Winter Hillwalking, Mountaineering and Climbing courses in Scotland

Ask anyone who has made the transition from summer to winter walking and climbing and they are sure to enthuse about memorable winter days out in the hills. Enjoying the hills in their winter raiment requires specialist skills, and the courses we offer cover everything from the basics of walking in crampons to learning how to climb on steep ice as well as courses specially designed to prepare you for the sort of conditions you will have to ensure on our expeditions to the greater ranges. We can’t simulate altitude, but we can teach you how to cope in cold conditions! We use qualified and experienced instructors to ensure you get the most out of your course and accommodate you at the friendly Onich Hotel on the shores of beautiful Loch Linnhe. View all Scottish Winter Courses

All Scottish Winter Mountain Courses

Winter Expedition Skills

Camping based, these winter expedition-training courses are a great way to prepare for Himalayan and high altitude expeditions. Alongside ascending a number of summits the course will gives you a full range of skills training: crampons and ice axe, packing light, camping in snow, using fixed lines, snow holes and much more.

Ben Nevis in Winter

A winter ascent of Ben Nevis 1344m is a challenging undertaking not to be compared to a summer ascent. This Course is designed to give you the necessary winter skills training to allow a safe ascent of the UK’s highest mountain in winter conditions!

Winter 3 Peaks Challenge

This is an alternative guided winter version of the 3-Peaks Challenge; Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon. The challenge in winter is much tougher but escapes the summer crowds and provides some spectacular winter views. If you don’t already have ice axe and crampons skills you will need to attend a pre challenge-training day on the Friday.

Introduction to Snow and Ice Climbing

The course will cover:

  • Snow belays, rock and ice anchors
  • Multi-pitch climbing
  • Route choice and avalanche avoidance
  • Movement and technique
  • Throughout the course we will aim to ascend some of Scotland’s classic routes.

Improvers Snow and Ice Climbing

The course will cover all aspects of the Intro course plus:

  • routes graded lll-V
  • learning to lead (when conditions allow)
  • multi-pitch climbing
  • advanced techniques of ice & rock protection
  • movement and technique
  • retreating safely
  • Throughout  the course we will aim to ascend some of Scotland’s classic routes

Winter Wild Camping Journeys

A different journey on each date, this is a great way to train and prepare for a Himalayan or high altitude expedition. Less skills training and more journeying, you should be prepared to carry 20kg for up to six hours per day as we complete a wild mountain journey across the Winter Peaks.

Scottish Winter Mountaineering Course

This Course is ideal for the keen hill walker and scrambler who wants to progress and learn the essential skills of winter mountaineering.

Scottish Winter Walking Skills

An ideal course for hill walkers who want to learn the essential skills needed to enjoy winter walking.  A good level of hill walking fitness required.

Scottish Guided Winter Walking

A continuation of the Winter Walking Skills course. Aimed at those who have already gained the essential skills and simply want to enjoy walking in the winter hills under our expert guidance whilst consolidating their experience without the need to move onto steeper climbing terrain.

More information

Background information

Our Scottish Winter Courses will provide you with the skills to venture into the mountains in winter conditions with more confidence, join an expedition or a more advanced course. Course activities normally start at 9am, finishing around 5pm except on the final day when you will finish around 4pm to take account of onward travel.

Location

The Glencoe hills and Ben Nevis (Fort William) provide some of the best winter walking and climbing conditions in Britain suitable for the beginner and the expert alike. It is the perfect training ground for mountaineering in the Alps or the Greater Ranges.

Getting there

Only a short flight from London and the South of England to Glasgow International Airport, followed by a 2.5 hour drive or a connection by coach or train. You can go by train all the way via Glasgow to Fort William.

Accommodation

We use either the Loch Leven Hotel or the Onich Hotel, both conveniently situated half way between Glencoe and Ben Nevis. They provide everything you need to relax after a hard day on the hill; large en-suite rooms, comfortable bar, restaurant and high quality food. Accommodation is booked from the night of your arrival, with instruction starting the following morning. Check out is normally on the morning of your final day unless you have booked an additional night. This is booked on a twin or double room basis; however single rooms will be provided where there is not a member of the same sex to share with. Single rooms can be requested at an extra cost. Our price includes all meals (breakfast, packed lunch and a three course evening meal), starting with breakfast on your first morning, through to packed lunch on the day of your departure. Bar meals can be purchased until 8.30pm for those wishing to eat at the hotel on the day of arrival.

Equipment

On booking we will send you an equipment list which contains plenty of information on the kit required. We have an extensive range of specialised equipment for hire which is also available for purchase following your course. We will deduct the hire cost from the second hand price. A 15% discount is available off the RRP price on all equipment and clothing from the Adventure Peaks shop from the time of booking to 1 year from the date the course ends, (excludes maps, books electrical goods, courses, treks, expeditions and hire kit) Shop online

Insurance

We recommend you have travel insurance to cover cancellation/curtailment. Search and rescue cover is not required as Scotland has a dedicated voluntary Mountain Rescue Service. Insurance information can be provided on request.

Instructors

The majority of our leaders are MIC Guides many of whom are members of AMI (Association of Mountaineering Instructors). www.ami.org.uk

Scottish Winter news

Target achieved Winter 3 Peaks Challenge – 18th March 2017 - Read the report from the team's National 3 Peaks winter Challenge from 17th-19th March 2017 in aid of WWF.
Scottish Winter Mountaineering Scotland Winter Courses 2017 - Our Scottish winter courses are now in full swing and we've had some great reports from our mountaineering, and snow and ice climbing courses. Read on for the latest!
Intro-to-snow-and-ice-April11 Intro to Snow & Ice Course – April 1’6 - I met Nasser in Saturday and we decided to go to the Ice Factor and then Onich Gorge in the Afternoon. I booked the ice and we got in first and this allowed us to gain access to the best space for coaching movement skills on snow and ice. After a drive up Glen Coe to check conditions we went to the gorge and Nasser practised abseiling and made a complete on sight no falls ascent of the M1 slab.
Winter-Mountaineering08 Winter Mountaineering Course and Ben Nevis Ascent - Once we got to the base of the Nid Ridge and the slope angle increased we introduced the ice axe and explored how to use it to enhance our security on the steeper slopes. We continued up the slope experimenting with using both our boots and the axe to create suitable steps according to the angle and hardness of the snow. We also tried ascending few rocky steps to make things a bit more exciting.
ralf-pic-2 Denali Training course – Fort William and Ben Nevis area - Day one - We caught the Aonach Mor Gondola up. Then walked round to climb the central ridge of Carn Mor Dearg, a tough 600m + climb mostly on boulders with snow at the top. We then descended to meet another Adventure Peaks team just above the CIC hut to pick up a tent. Where we had a wet night camping on the snow and doing some Jumar and abseil practice.
Intro Snow and Ice Course Improvers Snow and Ice Course – March ’16 - Day 1: Ben Nevis – The Comb – Green Gully IV,3 We enjoyed clear blue skies initially which clouded in later (a great cloud inversion and clear on the summit). The snow conditions were firm after overnight with cold temperatures. Drove up to top car park for 7.30 and walked in to Coire na Ciste in very warm temperatures.
Scottish Winter-Mountaineering-Course03 Scottish Winter Mountaineering Course – March ’16 - We had a great 4 days with superb weather. Ryan was a strong client and we had some big days! We had a Winter Skills day in Glencoe which included 2 Munros.
Ben-Nevis-in-Winter06 Ben Nevis in winter course – March ’16 - A trip up Buachaille Etive Beag in Wind, rain and low cloud on the Saturday gave Alistair and Derain an appreciation of the importance on Navigation in winter, when there is no visible footpath. At the col they were instructed and practiced Ice axe arrest in the rather soft wet snow before walking along the ridge to the summit of Stob Dubh for their first sense of exposure and there first Munro!
lr2 Scottish Winter Mountaineering Course. March ’16 - Monday: usual first day roll about in the snow with some winter belays and rope work on Buchaille Etive Beag. Weather was fairly full on with new snow and 30mph winds no pictures of this day. We summited in a blizzard and beat a hasty retreat back to the van. A good shake down day.
Target achieved Winter 3 Peaks Challenge - The first leg of the the Winter 3 Peaks challenge started on a crisp, clear morning in Glen Nevis. Jerry, Lyndsey, and Ricci were raring to go so we set off intently on the long journey up Ben Nevis.

Client Feedback

Thomas Hi Adventure Peaks! Thank you for a nice weekend in Scotland. I just want you to know that I am very pleased with the Winter Mountaineering course. As far as I can tell, our instructor was very knowledgeable and he knew how to communicate his knowledge to us in the group. And last, but maybe most important, he knew how to create a good atmosphere! Not only on the mountain, but during the whole weekend. I go on any mountain with that guy! Scottish Winter Mountaineering Course Simon Firstly – thanks to you all for putting this on and making it an exceptional trip. I was very impressed by both the friendliness and professionalism of the course staff and have over the last five days learnt more about climbing and mountaineering then I’d ever expected too when deciding to book this course. Scottish Winter Mountaineering Course Bob I returned yesterday to Holland after attending the three days mountaineering course in Scotland. I enjoyed it very much, I feel like I learnt a lot and I wanted to say thank you! Dave, our instructor, did a great job. Please make sure you’ll thank him again on my behalf. Scottish Winter Mountaineering Course Ceri Our instructor was very enthusiastic, patient and showed a passion for climbing. The pace was good and there was a good variation of roots/terrain and teaching. Introduction to Snow and Ice Climbing Mark Johnny our leader took every possible opportunity to make every situation a positive learning point. His attitude and approach were excellent. Introduction to Snow and Ice Climbing