winter skills – winter munros
Our winter skills courses develop summer hill walking or previous basic winter skills to stay safe in winter conditions. We will cover in detail all the essential knowledge to give a solid skills base to venture into the hills in winter. The course will focus on personal winter mountain skills, winter mountain navigation, use of winter equipment, snow profiling & avalanche awareness, weather, route planning, planning for shorter days. This is for those who wish to extend regular summer walking to four seasons in the UK, take a first mountain walking trip to the Alps or elsewhere world wide in summer conditions.
Maximum Ratio | 1: 6/4
Number of Days’
2 Day week end or 3-5 Day mid week or 1 day private guiding. The minimum course duration is 2 days. Given the progressive nature of the course we only accept bookings from the first day. We do not accept folks mid way in a course.
Our winter mountain walking programmes are designed to offer an ideal, cost effective opportunity to learn the requirements of winter mountain equipment and clothing – before investing heavily in buying specialist gear. All technical gear is supplied but – if you do not have them – ice axe, crampons will need to be hired at extra cost from us along with suitable stiff winter boots. There is an emphasis on|: developing confidence, skills and techniques to navigate and route find in poor weather or visibility with perhaps whiteout conditions on the Scottish hills and mountains : the effective use of winter equipment & clothing : winter skills using ice axe and crampons intensively – without necessarily roped climbing, using a hill rope for confidence or safety only on steep or exposed ground
Dates & Prices
Course Title – Winter Mountain Skills – Winter Munros (Intro to low grade gullies. Grade 1-11)
We will cover in detail all the essential knowledge to give a solid skills base to venture into the hills in winter. The course will focus on personal winter mountain skills, winter mountain navigation, use of winter equipment, snow profiling & avalanche awareness, weather, shorter days, route planning. See our course itinerary & gear list
Previous Experience & Fitness : |
Some previous summer hill-walking experience with familiarity of map and compass work in mountainous country. A reasonable level of personal fitness and stamina is essential. No previous knowledge of rope work is assumed but some familiarity is useful. Winter in the Scottish mountains can be particularly demanding particularly in poor weather – good fitness and personal equipment are essential
|Number of Days’ Instruction||Max
|Dates||Enquire & Book|
|2 Day weekend||1:6/4||£ 144||17 – 18 Jan 2016; 30 – 31 Jan ; 13 – 14 Feb; 27 – 28 Feb; 12 – 13 March; 9 -10 April||Enquire|
|3 Day mid week||1:6/4||£216||4 – 6 Jan 2016; 25 – 27 Jan; 1 – 3 Feb; 15 – 17 Feb; 29 Feb – 2 March; 14 – 16 March; 4 – 6 April.||Enquire|
|5 Day mid week||1:6/4||£360||4 – 8 Jan 2016; 25 – 29 Jan; 1 – 5 Feb; 15 – 19 Feb; 29 Feb – 4 March; 14 – 18 March; 4 – 8 April.||Enquire|
|4 day Pre Christmas, Christmas 2015; New Year & Easter 2016||1: 6/4||£288||Christmas & New Year 18-21 Dec 2015 ; 28 – 31 Dec 2015; 2 – 4 Jan 2016 ;||Enquire|
|One Day Private Guiding – Winter Munros||1: 4||£ 150/ 1:1 £ 240 1: 4||At Any Time subject to availability Enquire|
What is included
Our winter mountain prices include: – All technical gear is supplied but if you do not have them ice axe, crampons will need to be hired at extra cost from us along with suitable stiff winter boots.
We provide harnesses; helmet; all technical climbing gear such as karabiners; belay plates etc; all survival and safety gear; ropes. Please see our Winter Kit List.
Not included in our standard basic prices: -suitable winter boots; ice axe or crampons; map & compass; rucksack; any personal clothing – however most of these items can be provided or hired economically from us on site from our stores. Gondola uplift tickets at Nevis Range are also required for possibly the first one or two days – depending on the weather conditions.
Except for an initial briefing & essential Winter Mountain Safety talk the course will all take place out “on the hill”. Depending on the length of the course we will be working on:-
- Winter equipment and clothing – choice, selection
- Advice and evaluation of personal equipment, clothing and gear including the correct personal choice, adjustment and fitting of crampons
- Safety and nutritional techniques, which can be applied to a Scottish, winter, a first Alpine walking season or High Mountain Trekking holiday. Personal pacing. Recognition of, avoidance and basic treatment of hypothermia
- Winter mountain navigation – pacing and timing; aiming off, trans sections; boxing, doglegs; relocation techniques, lining out; searching techniques; night navigation
- Route finding and planning techniques for white out / deep snow conditions to minimise energy output, maximise daylight hours
- Applied winter survival and rescue techniques. Digging emergency snow shelters – snow holing, igloos,
- Use of ice axe and crampons – ice axe arrests; emergency braking; step cutting, kicking steps; fitting crampons; walking in crampons; using crampons for ascent / descent; moving together; glissading. Use of walking / ski poles
- Step cutting and kicking steps – up, down and across slopes as well as pigeon steps for overcoming cornices
- Self arrest without an ice axe
- Correct choice, carrying, and use of ice axes. Positioning and use of ice axe for walking up, down and across steep ground. Progressive practice of falling and arresting on short safe slopes with a secure soft landing to emergency braking on steeper slopes. Self arrest in different positions and with crampons on
- Consolidation of basic rope belay work to ensure safety on steep or exposed ground in winter with the use of a hill rope without becoming involved in technical rope work. Emergency rope work
- A daily assessment of weather and snow conditions along with avalanche awareness and prediction. Snow structure and snow profiles looking at stability, snow pits, basic shear tests, walking rutschblock tests, slope aspect
- Winter mountain weather
- Ascent of winter Munros, easy snow gullies and ridges.
Times & Meeting
We normally meet at 09.00 hrs at our meeting / lecture room at Snowgoose Mountain Centre. On weekend courses you need to be with us latest by 19.00 hrs on the Friday evening for the briefing / Winter Mountain Safety Talk / fitting of boots & crampons so that we can all maximise a full day on the hill on Saturday. We usually come off the hill by 17.00 hrs. Please plan your travel arrangements around these times.
Depending on the wishes of the group, the prevailing weather conditions & the length of the course the first day at least will normally be spent at Aonach Mor using the gondola up lift to maximise day light hours & snow conditions.
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