Introduction to Winter Skills
Fort William area
£355 per person
This five day winter skills course is for summer hillwalkers who want to learn how to move safely over hills in winter conditions. No prior knowledge of walking in winter is required.
Over the five days you will learn about the equipment and techniques you require to be safe in winter. You will examine some of the unique hazards that winter brings and through the course of secveral mountain journeys develop your judgement, skills and confidence as you progress.
The course can be a great primer if you are heading abroad on an expedition that goes into the snowline. Learning how to use an ice axe and crampons whilst you are struggling with altitude is not a great plan!
The extra three days of the five day course allow us to put the skills into context and practice them in different environments. It also allows us to look at some basic rope work so we know how to be safe on steeper terrain both in ascent and descent.
Mon 25 – Fri 29 Jan
Mon 15 – Fri 19 Feb Course full
Mon 22 – Fri 26 Feb
Mon 8 – Fri 12 March
Mon 15 – Fri 19 March
Bespoke Dates and Locations
If there are a group of you that want the challenge and exhilaration of winter, but there are no suitable dates available, or you would like to do something similar in a different area, please contact the office and we will arrange some dates to suit your diary.
For our Winter Skills week, we meet at 09:00 in Glencoe.
The exact course itinerary will be flexible to cope with weather conditions. During the course, you will cover the whole breadth of skills that are required for you to move safely on the hills in winter. We also undertake several mountain journeys and may get an opportunity to climb a simple gulley:
- How to choose suitable clothing and equipment;
- Use of ice axe including how to ice axe arrest;
- Use of crampons on different terrain;
- Avalanche forecasts, interpreting them on the hill and avalanche avoidance;
- Winter navigation;
- Planning a day and route choice whilst underway;
- Use of the rope to safeguard ascents and descents;
- Emergency snow shelters.
A detailed equipment list is contained in the joining instructions. Essentially, you need to be self sufficient for a day in the mountains, in winter. We can provide an ice axe, crampons, harness and helmet if needed. Boots can be hired locally if required.
All Beyond the Edge courses are non-residential to allow you to select between thermarest or 5 star hotel as you require.
There are hundreds of accommodation options in and around Fort William from luxurious Castles to campsites and everything in between.
If you want a hand booking something or want something special, contact the office and we will endeavour to assist.
You certainly don’t have to be super fit to enjoy this course, and average fitness is quite sufficient. Experience of summer hillwalking is essential.
If you want to focus more on winter climbing, then a bespoke Winter mountaineering course is for you.