Scottish Winter Mountaineering
(£550 for 5 days)
The Scottish Winter Mountaineering course covers the same main areas as the winter skills course but in addition basic climbing rope work is taught to enable you to climb, explore and enjoy the steeper more challenging peaks, gullies and classic mountaineering routes.
Ice axe and crampons
Clothing and equipment
Navigation and route finding
Avalanche awareness and assessment
Rope-work and belaying
Grade 1-2 climbing techniques
Course costs are per person which includes instruction, ropes, and technical climbing gear and transport from Aviemore in the Cairngorms National Park.
It does not include accommodation, food or personal equipment and you will receive a kit list and a list of recommended local accommodation.
The BMC Participation Statement says that:
Is this course for me?
We aim to develop in-depth practical knowledge of all the winter skills required to tackle winter scrambling and easy Scottish winter climbing type terrain, up to Grades I-II on mountains in Britain and Europe.
For those wishing to cross and climb on glaciers in the Alps and Greater Ranges we can include crevasse rescue training in the course as appropriate.
To get the most from the Winter Mountaineering Course, previous summer hillwalking and scrambling experience is recommended and for the Introductory Winter Climbing, previous winter skills and basic rock climbing experience are essential.
To introduce you to the technical skills required to tackle winter and alpine ground up to Scottish Grade I/II on Britain’s mountains and abroad.
As these courses involves rope-work, scrambling and climbing you will be in a group of up to four participants with one highly experienced MIC Instructor or UIAGM Guide on the Winter Mountaineering course and normaly two participants on the Winter Climbing course.
Course itinerary is as follows
Days 1 and 2 are spent on basic winter skills, clothing, equipment and how to use an ice axe and crampons in ascent and descent. We’ll look at weather and avalanche awareness along with dynamic risk assessment and its implications on safe route choice. We'll cover navigation skills useful for journeying in the mountains in white-out and blizzard conditions.
We also cover emergency procedures such as snow shelters and dealing with cornices, see our winter skills info.
Typically, on days 3 and 4 we’ll look at movement over grade I/II snow and ice gullies and alpine ridge type terrain and teach you basic rope-work using the rope, slings, krabs and a harness.
We’ll teach you how to construct a bucket seat and snow anchors such as a buried ice axe, snow bollard and how to use a deadman! You’ll also be given the opportunity to practise holding leader falls in a safe venue using dynamic belaying techniques.
You’ll be shown and practise abseiling from cornices with and without a harness using snow anchors such as snow mushrooms/ bollards. We also look at selecting and using basic rock and ice anchors and also using ice screws, nuts and hexes.
We'll also look at alpine techniques used when moving together on a ridge or on broken rocky ground.
On the last day 5, depending on your experience, weather and snow conditions, you’ll be guided or given the opportunity to lead under supervision, on a classic Grade 1-2 ridge or gully route.
Winter Skills kit list here>>>