WINTER HILL WALKING SKILLS COURSES
WE ARE THE PREMIER PROVIDER OF WINTER SKILLS COURSES IN THE LAKE DISTRICT & SCOTLAND.
Our Winter Skills Courses usually start in January, but will all depend on when the conditions arrive!, the courses are based on a 1:4 ratio but we can arrange bespoke dates including midweek days.
The winter months bring some of the most rewarding days in the British hills and mountains but also the most challenging conditions.We aim to give you the skills to operate independently, and safely in winter. During our courses we provide a safe introduction to the techniques and equipment that you will need. As one of the country’s leading providers of winter skills training you will find our staff to be experienced, qualified and enthusiastic. The equipment we use becomes even more important in winter and we only use the best to further ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Our courses include the following main topics, but if you or your group require any specific training or guiding then please get in touch and we will organise something specifically for you.
ICE AXE AND CRAMPONS:
Safe and efficient use of your ice axe and crampons is a key skill in winter and we will spend time on easy angled slopes learning to use them effectively. This will go together with learning basic movement skills such as kicking and cutting steps in the snow. Safe use of winter equipment and the ground they open up to you will be a revelation! Throughout there will be lots of opportunity to practice and ask questions. We’ll also look at different slope angles and choice, fitting and care of your equipment
KICKING AND CUTTING STEPS:
Short sections of hard snow may be overcome by cutting or kicking steps. Cutting steps also allows rests whilst cramponing on steeper terrain. Good techniques reduce effort and increase safety.
ICE AXE BRAKING:
Most slips and falls can be avoided by learning to move safely and efficiently – however, should it happen, you need to be able to stop yourself with your axe. A minor slip can have serious consequences in winterand we will teach you to react quickly. Practice will take place on short, safe slopes where we can master the basics. An essential skill and good fun to learn!
During the course we will look at and discuss the range of winter equipment now available. This will include suitable ice axe and crampon selection, the most effective clothing systems and all of the little details that make such a difference to your comfort in winter. Some of these are included in the suggested list of equipment to bring so do read it carefully [eg. goggles!].
In winter conditions can be extremely difficult. Paths and features on the ground are frequently covered in snow and visibility can be very limited. We will look at the different techniques that are required and some of the tactics we may use to navigate more effectively. Within this we will look at basic routefinding skills to find the best line of travel avoiding specific dangers or even simply to steer clear of the deepest snow!
Every year people are hurt in the British hills in avalanches, many of them having assumed that it’s not a problem in this country. Anywhere where there is a significant build up of snow can provide a risk but with some basic knowledge you can be a lot safer. We will discuss how you can plan a route based on weather forecasts, avalanche forecasts and what you see around you. A fascinating subject after which you wont look at snow in the same way again!
We will look at all of the above on a weekend course but clearly the longer we have the more we can look at and the more detail we can go into. Weather and conditions can be fickle and we will always make the best use of what is available to us in the time we have. A reasonable level of fitness is all that is required for this course but the fitter you are the easier you will find it. Winter days are more tiring than summer ones! Please read the suggested equipment list carefully as it is compiled from experience – little details can make a big difference in the winter.
If you have any queries about this or any other course then please get in touch and we’ll be pleased to help.
COURSE PROGRAMME, DATES AND DETAILS – LAKE DISTRICT AND SCOTLAND:
Saturday : Meeting points will be arranged on booking. Introduction, short talk and equipment check.
The rest of Saturday and other course days are spent on the hill, covering the topics listed above as appropriate to the group and the conditions. Longer courses share the first two days.
JAN 2015. 17th-18th, 24th-25th
FEB 2015. 7th-8th, 21st-22nd
MAR 2015. 7th-8th, 14th-15th, 21st-22nd
Other dates, including midweek dates can be arranged for groups of 4 and above, please get in touch and we can tailor a course for you.
PRICES : £150 pp for 2 days (Non residential) Ratio 1:4
£200 pp for 2 days (Non residential) Ratio 1:2
£340 pp for 2 days (Non residential) Ratio 1:1