Snow & Ice

We run our program of winter climbing and winter mountaineering courses from a base in Scotland just near Fort William. This allows us to take advantage of the more guaranteed conditions to be found north of the border. That said when the conditions are good in North Wales as it was in the winter of 2009-10 we are only too happy to run courses there too.

The list on the right shows the range of rock climbing courses available. If you don’t see what you are after please just ask.

Why Fort William. A base near Fort William puts Ben Nevis right on the doorstep and Glencoe and Creag Meagaidh only around half an hours drive away. Going a little further it is easily possible to explore the Bridge of Orchy Hills to the South, the Cairngorms to the East or Torridon to the NW. Having this flexibility allows us to make the best of the available conditions.

The Magic of Scotland in Winter. Exploring the mountains in winter can give some of the most memorable experiences of your life. It could be the pre-dawn starts and the ever changing weather and light. Or the wonder of a view of endless snow-clad peaks stretching to the horizon or the satisfaction of climbing a classic route such as Tower Ridge. Its not all joy and romance though there is the pain of hot-aches as cold hands start to re-warm, the fear of trying something that looks very daunting and the effort and determination needed to succeed on long arduous days out. All of this and more is what makes the winter experience so unique and memorable.

Winter Skills. The mountains in winter require a much greater range of skills than in summer. Navigation need to be more accurate as features get buried by snow. You need to know how and when to use your ice axe and crampons effectively and you need to evaluate the safety of the snowpack around you to avoid being avalanched. If you have yet to venture out in winter or you have always relied on others to make the judgements then a winter skills course will move you on the road to becoming independent in winter.

Winter Climbing. Climbing snow and ice also requires a much wider set of skills than rock climbing. Placing pegs and ice-screws. Making snow anchors. Interpreting the quality of the ice. Dealing with cornices plus all the skills of a winter mountaineer mentioned above which are necessary to even get too and off a route safely.

Guiding. If you want either a fun or a challenging day out without instruction then try private guiding. Perhaps you have a specific route you have always dreamt of climbing. We offer guided climbing not just around Fort William but throughout Scotland.

Holidays. If you fancy something a bit different or if those pictures of continental icefall climbing in the magazines have always looked appealing then try our Rjukan ice climbing holiday in Norway.


Related Photos


  • Ian, many thanks for an outstanding weekend - you judged our ability perfectly and tailored the programme accordingly. We will be talking out that final pitch for a few years to come..... ~ Chas. Guided Scrambling
  • Hi Ian ! Thanks for making a great weekend for us we had a superb time in your company, really enjoyed ourselves. thanks for making up the CD for us, that's great. Looking forward to those action shots !! Would definitely be good to catch up with you again Ian .. we'll get on the case building anchors in the lounge and hopefully be up to scratch for the next time ! Karan just called me and we discussing stiff arms and shoulders but said she's dying to get up there again :-) !! ~ Rob and Karan. Intro Rock Course