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Introductory winter climbing course in Scotland


Learn and develop your climbing skills in this 5-day winter climbing course in Scotland, alongside Ken, a MIC certified guide.

5 Days

Jan - Mar, Dec


Come and join me in this introductory winter climbing course in Scotland! I’ll guide you and give you instructions on using two climbing axes, moving on steep ground, placing ropework and building belays. And there’s so much more to learn and practise during this 5-day course!

We will revise the core skills that you need to face the challenges of winter climbing. And, most important, in this winter climbing course in Scotland we’ll put them in action! We’ll focus on climbing snowed up rock, some of the typical gullies of Scotland, and ice and mixed climbs. Also, you’ll learn about arranging suitable protection, route finding, variable conditions and exposure.

The course will be delivered in a progressive way according to your needs and aspirations so I’ll tailor the routes climbed to your requirements. We usually climb around Ben Nevis, Aonach Mor and Glencoe. Also, if conditions and experience are appropriate, you may even have the chance to lead your first winter pitch.

This introductory winter climbing course in Scotland is an intermediate level course, but also suitable for winter climbers looking to improve their lead climbing skills.

During these 5 days, the following skills will be covered:

  • Navigation in winter

  • Ropework

  • Planning a climbing day out

  • Gear and equipment

  • Use of crampons and two technical ice axes

  • Building winter belays

  • Movement on steep ground

  • Safe route choice and avalanche awareness

So if you want to be ready for all the challenges of winter climbing, join  this course! Get in touch with me and let's start planning! If you already have rock climbing, simple rope work and abseiling experience, you could check my Cuillin ridge climbing traverse.

Price includes

- Guiding fee


Day 1: Essential skills revision

We’ll do kit checks and essential skills revision: snow and ice axe belays. Also ‘Moving together’ roped on grade I/II ground.

Day 2: Belays

Simple gully or ridge. Basic winter belays. Introduction to rock/ice peg belays.

Day 3: Climbing techniques

Steeper ice climb (II/III), introducing two more advanced climbing tools techniques.

Day 4: Leading a route

Today you’ll lead a route, under my supervision. We’ll look at abseil techniques for safe retreat.

Day 5: Leading or seconding

You’ll choose, either further leading on a grade II or seconding a grade III+ climb.



More info

Individuals or couples are welcome. No minimum numbers. Prices include guiding and instruction and the use of a harness and helmet.


-Socks. A medium to thick pair of synthetic or wool/synthetic blend socks. -Thermal/Base Layers. A couple of thermal layers are useful, along with thermal leggings. -Fleeces. At least one fleece layer for your upper body. Having an extra fleece top or synthetic layer in a waterproof liner at the bottom of your rucksack is essential. -Walking trousers -Warm Hat & Waterproof Gloves -Waterproof jacket and over trousers ( Outer shell clothing) -The trousers should have at least a knee length zip enabling them to be fitted over boots/crampons. -Rucsac. A medium volume sac (35-50 litres) is best for winter climbing, with ice axe carrying loops. -Bivvy Bag -Gaiters or Stop-tous -Head Torch -First Aid kit -Compass/Map -Whistle/Watch Flask -Lunch & Spare Food -Boots. For climbing courses, stiff, crampon compatible boots are required. They should have a stiffness rating of B2 minimum and ideally B3. -Crampons. They should have 12 or 14 points and be compatible with your boots. -Ice Axe -For winter climbing, two technical climbing axes (40-50cm) are required. -Helmet. Please bring one along if you can. We have DMM helmets available. -Harness. Make sure it can be put on over boots and crampons. -Belay device, two HMS Carabiners and one 120cm sling. We can provide you with these if you don’t have your own.

Meeting point

About the guide

Guide profile image

West Coast Mountain Guides



Mountain Leader

We are based in the shadow of Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain and arguably the most iconic and sought-after winter climbing venue in Britain.

All our instructors and guides have extensive, relevant experience which is eagerly passed on to everyone taking part in instructional mountaineering courses, private guiding and worldwide expeditions. This background, together with a genuine passion for adventure, can only inspire and motivate our customers to achieve their own goals.



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What people are saying about this trip



Been climbing for several years but had never used climbing axes so aim of this trip was to gain experience using two tools. The routes Ken chose were a perfect selection making the climb challenging and very enjoyable. Already looking at dates when more ice is present to climb with Ken again. Ken was great company, has a great knowledge of the highland area and is clearly a very skilled climber. Explore and Share made the whole process very simple and effortless, would highly recommend. Thank you. Dave

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