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Lake District Winter Skills Course

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

Experience the breathtaking beauty of the winter landscape in complete safety on our Winter Skills courses. Let us equip you with the knowledge and skills to navigate through this snowy wonderland, where each step is an adventure waiting to take your breath away.

Although the Lake District fells under the cover of snow are a beautiful sight, it is important to have the skills and knowledge to move around them safely. This is because conditions underfoot can vary from hard ice to deep unstable snow, and navigational features like paths, tarns, and fences disappear under deep drifts.

Additionally, daylight hours are short and the weather can be considerably more extreme. Add to this the risk of avalanches, and it becomes clear that venturing into the usually relatively benign Lake District fells at this time of year demands that you know what you are doing.

Our courses will teach you how to manage these risks and equip you with the following skills and more:

  • Use crampons, an ice axe, and good footwork to guard against slips and falls
  • Use an ice axe to stop a slide if the worst happens
  • Move on steep ground under icy conditions, and learn how to kick and cut steps with a boot and an axe
  • 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 winter skills courses. However, for those who want to experience full-on winter conditions in a high mountain environment, we recommend checking out the winter skills courses run by our sister company, Highland Ascents, in the Scottish Highlands.


This course will give you an excellent introduction to the winter skills you need to explore the Lake District fells. We run private courses that allow you to benefit from bespoke instruction, so you can learn at your own pace and have the course tailored to your needs and skill level. Prices are listed below.

Although a typical 2-day itinerary is provided, we can also accommodate focused single-day courses, although we may not be able to cover the same level of detail.

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Descending Swirral Edge

Day 1:

  • Choosing and carrying the appropriate equipment for the winter mountain environment
  • Personal movement skills: Effective and safe movement while wearing crampons while ascending, descending, and traversing a slope
  • Use of the ice axe during ascent, descent, traversing a slope, and to stop a fall
  • Handling winter emergencies

Day 2:

  • Overview of avalanche awareness and safe route planning
  • Safe journey planning, considering 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.


Prices & Dates: Prices are shown in the table below. We run private, bespoke courses, so please contact us and let know what dates you are interested in.

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

CoursePrice per person (2-day private course)
Introduction to Winter Skills - 2 day private course1:1 £390

Add extra group members for £50pp


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Excellent conditions on Helvellyn

Ages and Abilities: Please note that this course is only for adults with experience of long days hill walking in the high mountains of the UK. The winter environment can be extremely challenging, so fitness is important as days are long and packs are heavy.

Group Sizes and Ratios: Our instructor to client ratio never exceeds 1:6, ensuring you receive the best possible training.

Kit: We will provide you with a kit list upon booking, but you will need warm and waterproof clothing, crampon-compatible boots, and crampons. You will also need a walking/alpine axe. Crampons and ice axes are available to hire from a partner company.

Vouchers can be bought for all of our courses and experiences for your friends & family to redeem at their leisure. Buy a voucher

Want some free instruction? Head over to our new YouTube channel where we post regular videos. Click here to learn

Promo video Watch a preview of the adventure activities we run through our sister company, in 1 adrenaline-fuelled minute! Click here to watch

Association of Mountaineering Instructors