doesn’t like the damp conditions, so a synthetic jacket is a much better option. If you haven’t got a down jacket, a thick fleece will do the job.
Small flask – A flask is another item I wouldn’t leave the house without. Having a hot drink on the mountain in winter is a superb morale boost and allows you to stay hydrated and warm.
Camera – A good quality camera is very important to snap up those moments. The guide on your course will also carry a camera and all photos of the trip will be shared at the end free of charge.