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winter mountain skills  

lake district - 1 day

For hill walkers progressing into winter hiking; learn the basics of winter walking & navigation.  Our focus is winter preparation; ice and crampons will be used and taught only if required.

This is a mountain skills course primarily, with a focus on the skills needed to operate in adverse weather conditions, navigate effectively and be safe on the high fells in winter.  Ice axe and crampon skills will be taught if conditions are appropriate. 



This Winter Mountain Skills Course is designed to equip participants with the skills and knowledge needed to navigate and thrive in the winter season.  This means equipping you with the knowledge to be safe in rain, wind and hopefully snowy environments. It emphasises practical application, understanding mountain preparedness and dealing with emergencies on the hill. 

If we get the desired winter conditions then there will be a focus on winter equipment; its uses and practical application along side avalanche knowledge and route planning for winter environments. 


Gear and Equipment

Essential winter clothing, footwear, and equipment for cold environments.

Proper fitting of crampons, ice axes, and other winter-specific gear if appropriate to conditions

Navigation Essentials

Map reading and compass skills for effectively navigation in poor weather

Understanding snow-covered terrain and its effect on navigation (conditions depedent)

Route Planning and Avalanche Awareness

Identifying potential avalanche terrain and safe route selection.

Introduction to basic avalanche awareness and safety protocols.

Snow and Ice Techniques

Safe movement on snow-covered slopes, including ascending and descending.

Use of crampons, ice axes, and other winter-specific equipment.

(all conditions dependent)

Emergencies on the hill

Techniques for insulating and staying warm in a winter environment.

Emergency Procedures and group shelters 

How to call Mountain Rescue 



Gear, equipment and clothing 

Reading the weather 

Walking and movement skills 

Navigation skills for poor visibility 

Winter kit admind

Looking after yourself in bad weather 

Emergency procedures 

In Snowy Conditions:

Movement on snow 

Ice axe technique 


Ice Axe Braking/Self arrest 

Avalanche awareness 

Winter navigation

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Be able to look after yourself in poor weather, 

Understand your kit and its limitations in the winter environment, 

Be more confident in ice axe and crampon techniques (snow dependent),

Be a more confident navigator, 

Be in a strong position to head out whatever the weather  


You will need to wear suitable clothing for winter mountaineering, including a full set of waterproofs, warm layers, hat & gloves, ski goggles and winter mountaineering boots.

These boots should be rigid and rated to B1/B2 standard (we can advise during the booking stage).

Boots can be hired from LDM, subject to sizes and availability of our stocks.

We can provide crampons, ice axe, helmets and other technical equipment.


Expert Instructors:

Our course is led by experienced instructors with a deep understanding of the Lake District winter environment.. They are dedicated to providing high-quality instruction and ensuring each participant gains a solid foundation of skills..

Practical Application:

We believe in hands-on learning. Our course includes extensive practical exercises, allowing participants to immediately apply what they've learned in real-world situations.

Small Group Sizes:

We maintain small class sizes to ensure focussed attention and ample opportunity for questions, discussions, and where possible one-on-one guidance. 

Positive Learning Environment:

We foster a supportive and encouraging learning environment where participants can feel comfortable asking questions, making mistakes, and building confidence in their navigation abilities.

Quality Equipment for Hire:

We can provide B2 boots for a small fee, as well as ice axes, crampons and helmets.  All of these are high quality and selected from premium outdoor brands, making sure you have a safe course with the best kit. 

Course Ratios

1:6 Ratio - 6 people per 1 instructor

Our instructors can teach up to 6 people on this course. 


This course is open to the public and has 6 spaces per course.

Minimum 2 people to run


We can provide additional instructors so if courses are full then please still enquire.  

If you would like a private day or 1:1 course, please enquire.  



Experience of hill walking in summer conditions. 


You will need to be fit enough to be able to walk in the snow carrying a rucksack.

Some navigational knowledge will be beneficial but is not essential (map & compass)

Please contact us to discuss regarding any queries 


All technical equipment can be  provided & hired from LDM. 

We will share kit lists with you during the booking stage

Crampons & axes are free to use for the course  

You will need to wear suitable outdoor clothing and have appropriate mountain footwear 

(B1/B2 boots - these are rigid to take crampons)

We have a selection of boots to hire subject to sizes and availability

Boot hire is £10 per pair, per day

Click here for a video on winter kit


On the day, we will meet you on location at the Ullswater Tourist Information centre in Glenridding.  We then usually car share to the Helvellyn YHA and start the course from this location. 


The course is based in Glenridding and uses the Hevellyn area. 

Winter course conditions: It may be necessary to change the outline of the courses to offer general mountaineering/mountain skills programmes.

Winter skills poliicy


2024 dates

All winter courses are based in Scotland for the upcoming 2024 season.

Take a look at our Scottish dates; conditions much more guaranteed! 

Click Here - 2 Day Course

Click Here - 4 Day Course

Hire our Lake District Mountaineering instructors for private and tailored programmes.

Suited to your goals & ambitions to make the most of YOUR time in the mountains. 

Day rates: 

1:1 £210

1:2 £240

1:4 £280

1:6 £330



We look forward to hearing from you and working towards your mountaineering ambitions and helping to achieve your goals. 

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Phone or WhatsApp:


If calls are missed we will respond when possible, please leave a voicemail or text message where possible.

Thank you

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