WINTER SKILLS COURSES
One Day I Two Day I Four Day I Summit Experiences I Navigation I Technical Kit Hire
Without a doubt winter is one of the best times of the year to get out and into the hills. On the good days you can get rewarded with the best views you'll ever see, all whilst listening to the crunching of firm snow beneath your crampons. On the bad days when the wind is whipping up snow and you can't see much your skills are put to the test, which brings its own level of satisfaction. Either way that first beer or warm cup of tea once you're off the hill tastes awesome.
In order to have safe days under winter conditions it is vital all your hillwalking skills are up to scratch and it is likely you will pull on a lot of experience from your summer walking adventures too, such as what to wear, where best to stop, what to eat etc. By joining us on a winter skills course we will endeavour to lay strong foundations to enable you to have some brilliant winter experiences of your own. Maybe you just want to go for a nice walk and not have to worry about navigating or planning the route? We can do that too with a day of winter guiding.
On this page you will find a breakdown of the courses we offer, as well as the dates of scheduled courses and prices for bespoke courses. We operate our courses in the Lake District and can do so in Scotland too. All our leaders are a minimum of Winter Mountain Leader qualified which means you're in safe hands.
Bespoke Winter Skills and Walking Options - Book a date to suit you
Scheduled Winter Skills Courses for Winter 2022 / 2023
WINTER SKILLS COURSES
ONE DAY COURSE
Do you find yourself looking up at the snow covered peaks wondering whether you'd enjoy being up there? Wonder whether you'd be capable, or what it'd take to be up there safely? Our one day winter skills courses are an ideal taster of winter walking and will give you a perfect glimpse into what winter mountaineering is all about. These one day courses are also suited well to those looking to refresh their skills. The course would last in the region of 6-7 hours and we'd look to cover:
Winter Kit - What you need and why you need it.
Using Ice Axe and Crampons
An Introduction into Avalanche Awareness.
TWO DAY COURSE
Two days of training and instruction provides the opportunity for you to really get to grips with the skills. As there is so much to take in this is our most recommended course. We would cover the items listed in the above course in more depth, as well as have the opportunity to look at:
Planning a winter walk
Emergency Bivouac procedures
By the end of the two day course you should have the confidence to be planning your very own safe winter walking adventures. These courses can be run in the Lake District and Scotland (Cairngorms & Western Highlands).
FOUR DAY COURSE
If you're wanting to get your winter skills totally dialled and have some great adventures at the same time, then our Scottish based four day winter skills course is ideal. Four days provides the opportunity for you to get the required instruction and then have plenty of time to consolidate. By the end of the course you will take the reigns and plan your very own winter walk, but you'll have the instructor by your side to ensure all goes well.
The four day course covers all the items listed on the above two courses. Expect to spend 6-7 hours a day on the hill, so a reasonable level of fitness is required as this course will be tiring.
The course is based in Scotland as not only are conditions more reliable but Scottish winter really is the best test of your skills, as well as physcial and mental strength.
Please note our scheduled Mountain and Winter skills courses will run as planned irrespective of ground conditions, however our bespoke courses have more flexibility to your personal goals should there be limited snow cover. This includes rescheduling the course to suit.
NAVIGATION & WINTER GUIDING
WINTER SPECIFIC NAVIGATION TRAINING
Ever heard the phrase 'it's like trying to navigate around inside a ping-pong ball'? - Anyone who has been caught in a whiteout whilst out winter walking will know exactly what this refers to!
Whilst out in summer, any navigational error may lead to a tricky descent or an extra few miles, but a poor decision in winter can quickly escalate into a serious situation. If you have a good understanding of navigation using a map and compass and venture out into the hills in winter, but want to gain a greater understanding of navigating when it all gets tricky then this is the course for you. This course aims to cover Navigational Tactics, improvement on Pacing and Timing, Accurate execution of compass bearings and Relocation Tactics.
This course is both physically and mentally demanding, so only those with a basic concept of navigation already and reasonable hill fitness should attend. Should winter conditions not be available for our chosen date we can seek alternative options such as night navigation.
WINTER SUMMIT EXPERIENCES
If you enjoy getting a good walk during the summer, and feel a winter summit or two would make all your Facebook friends jelous then why not let Lakeland Mountain Guides lead the way? From tackling popular peaks such as Scafell Pike or Helvellyn, to some of the UK's highest such as Ben Nevis or Cairngorm.
Along the way your fully qualified winter mountain leader will teach you some winter skills such as how to best use a walking axe and crampons, as well as provide an insight into the local area. Ideally all participants will be competent summer hillwalkers looking to venture into the world of winter walking, or those with winter walking experience looking for guided days. The physical demands of winter walking are far higher than that of summer walking which is why we cannot serve big winter hill days to novices. In any case, please contact us with your requirements, no matter how big or small and we can start creating your epic winter adventure.
Winter walking days start at £160 for the day and each leader will take no more than 6 people at a time.
TECHNICAL KIT HIRE
Heading out into the mountains under nice summer conditions can actually demand very little expense on equipment. The more walking you do, and the less selective you are with when you head out the greater your appreciation is for what kit you should be wearing or packing when heading into the mountains. When winter comes round the consequences of not having the right kit can be high, and in the most drastic circumstances, fatal. Technical winter kit such as winter boots, crampons and a walking axe are all essential bits of equipment that should be carried whenever you enter the snowline but there is of course an expense of a few hundred pounds required to obtain the kit to even get you to the start line. We don't want the lack of technical winter kit to be the reason why someone can't have a winter mountain experience or attend a skills course with us and so for any of the above you are able to hire it direct from us. We have a fairly decent pool of winter boots but we cannot guarantee we will have your size. We will bring a couple of options along to your course / day with us to help ensure you get as good a fit as possible.
We will from time to time hire equipment to individuals who are not joining us on a course. If you are in need of winter boots, crampons or an ice axe for your own adventure please contact us.
The prices below are per day and the items can simply be added to the basket and checked out.