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Introductory winter mountaineering course in Scotland


Join this introductory mountaineering course in Scotland and develop your winter and summit skills with Ken, an MIC certified instructor.

Not specified

1+ Days

Jan, Feb, Mar




If you enjoy hillwalking in summer, but now you’d like to explore high mountains in winter, join me in this introductory mountaineering course in Scotland! Come and discover the spectacular scenery of Glencoe and Fort William in the Highlands.

I offer you here a 5-day course, but if you prefer a 2-day course it's also possible. In winter, conditions and weather change rapidly, so this mountaineering course in Scotland will help you develop your winter and summit skills to face additional challenges. Besides, this is the perfect opportunity for you to learn about the special requirements of equipment, winter clothing, crampons and ice axe skills.

We’ll place a strong emphasis on navigation and safe route choice. Thus, each day we’ll plan and assess the snow and weather conditions in order to choose appropriate routes. I also want you to understand the importance of avalanche awareness.

You should have a reasonable level of fitness to join this mountaineering course in Scotland, as we’ll climb a number of winter “Munros”. We’ll spend most days (6/8 hours) on mountains between 600 and 1200m high. Around Fort William and Glencoe, there are many Munros and Corbetts. This is a small selection of what is possible:

  • Aonach Mor and Aonach Beag

  • Stob Ban & Mullach nan Coirean in The Mamores

  • Ben Nevis

  • Stob Coire Raineach and Stob Dubh (Buachaille Etive Beag) in Glencoe

  • Creag Meagaidh

  • Stob Coire nan Lochan and Bidean nam Bian in Glencoe

The Munros of Aonach Beag and Aonach Mor can be accessed by lift, therefore you'll have more time for training winter skills. You'll have to cover by yourself the the small costs of this.

During this course you’ll put the essential skills in use in order to ascend 900 meters by a straightforward route. Besides, on the 5 day-course you’ll have the chance to use the skills just learnt. You will plan and lead your own mountain days with my company.

Note that if you choose to do the 2-day course we will combine the itinerary of days 1,2 and 3 in these two days for you to learn all the skills.

Please contact me if you want to join me for this mountaineering course  in Scotland! I’ll be happy to answer your questions. And if you're looking for an even more demanding expedition in Scotland, join me for the Cuilin ridge climbing traverse.

Price includes

- Guiding fee


Day 1: Essential skills

We’ll do equipment checks and learn essential skills: step kicking/cutting, ice axe arrest, walking on crampons and snow cave shelters.

Day 2: Ascent

We’ll ascend a 900m mountain by a straightforward route. Group survival shelters.

Day 3: Essential Skills

We’ll learn other essential skills: navigation, map and compass, pacing and timing and “white-out” techniques.

Day 4 to 5: Skills in action

We’ll use the learnt skills to plan and lead your own mountain days, accompanied by me.



More info

Price for 2-day course: £210

Level: summer walkers with a reasonable level of hill fitness.

Equipment: -Socks –a medium to thick pair of synthetic or wool/synthetic blend socks. -Thermal/Base Layers -Fleeces. At least one for your upper body. Having an extra fleece top in a waterproof liner at the bottom of your rucksack is essential. -Walking trousers -Warm Hat and Waterproof Gloves -Waterproof jacket and over trousers ( Outer shell clothing) -Rucsac. A medium volume sac (30 -45 litres) is best, with ice axe carrying loops. -Bivvy Bag. A large person sized poly or foil survival bag is the minimum requirement. -Gaiters or Stop-tous -Head Torch -First Aid kit -Compass/Map. The map should be weather-proofed in a clear plastic map case or covered with clear sticky back plastic. -Whistle/Watch -Flask –0.5-1 litre for hot drinks on the hill. -Lunch & Spare Food -Ski Goggles -Boots. They should be crampon compatible, with a stiffness rating of B1 minimum, and ideally B2. B3 boots are fine, if you find them comfortable. -Crampons. They should have 10 or 12 points and be compatible with your boots. We suggest anti-balling plates and cutting your straps not too short. -Ice Axe of 50–65cm. You can choose to have either a wrist loop or leash. We recommend going without, as they can get in the way. -Helmet

About the guide

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.




Inverness-shire, Scotland

What people are saying about West Coast Mountain Guides

Harvey Harris


February, 2023

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Angela Dawyduk


September, 2022

My guide wasn’t Ken, it was Casper Mckeever and he was great , I climbed around obstacles I never thought I could. 5 stars for him 🇨🇦

Uta Schorn-Rhodes


August, 2022

Our guide Will Manners was great. He was very patient with us and made us feel safe throughout. We would highly recommend him to anyone planning to climb the Inn Pin. It was a fabulous experience and some members of the family are already planning the 2-day traverse of the Ridge.

Andrew Lockton


June, 2022

Tower Ridge was absolutely awesome as a route. We loved it. Paying for the trip was a bit clunky. Ken was obviously extremely competent and the day went very smoothly.



April, 2022

The traveller did not leave a comment.

John Rodigan


October, 2021

Almost died, but didn’t. 5/5

Benjamin Hatfield


September, 2020

The guide I had on the day was Dave Fowler, not Ken

Kathleen Walsh


July, 2020

Fantastic climb of Tower Ridge under Ken's expert guidance. We felt safe, secure and confident every step of this breathtaking route. Ken's competence and knowledge left us in no doubt that we'd be more than happy to choose him and West Coast Mountain Guides in the future. Thank you!

Laura June


March, 2020

Will definitely use West Coast Mountain Guides again. Organising and booking was made easy with Kens help and guidance, offering us a few dates and responding quickly to emails. We had a great four days with two very accommodating and highly competent guides, Niels and Mike who made sure we got the most out of our trip for our skill level. Highly recommend.

Andy Paterson


June, 2019

Ken immediately made us feel welcomed and we had a good chat on the walk in before gearing up for the ridge ascent. Both my son and I had a fantastic experience thanks to Ken's calm, expertise in leading us over Tower Ridge and then descending via Ledge Ridge to round off a great day. Highly recommended!

Nick Battams


February, 2019

have just come back from completing an ascent of ledge route and a descent via no4 gully, guided by Ken. absolutely fantastic day and Ken was friendly, professional and very confidence inspiring. cant recommend highly enough and I'll definitely be back next season!

Phil Lloyd


October, 2018

Ken took me and my son up the north face ledge route to the top of Ben Nevis. It was a challenge in places - particularly with the snow and ice - but it was an unforgettable experience! Ken was a great guide.

Catherine Hockley


September, 2018

Ken was a fantastic guide, safe, experienced and took us on an incredible adventure!

Eva Kaeppel


September, 2018

I made a booking request for a one-on-one guided trip less than a week before the date and was lucky enough to get a guide (Phil) without problem, who did a splendid job and made this a very enjoyable, instructive and safe first scramble for me. Communication was great before the event, too. I‘d recommend this company without hesitation and hope to hike with them again in the future.

Elizabeth Luchars


August, 2018

Ken was a wonderful guide! He was thorough in assessing our experience and picked the right hike for us. He was full of knowledge and easy to talk to as well. We'd definitely recommend him and hope to hike with him again ourselves.

H Shindle


August, 2018

On short notice, while traveling through Scotland, we booked a Private Guide to Ben Nevis through Explore-Share.com.   We much enjoyed the climb to the summit with our Guide Stuart Mapp; Stuart was the consummate professional and his concern for both our safety and this experience cannot be understated.  His direct knowledge of Ben Nevis’s Route, History, Flora and Stories made this trip the highlight of our 17 days in Scotland and Ireland for us.  Our success to the summit, and back down, was directly supported by Stuart and made it very much more enjoyable .  Thank you again!

Claire Parsons


May, 2018

I usually do these things with my Husband, but we currently live in Singapore and I’m back visiting family and didn’t want to miss out. I was doubly anxious because our usual guide was unavailable, but Ken quickly put me at ease. For me that’s about feeling like I have all the information I need, being reassured that I’m making good time and having a few scheduled breaks for snacks etc. We also had a good chat, which made the walk in fly by. A very enjoyable day, I felt safe and comfortable throughout. I hope to be back in the future for more adventures.

Alberto Canete


April, 2018

It was a great experience. It fulfilled all my expectations to have a first approach to winter mountaineering. My guide was great teaching me all the basic stuff related to crampons, ice axe and winter hiking, plus he was a great coach supporting me to make it to the summit.

Noam Gati


February, 2018

Hannah the guide was very professional. She came on time, she gave us the equipment and very good and clear instructions. I'll definitely recommend this trip. Thank you very much



January, 2018

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

Michael Hellyer


March, 2017

Private Guiding on the classic Tower Ridge, Ben Nevis North Face On two previous winter trips up Ben Nevis via the CMD route, I had marvelled at the majestic North Face and dreamt of fulfilling a route on it's flanks. This season, Ken helped me fulfil this dream by guiding me on the classic Tower Ridge (IV, 3). The whole experience was absolutely fantastic and Ken made sure to attend to every detail; from communications, equipment provision, weather and condition assessment and climbing advice on route. Ken's professionalism certainly enabled me to push my limits, as I felt completely safe within his guiding ability. I was fortunate to have moderate conditions on the day, and this enabled a fairly rapid and highly enjoyable ascent of the ridge in true Scottish conditions. I will definitely be back for more winter adventures


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