Winter skills course
Cost dependent on location and duration. Courses available in The Lake District or Scotland, dependent on conditions
Winter skills course
This course is designed as an introduction to moving safely in the mountains in winter. It aims to raise awareness of hazards encountered in winter conditions in the British Isles. It is suitable for beginners with no knowledge of moving in the mountains in winter, or for more experienced fell walkers who wish to extend their knowledge and skill levels.
The emphasis of the course will be to give you the skills and knowledge to make good decisions about being safe in the mountains.
Course content - the amount covered will be based on initial levels of experience.
Required equipment for venturing into the mountains in winter conditions.
Moving on steep group in winter conditions.
Techniques for the use of a walking ice axe and crampons, both ascending and descending snow slopes.
Avalanche awareness and safety assessments using mountain forecasts over time, snow pack history, gradients, altitude and aspect of slope.
Navigation in winter conditions. Micro-navigation, compass bearings, timings, pacing, using aspect of slope, use of altimeters and GPS.
Avalanche self-rescue - Use of transceivers, shovels and probes to implement the rescue of a party member in an avalanche.
Security on steep ground - use of bucket seats and ice axe belays to pass obstacles such as stable cornices or to belay party members over steeper ground.
Heading for the Alps to mountaineer or going off piste skiing?
There is an option as part of the course to go through the techniques and equipment for walking/skiing across glaciers and to practice crevasse rescue techniques.
PACKAGE 1 Typical cost £300pp based on minimum of three persons
Accommodation in B+B Friday and Saturday night. Food for the two days (Dinner Friday and Saturday night not included)
Two full day's tuition.
Crampons and ice axes if required.
Snow shovels and probes if required.
Ropes and hardware.
Maps and compasses.
Some rucksacks if required
Guides to carry group shelters, first aid kits, radios.
Helmets if required.
What's not included:
B2 winter boots.
Winter clothing - to be discussed upon booking
Transceivers (usually not required for the Lake District but does depend on conditions).
PACKAGE 2 Cost £160pp based on minimum of 3 persons
Guide only for two days.
Scottish Winter Mountaineering kit list
Kit List for Winter walking
Bring this list on your course as a daily kit check before departure.
Winter Mountaineering Boots – 4 season stiff soled leather or plastic boots that will take a crampon. B2 or B3 . Make sure you have worn them in. Wear one thin pair of liner socks and one slightly thicker pair.
Gaiters – Ideally breathable. Traditional or ‘Yeti’ style.
Rucksack – Around 50L, with a waterproof liner. You should be able to get all the kit listed here inside….plus a large rope that we may give you on the day to carry! Avoid having things strapped to the outside (apart from axes).
Crampons and bag – 12 point mountaineering crampons with anti-balling plates, essential. Clip-on crampons are much easier to get on and off in cold, windy conditions!
Ice Axes – For general mountaineering a single axe of 55-65cm is fine.
Harness – Not required for short introductory mountaineering courses.
Hardware - Ideally also bring a belay plate, 8ft sling, 2 prussiks and 3 screwgate karabiners (one HMS).
Helmet – Easily adjustable and big enough to go over a thick hat / balaclava.
Waterpoof Jacket – Good quality breathable model with a large hood that will go comfortably over your helmet (try it on in the shop with a balaclava and helmet on). Soft shell material is a big gamble in The Highlands – it’s often far to wet!
Waterproof Trousers or Sallopettes – Make sure they have a full length or ¾ zip so you can get them on over your boots.
Gloves – Ideally several thin liner pairs, a pair of thicker gloves and a pair of mitts.
Hat / Balaclava – Take both. Neck gaiters / ‘buffs’ can be useful.
Head Torch – With spare batteries.
Water Bottle – 1L Capacity or, heavier, a flask. Carbohydrate and isotonic drinks are well worth experimenting with.
Hill Food – Cereal bars, Honey Sandwiches, Power bars, Fruit Cake, Chocolate etc. Not fruit!
Clothing – Thermal top and 2 fleece layers. A warm duvet jacket is also essential and, in the Highlands, synthetic insulation is the way to go – preferably with a large, insulated hood. Fleece, power stretch or similarly warm trousers or sallopettes.
Personal First Aid Kit – Plasters and blister kit. Personal medication. Sun cream and lip stick for courses later in the winter.
Personal Emergency Bivi-Bag – Blizzard Bag recommended, classic orange plastic style better than nothing.
Map and Compass – Essential for those wanting to improve their own navigation and always useful to have a spare map and compass in the party. Ortileeb or robust plastic bag recommended as a map case.
Goggles – Cheap goggles are a false economy. Sunglasses for the optimistic!
Mobile Phone – Always worth taking your mobile on the hill. Small Ortileeb waterproof bag recommended.
Your Guide – will carry a group shelter, basic first-aid kit, climbing protection, navigation equipment and provide the ropes
What we will provide
Mountain Events Ltd. will provide trained, experienced instructors and leaders in a ratio appropriate to the group. We will provide any specialist equipment necessary for the activity. Drinks and food will be provided where specified. Details of all necessary clothing, footwear and equipment will be provided.
What you need
Your party needs to get to the agreed meeting point. All members of your group need to bring appropriate clothing, footwear, a change of clothing and a backpack to carry them in.
Confirmation of Booking and Payment
You confirm you’re booking by sending us a completed Booking Form and your deposit of 50% with the balance made 4 weeks prior to the event. If you are booking an event with less than 4 weeks’ notice then full payment is required. No contract is made until we acknowledge receipt of the Booking Form and payment.
If we cancel your activities through no fault of yours we will make a full refund or organise an alternative date.
Should you, or any of your group, be forced to cancel your booking, you must do so in writing. A cancellation will take effect from the date that written notice is received by us. Cancellation more than 28 days before the activity may result in a 20% administration fee being retained. We reserve the right to make no refund for a cancellation made within 28 days of the activity. If the reason for cancellation is covered under the terms of any holiday insurance policy you may be able to reclaim these charges from your insurer.
Conduct of Clients
Outdoor activities can be hazardous and it is important that all participants abide by any safety requirements that Mountain Events Ltd, or its representatives may consider advisable. Mountain Events Ltd. reserve the right to change, limit or cancel activities due to weather or to clients’ ability, equipment, behaviour or physical condition. In these circumstances we will try to offer an alternative but no refund can be given.
Your acknowledgement of risk: All our activities take place in "the wild environment" and there are always risks in these places. These may be from rough terrain, weather, water, equipment, other people, or wildlife. You must accept that your actions will contribute to the level of your safety and that of our group.
Mountain Events Ltd. carry full public liability insurance, but we recommend you take out appropriate personal accident and cancellation insurance for your activity/course. If you already have insurance, please check it covers you for the activities you will be undertaking with Mountain Events Ltd.
Health, Fitness and Medical
You must have a level of fitness appropriate to the course or activity, which you are booking. You must inform us at the time of booking, or as soon as the case arises of any medical or non-medical conditions that might affect you or any other participant's safety and enjoyment. If you do not declare medical conditions on the booking form relevant to the course or activity being undertaken, we reserve the right to refuse your participation in the activity. All medical details will be treated in confidence.
All courses and activities take place in the mountain environment where the effect of the weather can be particularly severe, even during the summer. The weather can limit what we are able to do, and client safety is our first consideration. There may be occasions where we are unable to complete a planned course or activity due to the prevailing weather. In these circumstances we will try to offer an alternative but no refund can be given.
Children (persons under 18) may only take part in activities with Mountain Events Ltd, when accompanied by their parents or legal guardian. These booking conditions are a contract between you and Mountain Events Ltd. They shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English law, being subject to the jurisdiction of the Courts of England and Wales. No variation shall be of any effect unless in writing and by the authority of Mountain Events Ltd.
Mountains Events Ltd terms are 28 days from the date of invoice. Overdue accounts will then be charged 5% per week on all money owed.