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This page is about our Lake District Winter Skills Courses. For Scottish Courses, see our sister company, Highland Ascents.

Winter Skills courses

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Great light on Striding Edge, but good footwork and crampon skills are essential

Our Winter Skills courses will teach you how to enjoy the winter environment in safety and experience a landscape that will take your breath away.

Courses are directed by a professionally qualified instructor who is responsible for running winter training for Mountain Rescue as well as Lakeland Ascents

The Lake District fells 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, tarns and fences disappear under deep drifts. Daylight hours are short and the weather can be considerably more extreme. Add to this a risk of avalanche and you can see why venturing into the usually relatively benign Lake District fells at this time of year demands that you know what you are doing.

You will learn how to manage these risks and:

  • 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

Winter conditions in the Lake District are relatively reliable for a 2-day skills course, but for those who want to guarantee full-on winter conditions in a high mountain environment, see the courses that we run in the Scottish Highlands through our sister company, Highland Ascents.

 

Information

This course is a great introduction to the skills needed to look after yourself in the winter Lake District fells.

We run two different types of course: an ‘open’ 2-day course where you will join other like-minded clients (but never at a ratio that exceeds 1 instructor to 4 clients); and also 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:

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Descending Swirral Edge

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

  • 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 classic winter summit, potentially via the alpine-esque Striding & Swirral Edges on Helvellyn

Information

Dates and prices: are shown in the table below.

If none of these dates suit you then please let us know as we can often move things around or run additional courses.

CoursePrice per person
- open course
Price per person
- private 1:1 course
Lake District Winter Skills - 2 day course

- 11th & 12th February 2017
- 18th & 19th February 2017
- 25th & 26th February 2017
- 11th & 12th March 2017
- 25th & 26th March 2017
£150£300

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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Can you navigate in these conditions?

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 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.

National 3 Peak Challenge