Winter Mountaineering

There are few sights more impressive than mountain shrouded in a winter coat. Equally, there is nothing like the feeling of satisfaction after a good day in the Winter Mountains.

Here at Horizon Expeditions we are as inspired by the Winter Mountains as you are, and our experienced instructors, with their excellent local knowledge will ensure that you leave us with the skills to go and enjoy this environment independently. Whether you are a summer hill walker looking to make the transition to tackling those winter objectives, or you already have some winter experience, but want to up your game, we have a course to suit.

Introduction to Winter Mountaineering

An excellent course for those with no or little experience in the Winter Mountains. This course will cover all the skills required to go and enjoy the Winter Mountains, including Equipment, Navigation, Use of Ice Axe and Crampons, Snow Awareness, Emergency Rope work, Emergency Shelter and Route Finding.

Course info...

  • Reach the summits of many classic peaks
  • Lots of Mountaineering
  • Equipment use and selection
  • Movement in Winter Conditions
  • Winter Navigation
  • Use of Ice Axe
  • Use of Crampons
  • Snow Pack Awareness
  • Emergency Rope Work
  • Emergency Shelter
  • Emergency Procedures

Location

This course will be held in The Cairngorms

Sample Programme

Day 1

Day 1 will focus on the Movement Skills necessary for travel in the Winter Environment. The day will start with an Equipment Check and Weather Forecast / Interpretation. We will then head out to the hills to look at the Essential Movement Skills, including the Use of an Ice Axe, Cutting / Kicking Steps and Walking in Crampons.

Day 2

Day 2 will begin with an Equipment Check and Weather Forecast / Interpretation. We will then head into the hills for a full hill day, aiming to take in at least one summit. The purpose of this day is to practice and perfect the skills taught on Day 1 in a "real" situation. We will also begin to look at Snow Pack interpretation on this day.

Day 3

Day three will begin with an Equipment Check and Weather Forecast / Interpretation. We will then head to hills for a day of Winter Navigation. This day will be spent looking at how to navigate effectively in Winter Conditions on a 1:50000 map. This will include tuition on how to navigate in a white out / challenging conditions and on all the winter – specific navigation skills. We will also be looking at more Snow Pack Interpretation.

Day 4

Day four will begin with an Equipment Check and Weather Forecast / Interpretation before heading to the hills on a "Snow Day!" We will spent Day 4 looking in detail at Snow Pack Interpretation and Evaluation, along with a number of other Avalanche Awareness Skills. We will also dig some Emergency Snow Shelters, and look at their effectiveness and relevance in a variety of situations.

Day 5

Day 5 will begin with an Equipment Check and Weather Forecast / Interpretation. This day is the opportunity for the students to put everything that they have learned into practice on the hill. Planning a route the evening before, we will head into the hills for a quality Winter Mountaineering day, aiming to perfect all of the taught skills.

At the end of this course you will have a debrief with your instructor, which will include a number of detailed handouts on what we have covered during the course, and a personalized "Action Plan" to help you go away and achieve your own goals in the Winter Mountains.

Pre-requisites

  • Some Hill walking experience
  • You should have a reasonable level of fitness and be prepared for being outdoors for the majority of each day

Equipment Required

  • Mountaineering boots (stiff enough for walking crampons)
  • Gaiters
  • Thermals or suitable under clothing
  • Insulating layers – at least one mid weight and one warm fleece layer
  • Thick socks (several pairs)
  • Spare fleece/insulated jacket
  • Waterproof jacket (with a good hood)
  • Waterproof Over Trousers
  • Hat & balaclava
  • Minimun Three pairs of Warm Gloves
  • Snow goggles
  • Whistle
  • Headtorch, spare batteries & bulb
  • Compass – Silva type 4 recommended
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Thermos Flask
  • Pen – permanent fine map marker
  • Relevant Map – Check on Booking
  • Survival Bag -Plastic type
  • Rucksack (40 to 50 Litres)
  • Rucksack liner

Technical Equipment Required

If you do not own any of the technical kit below there will be an opportunity to hire kit from Aviemore. This is not included in the Course Cost.

It is very important that your equipment is up to the job! If you are unsure, or would like any advice on buying equipment please contact us.

  • Mountaineering boots (stiff enough for walking crampons)
  • Crampons (with anti-balling plates)
  • Ice Axe (50-65 cm long mountaineering axe)
  • Helmet – Horizon Expeditions can provide this

Course Availability 2013

January 7-11, 14-18, 21-25, 28-1 BOOK NOW
February 4-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-1 BOOK NOW
March 4-8, 11-15, 18-22 BOOK NOW

Winter Mountaineering

A Weekend Course designed for those who have some experience Winter Mountaineering, but would like to build upon their skills.

Course info...

Location

This course will be held in The Cairngorms

Sample Programme

The programme for this course is very much "Student Led" We will have a chat with you on booking to ascertain where your current skill level lies, so as to plan a programme that will best suit the needs of the students on the course.

At the end of this course you will have a debrief with your instructor, which will include a number of detailed handouts on what we have covered during the course, and a personalized "Action Plan" to help you go away and achieve your own goals in the Winter Mountains.

Pre-requisites

  • Some winter hill walking experience
  • You should have a reasonable level of fitness and be prepared for being outdoors for the majority of each day

Equipment Required

  • Mountaineering boots (stiff enough for walking crampons)
  • Gaiters
  • Thermals or suitable under clothing
  • Insulating layers – at least one mid weight and one warm fleece layer
  • Thick socks (several pairs)
  • Spare fleece/insulated jacket
  • Waterproof jacket (with a good hood)
  • Waterproof Over Trousers
  • Hat & balaclava
  • Minimun Three pairs of Warm Gloves
  • Snow goggles
  • Whistle
  • Headtorch, spare batteries & bulb
  • Compass – Silva type 4 recommended
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Thermos Flask
  • Pen – permanent fine map marker
  • Relevant Map – Check on Booking
  • Survival Bag -Plastic type
  • Rucksack (40 to 50 Litres)
  • Rucksack liner

Technical Equipment Required

If you do not own any of the technical kit below there will be an opportunity to hire kit from Aviemore. This is not included in the Course Cost.

It is very important that your equipment is up to the job! If you are unsure, or would like any advice on buying equipment please contact us.

  • Mountaineering boots (stiff enough for walking crampons)
  • Crampons (with anti-balling plates)
  • Ice Axe (50-65 cm long mountaineering axe)
  • Helmet – Horizon Expeditions can provide this

Course Availability 2013

January 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27 BOOK NOW
February 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24 BOOK NOW
March 2-3, 9-10, 16-17 BOOK NOW

Avalanche Awareness

A weekend course, for those who are active in the Winter Mountains and want to learn more about how to keep themselves safe.

Course info...

  • Avalanche Education 101
  • Snowpack Awareness and Interpretation
  • Digging and interpreting Snow Pits
  • Search Procedures
  • Transciever Education

Location

This course will be held in The Cairngorms

Sample Programme

Day 1

Day 1 will begin in the classroom with a lesson on avalanches, the "what's where's and why's." We will then head out to look at the Snowpack, and digging Snow Pits, and how to evaluate and interpret these and what their relevance is to your personal travel in the Winter Mountains.

Day 2

Day 2 will focus on the worst case scenario. We will look at what to do if one of your party is avalanched. This will include search procedures and tactics, and the use of Avalanche Transceivers. This course will also include a considerable amount of Weather interpretation.

At the end of this course you will have a debrief with your instructor, which will include a number of detailed handouts on what we have covered during the course, and a personalized "Action Plan" to help you go away and achieve your own goals in the Winter Mountains.

Pre-requisites

  • Some Winter Hill walking experience
  • You should have a reasonable level of fitness and be prepared for being outdoors for the majority of each day

Equipment Required

  • Mountaineering boots (stiff enough for walking crampons)
  • Gaiters
  • Thermals or suitable under clothing
  • Insulating layers – at least one mid weight and one warm fleece layer
  • Thick socks (several pairs)
  • Spare fleece/insulated jacket
  • Waterproof jacket (with a good hood)
  • Waterproof Over Trousers
  • Hat & balaclava
  • Minimun Three pairs of Warm Gloves
  • Snow goggles
  • Whistle
  • Headtorch, spare batteries & bulb
  • Compass – Silva type 4 recommended
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Thermos Flask
  • Pen – permanent fine map marker
  • Relevant Map – Check on Booking
  • Survival Bag -Plastic type
  • Rucksack (40 to 50 Litres)
  • Rucksack liner

Technical Equipment Required

If you do not own any of the technical kit below there will be an opportunity to hire kit from Aviemore. This is not included in the Course Cost.

It is very important that your equipment is up to the job! If you are unsure, or would like any advice on buying equipment please contact us.

  • Mountaineering boots (stiff enough for walking crampons)
  • Crampons (with anti-balling plates)
  • Ice Axe (50-65 cm long mountaineering axe)
  • Snow Shovel
  • Avalanche Probe
  • Helmet – Horizon Expeditions can provide this

Course Availability 2013

January 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27 BOOK NOW
February 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24 BOOK NOW
March 2-3, 9-10, 16-17 BOOK NOW

Prices

2 Day Course: £150 per person

5 Day Course: £300 per person