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winter mountaineering om Ben Nevis with LDM

winter mountaineering 

Learn new skills and refine winter mountaineering techniques; getting to grips with ice axes and crampons, ropework, snow anchors and avalanche awareness.

Tackle winter ridges and gullies up to grade II.  

Our courses are based predominately in The Cairngorms for more reliable for snow and ice conditions.  We may make use of Ben Nevis and Glen Coe on your course should conditions allow and routes be suitable for your ability.





This winter mountaineering course is designed to help the summer hill walker or novice winter walker progress into steeper terrain such as open snow slopes, easy gullies, scrambling and easy winter ridges.

We hope to develop skills to allow access into the high mountains when covered in snow and ice, giving you the technical knowledge to understand how to remain safe in this dynamic environment; we will be looking at good movement skills, decision making, judgement of the terrain and any methods of safeguarding such as ropework and snow anchors.

We are hoping to help you progress onto graded mountaineering ground.  We will be looking at moving as a rope team over this terrain and hope to tackle routes such as:

Number 4 gully 

Ledge Route 

Aonach Eagach

Fiaciall Ridge 

Curved Ridge

East Ridge of Beinn a Chaorainn

The course is taught at 1:4 but the last day will be 1:2 ratios, so we can undertake a full and comprehensive winter mountaineering journey as a rope team.


Gear and Equipment

Essential winter clothing, climbing boots, crampons and axes.

Proper fitting of C2 crampons and other winter-specific gear

Route Planning and Avalanche Awareness

Identifying potential avalanche terrain and safe route selection.

Introduction to basic avalanche awareness and safety protocols.

Movement on snow

Look at using the boot as a tool, using the edges of the boot and kicking steps for security in steep, snowy ground.

Ice axe technique - for security and balance on steeper terrain and for cutting steps to aid movement up and down the slope

Ice Axe Braking/Self arrest 

Looking at techniques from self belay through to halting a slip and arresting slides and tumbles, from feet first to head first and gaining control 

Snow and Ice Climbing Techniques

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

Use of crampons for front pointing, axes for swinging; hooking and torquing.

Avalanche Awareness

To stay safe and develop understanding of a hazardous and dynamic landscape.  We will look at weather forecasting, avalanche reports and observations of the snow in the real world when out on the hill 

Winter navigation

All those summer features become covered by snow; practice on a different scale map and winterise your navigation; looking at appropriate techniques and gaining confidence to navigate in white out conditions 


Curved ridge with LDM
Ledge Route with LDM


Be able to look after yourself in steeper winter mountaineering terrain,

Understand your kit and its limitations in the winter environment, 

Be more confident in ice axe and crampon techniques,

Be a more confident navigator, 

Be in a strong position to climb grade II winter mountaineering terrain such as gullies, ridges and steep snow slopes


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.


Qualified Instructors:

Our instructors hold the WMCI qualification, the highest award for climbing and mountaineering in the UK. 

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 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

1:4 Ratio - 4 people per 1 instructor

Our instructors can teach up to 4 people on this course. 


This course is open to the public and has 4 spaces per course.

Minimum 2 people to run


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

1:2 ratio on the final day for a mountaineering journey,.



Experience of hill walking in summer conditions. 

Some basic winter walking or a winter skills is beneficial to help get the most from the programme.


You will need to be fit enough to be able to walk in the snow carrying a rucksack.  Ben Nevis walk ins are around 2 hours in duration.

Please contact us to discuss regarding any queries 


All technical equipment can be  provided & hired from LDM. 

Crampons & axes can be hired 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


Our venues are carefully selected and tailored to get the most out of the programme. 

On the day, we will meet you at Tiso, in the Explorer cafe for meet and greet.  We will then look to organise your equipment. 

The course is based in the Cairngorms but may head to Ben Nevis/Glen Coe to make use of routes/conditions

2025 dates

All winter mountaineering and climbing courses are based in Scotland for the upcoming 2025 season.

Our dates will go live from September 2024, but if you wish to book early, we can offer private and bespoke packages. 

Prices for bespoke days are listed below.

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 £250

1:2 £300



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

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

Thank you

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