winter mountain navigation & safety

course preview : |

These winter mountain navigation courses are directed towards those who wish to be able to navigate more confidently in more challenging terrain and weather conditions all year round in the UK concentrating on accurate navigation in poor weather                                                                                                                     

Maximum Ratio | 1: 6

Number of Days’

2 Day week end and  private guiding 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.

Course Summary : |   Our two day navigation course cover all the essential skills needed to safely navigate in the British mountains in remote areas on or off footpath and allowing you to explore the hills with greater safety.

There is an emphasis on |:competancy in reading, understanding & interpretation of contour lines & map relief  using a compass with accuracy and confidence.

Dates & Prices

Course Title

winter mountain navigation & safety – Level 2

Course Overview : |

This is an ideal course for those about to take an ML, or WGL assessment and want to hone their skills. Equally, the course is well suited to those who have some basic navigation skills and wish to increase their confidence and ability. See our course itinerary & gear list

Previous Experience & Fitness : |

Those coming on this level of navigation course will already have at least a basic knowledge and competence in map & compass work as well as summer hill walking experience. A good level of personal hill fitness is assumed for fairly long days on the hill

Number of Days’ Instruction Max
Group Size
per person(Course only)
Dates Booking
2 Day weekend 1:6 £120 The dates for these courses will be online shortly  Enquire
2 Day mid week Group Booking 1:4 – 1:6 £240/1:4
One Day Private Guiding 1:6 £150/1:1  Enquire


What is included

Our winter mountain prices include: – 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 – in winter these may be needed even if you are not in an actual “winter skills” course.
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.

Programme Itinerary

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 review & consolidate:-

  • Maps, scales & symbols;
  • Grid refernces;
  • The compass & taking a bearing from the map and from the ground;
  • Safe choice of routes and planning including escape routes
  • Emergency & Accident  procedures.
  • Understanding & interpreting weather @forecasts with a daily assessment of weather & bad weather planning
  • Assessment of snow pack conditions along with avalanche awareness and prediction.

This If the conditions demand it, time will be spent on the use of ice axe and crampons – ice axe arrests – self arrests without an ice axe; emergency braking; step cutting, kicking steps;safety on steep ground in winter with the use of a hill rope

We  develop & progress

  • Competancy in reading, understanding & interpretation of contour lines & map relief. Aspect of slope.
  • Using a compass with accuracy and confidence. Dead reckoning bearings
  • Macro & Micro navigation using linear feature & smaller features on the ground
  • More advanced route planning and route cards. Naismths rule.
  • Estimating; Pacing; measuring distances on different terrain & effects of varying weather;
  • Pacing & timing.
  • Aiming off
  • Resections,
  • Relocation skills. What to do if “lost”. Transects & boxing.
  • Navigation techniques in bad weather / poor visibility / night navigation
  • Possible choice of Routes on Day 2

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 at least part of the  first day at least will normally be classroom based with some tine spent outside pactising the skills learnt  before applying these out “on the hill” on the second day.

upgrade your winter mountain navigation skills