20151007 File 1 FINAL STAND ALONE LA AND HA LOGO 22 MAY 2015 608x277 Highland Ascents |Winter Skills & Summits

** All our courses and activities can be bought as vouchers for your friends and family to redeem at their leisure. Click here for more info **

Highland Ascents is the sister company of established Lake District guiding company, Lakeland Ascents. Highland Ascents deliver high quality, professionally instructed courses in the Scottish highlands, based out of Fort William and Glencoe on the west coast.

Winter Skills & Summits courses

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Awesome winter vistas and learning environments

The Munros under the cover of snow are a beautiful sight, but without the winter skills and knowledge required to move around them safely, they can be lethal. Conditions underfoot can vary from hard ice to deep unstable snow and navigational features like paths, lochans and fences disappear under deep drifts. Daylight hours are short and the weather can be considerably more extreme. Add to this a very real risk of avalanche and you can see why venturing into the high mountains at this time of year demands that you know what you are doing.

Our Winter Skills courses will teach you how to deal with all these risks so that you can enjoy the winter environment and experience a landscape that will take your breath away. Under the expert guidance of our professional instructors, you will learn how to:

  • Use crampons, ice axe and good footwork to guard against slips and falls
  • Use an ice axe to stop a slide before it becomes serious
  • Move on steep ground under icy conditions, including how to kick and cut steps
  • Navigate effectively in white-out conditions when the majority of features are covered in snow
  • Assess avalanche risk and plan a safe route based on your findings
  • Deal with an emergency and learn what to do if you get benighted on the hill
  • Use all these skills to plan a safe and enjoyable journey, taking in Scotland’s highest winter summits

 

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On the summit crest of Sgurr Bhan

Options

We run two different lengths of Winter Skills courses.

2-day Introduction to Winter Skills course

A great introduction to the skills needed to look after yourself in the Scottish mountains.

This is an open course where you will join other like-minded clients, but never at a ratio  that exceeds 1 instructor to 4 clients. We can also offer you a private course if you would prefer benefits of 1:1 instruction, such as being able to learn at your own pace and having the course tailor-made to your requirements and skill level. Prices for both options are below.

A typical itinerary for our 2-day course follows:

Day 1

  • Selecting and carrying the appropriate kit for the winter mountain environment
  • Personal movement skills: how to move effectively and safely whilst wearing crampons in ascent, descent and whilst traversing a slope
  • Use of the ice axe in ascent, descent, whilst traversing a slope and to arrest a fall
  • Dealing with an emergency in winter

Day 2

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    Winter hillwalking at its best

    Overview of avalanche awareness and safe route planning

  • Safe journey planning, taking into account weather, snow conditions and avalanche risk
  • Introduction to winter navigation skills
  • Mountain journey consolidating day 1 skills and taking in a Munro summit

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5-day Winter Skills and Summits course

A comprehensive course covering all the skills you need to look after yourself in the Scottish mountains, with the opportunity to put these into practice as we journey into the high mountains, taking in the summits of several classic winter Munros.

This is an open course where you will likely be part of a larger group. We never exceed a ratio of 1 instructor to 4 clients. We can also offer you a private course if you would prefer benefits of 1:1 instruction, such as being able to learn at your own pace and having the course tailor-made to your requirements and skill level. Please get in touch for a price.

A typical itinerary for our 5-day course follows:

Day 1

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    Digging emergency shelters

    Selecting and carrying the appropriate kit for the winter mountain environment

  • Personal movement skills: how to move effectively and safely whilst wearing crampons in ascent, descent and whilst traversing a slope
  • Use of the ice axe in ascent, descent, whilst traversing a slope and to arrest a fall
  • Dealing with an emergency in winter

Day 2

  • Overview of avalanche awareness and safe route planning
  • Safe journey planning, taking into account weather, snow conditions and avalanche risk
  • Introduction to winter navigation skills
  • Mountain journey consolidating day 1 skills and taking in a Munro summit

Day 3

  • Construction and use of emergency snow shelters
  • Winter navigation practice: pacing and timing, relocation techniques, safe navigation in white-out conditions
  • Movement on steep ground (up to Scottish Grade I)

Day 4

  • Summit day. Munro day taking in a classic ridge line or gully. Guided, with all decisions and route choices discussed with the group and explained fully to help aid learning.
  • Consolidation and practice of all skills learnt, in a real situation

Day 5

  • Summit day. Client led with instructor support. Munro day led by clients using learning from the week.

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Information

Dates and prices: are shown in the table below. 

CoursePrice per person
- open course
Price per person
- private 1:1 course
Introduction to Winter Skills - 2 day course

- 19th & 20th December 2015
- 9th & 10th January 2016
- 23rd & 24th January 2016
- 6th & 7th February 2016
- 20th & 21st February 2016
- 5th & 6th March 2016
- 19th & 20th March 2015
- 2nd & 3rd April 2015
- 16th & 17th April 2015
£195£295
Winter Skills & Summits - 5 day course

- 4th to 8th January 2016
- 15th to 19th February 2016
- 14th to 18th March 2016
- 11th to 15th April 2016
£395£745

Click here to make a booking or to find out more. You can also contact us by telephone on 07702 942980.

 

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Above Kinlochleven

Ages and abilities: The winter environment can be extremely challenging, so this course is for adults only and for those who already have experience of long days hill walking in the high mountains of the UK. Fitness is important as days are long, approaches generally tough and packs heavy.

Group sizes and ratios: Our instructor to client ratio never exceeds 1:4

Kit: We will share a kit list with you when you book, but you will need warm and waterproof clothing, crampon compatible boots and crampons. You will also need a walking/alpine axe. All kit is available to hire from a partner company. We can offer advice on all kit at booking.

 

 

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