Sunday 11 January 2015

West Coast Scottish Winter Climbing Courses. Monday 9th - Friday 15th. 2015

The Winter climbing season has already begun in the UK with a number of ascents of classic Winter climbing routes already having taken place in Scotland. True - at the present moment, its a little unsettled & mild, but climbing conditions are bound to improve again soon!

At Kendal Mountaineering Services, we offer a number of options to those wishing to take up Winter Climbing. Ideally, you should have experience of scrambling or climbing outdoors on dry Summer rock if you wish to learn the skills of Winter Climbing; and will also have undertaken a Winter Skills Training Course to prepare you for walking in the Winter mountain environment.

However, if you already have sufficient experience of winter walking, crampon & ice axe techniques; and wish to be guided up a Winter climb then we can organise this for you.

To this end, we intend to be in the Glen Coe/Fort William Area during most of February. We are specifically offering you the opportunity to learn the techniques of Winter Climbing or be guided on one of the areas winter routes at anything up to grade IV in standard depending on your ability. This will be during the week of February 9th to the 15th.

Wherever there are mountains - there are Winter Climbing routes. Some areas are more popular than others and aspiring Winter climbers will have heard of areas such as Glen Coe where photo one with Benn was taken on Dorsal Arete (grade II) and the Northern Corries of The Cairngorms where this photo was taken of Mark on Invernookie (grade III'4)

Other areas also include Ben Nevis and Aonach Mor near to Fort William and Creag Meagaidh midway between Fort William and Aviemore. These are all great areas for learning how to climb Winter routes and all have classic climbs that we are happy to guide on if you would just like to be led up something!

All of these areas are readily accessible and can be reached from England border in four hours to Fort William and five hours to Aviemore. Both are good places to base yourself when attending one of our Scottish Winter courses - each with a wide variety of accommodation types, restaurants and supermarkets.

And once there - you are ready to start your Winter Climbing Skills Training Course or Guided Winter Climbing day with one of our instructors. You will be met, the evening beforehand your course if necessary, to go through your equipment, make your that you have everything necessary and check crampon fitting etc.

Your instructor will provide a copy of the climbing forecastand the local avalanche report the details of which they will discuss with you. In conjunction with these, and an appraisal of your ability and aspirations for your course, your instructor will choose an appropriate route that fits all requirements.

Winter Climbing Skills Training Courses and Guided Winter Climbing days are long demanding days - so expect to get up early and experience walk ins which may be 2 hours as a minimum. Ideally, you should have a good level of hill fitness if you want to get the most out of these courses.

The type of ground you will find yourself on will be dictated by the type of course you are attending. If you are attending a Guided Winter Climbing Day such as the pair in photo three then the ground may be grade 1 through to Grade IV. In this instance, the pair were on Green Gully, Ben Nevis - a classic Winter ice climb graded at IV'3.

On our Winter Climbing Skills Training Courses you are likely to be working on ground up to, but no more than grade III in standard where you will be coached by a Mountaineering Instructor who may well be moving alongside you  - coaching you as you climb.

The three seen in photo four enjoyed a progressive Winter Climbing Skills Training Course with us - in this photo they were climbing on Dorsal Arete (grade II), Coire An Lochan, Glen Coe; and they accomplished the route well. For their second day, due to the increased avalanche forecast, Iain coached them on nearby Sron Na Lairig before guiding them through the cornice at the top of the route. Again, they climbed this route well and took away a lot of new skills with which to use in the Winter mountain environment.

Maria, seen leading in photo five, attended one of our week long courses in 2010. Maria  had attended our Scottish Winter Skills Course followed by our Cairngorms based Navigation & Snowholing 2 day course before trying her hand at Winter climbing during one of our Winter Climbing Skills Training days.

It was a perfect progression for Maria who took very well to Winter Climbing. For Chris, the progression on to snowed & iced up rock was possibly a little easier as he had previously attended one of our Lake District based Scrambling Skills Training Course, a Cuillin Ridge Traverse Trip and a Winter Skills training course with us prior to joining Maria on this route - Twin Ribs in Coire an t Sneachda in The Cairngorms.

All of our courses are intended to be progressive. They are designed to improve your understanding of winter climbing techniques and improve your confidence to go on to try bigger & better winter climbing routes for yourselves!
Our final photo in this post sees Benn - on the last day of his 12 day progressive Winter Climbing course booked with Iain in 2012. Rather than explain it, you can read all about Benn's course here - if you wonder what a client is doing out in front, well, sometimes this is appropriate!

Our team of Mountaineering Instructors have a considerable amount of experience climbing in Winter in both The Lake District and Scotland and they will enjoy organising an appropriate package for you in either area. Whether it be learning Winter Climbing Skills or guiding you on that classic Winter route all of our staff are passionate individuals who will be intent on providing you with the best possible experience whilst keeping you safe.

We believe we provide excellent value for money with all of our Winter Climbing Courses and these cost £150 per day for two persons or £180 per day for threeWe will be based in the Glen Coe/Fort William area during the week of February 9th - 15th to provide your Winter Climbing Course. You can book as many or as few days as you like, you can also attend on your own as we already have other people booked in to these courses who will be looking for climbing partners! Meet them here on the Facebook Event Page!

Contact us via the website for more details about these courses or contact Iain on 07761 483364. If you are looking for something at short notice there is likely to be availability at short notice and in that instance - please ring Iain. We look forward to working with you.

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