Winter Mountaineering + Ice Climbing Courses

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Instructor to client ratio 1:4 maximum.

These courses are aimed at those with some winter walking experience who would like some further training in winter mountaineering skills perhaps with a view to moving onto steeper ground.

Topics to look at include:

  • Ropework for Grade I/II Gullies, e.g. Broad Gully Stob Coire Nan Lochain, No. 3 Gully Ben Nevis, Central Gully Bidean Nam Bian
  • Ropework for Grade I/II Ridges and Buttresses, e.g. East Ridge of Beinn a Chaorainn , Ledge Route on Ben Nevis, Sron Na Lairig
  • Emergency snow shelters and snowholes
  • Ongoing training in avalanche awareness and navigation

For those looking to a good introduction to Winter Mountaineering skills we offer a 2 day course. If you would like a more in depth course it is possible to book a private instructor or to extend your 2 day course on a private basis.

These courses are aimed at moving you further down the road towards becoming independent winter mountaineers. The decision as to whether teaching takes place on graded ground or merely steep terrain will be based on the Instructorís Assessment of the Groupís experience, conditions and the number of people in the party.

Courses are subject to the needs and fitness of the clients and prevailing conditions but a sample programme might be:

Day 1: Gully day. There will be a component of refreshing basic winter skills on this day and then the attention turns to rope skills necessary to tackle simple snow gullies. Including the assessment of snow conditions, placing snow and Ice anchors, rigging belays and stance management.
Day 2: Ridge day. Rope skills for ridges and buttresses. Including running belays, rock anchors, and stance management.
Day 3: Mountain day. A further skills teaching day or guided day on a longer or harder route.
Day 4: Client led day. Clients put their new tools into practise as part of a mountain day on a mountaineering route of suitable length with the instructor in close attendance acting as advisor/giving further coaching.

What next?

Dates and Prices for Winter Mountaineering Courses.

Minimum Numbers 2 pax to make a course viable

Open Course Dates:

Our Open Courses run most weekends from January to early March. Please contact us for availability.

Open Winter Mountaineering Course Prices:

£80pp per day

Private Course Dates:

Any date, as per your needs

Winter Climbing

Instructor to Client Ratio 1:2 usual maximum (1:3 is possible but this will drastically reduce the number and difficulty of climbs open to us).

Whether you are a summer climber looking to winterise your climbing skills or a winter scrambler looking to move onto steeper ground we can help you take the next steps towards becoming a safe independent winter climber. Scottish winter climbing is an all over body activity and requires both skill and cunning to make the most of conditions. The same climb can be a totally different experience on 2 consecutive days making Scottish Winter climbing one of the most adventurous things youíll ever do.

Topics to look at include:

  • Reading the conditions and selecting a route
  • Single tool mountaineering on grade I/II ground
  • Using the axe and the Hammer on steeper climbs
  • Snow, ice and mixed climbing techniques
  • Winter anchor and runner selection
  • Winter belays and stance management
  • Introduction to moving together on grade I/II ground

For those looking to a good introduction to Winter Mountaineering skills we offer private courses of any length.

Climbs to be tackled might include: Sron Na Lairig in Glencoe (II), Curved Ridge on the Buachaille (II), the Aonach Eagach in Glencoe (II), North Buttress on the Buachaille (III), Castle Ridge (III), Number 3 Gully Buttress (III), Left Twin (III), Tower Ridge (IV,3), Ordinary Route on Stob Coire Nan Lochain (IV), Green Gully (IV) Ben Nevis, Comb Gully (IV) Ben Nevis.

Courses are subject to the needs and fitness of the clients and prevailing conditions but a sample programme might be:

Day 1: Winter skills revision and a simple Grade I/II climb. Reminder or intro to snow/winter anchors .
Day 2: A Steeper Route. Using 2 tools, looking at stance management, usually on a grade II/III climb.
Day 3: Another Climb! Either something harder (III/IV), something different (a gully if yesterday was a ridge, a mixed climb if the previous day was spent on ice) or the opportunity to lead an easier route with the instructor in close attendance.
Day 4: Yet Another Climb! Either something harder (III/IV), something different (a gully if yesterday was a ridge, a mixed climb if the previous day was spent on ice) or the opportunity to lead an easier route with the instructor in close attendance.

Dates and Prices for Winter Climbing Courses.

Private Course Dates: Any date, as per your needs.

Teaching

Instruction, Coaching and Development at Ice Factor are provided by Anderson Mountain Training Centre Ltd The Anderson Mountain Training Centre was established to honour the memory of Andrew (Andy) Anderson, former Director of Glenmore Lodge the National Outdoor Centre, mentor, friend and instrumental in establishing the National Ice Climbing Centre. Our objectives include;

  • To provide training and tuition to the public in relation to mountain sports, including mountaineering, ice climbing, rock climbing, hill walking and other affiliated mountain sports.
  • To foster and develop amongst the public, skills in relation to mountain sports
  • To promote safety and awareness of mountain environments to the public
  • To provide education to the public in relation to mountain sports

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