Mountain Course & Activity Locations

Lakes Outdoor Experience cover locations across the UK, including North Wales, Scotland and The Lake District to mention but a few. We also offer guided scrambling and traverses on The Cuillin Ridge on The Isle of Skye.

Winter Skills Training Courses

Winter Skills Training Courses, Glen Coe, Western Highlands

Two Day Winter Skills Course. Cost - £180.00 per person


glen-coe-view.jpgGlen Coe, in the western Highlands of Scotland is famous for its deep and picturesque valley surrounded by soaring mountain ridges and hanging valleys. This place is steeped in climbing history and because of the hieght of the surrounding peaks holds great quantities of snow during the winter months. Access to the area is good with the main A82 road travelling through the valley on its way from Glasgow to Fort William and there are a number of accommodation options not only within the glen, but also in nearby Glencoe Village, Ballachulish and Kinlochleven.

Please note - these courses do not include accommodation. We will however, advise on accommodation options within the area once you have made your booking,

In Glen Coe, there are a number of locations that we use for teaching winter skills, these are

  • The basin of Coire Nan Lochan
  • The North eastern slopes and ridgeline of Buachaille Etive Beag, the "wee" Buachaille.
  • Stob Mhic Martuin
  • The north slopes of Meall A' Bhiuridh/Glen Coe Ski Area

glen-coe-winter-skills-group.jpgThese are the areas that we have found to work during our twenty odd years of teaching winter skills to clients here. The sort of conditions we are looking for are accumulations of  "neve" ie hard frozen snow. Neve is the type of snow we ideally want to get you working on in order to get the most out of your winter skills training course. Ice is excellent for crampon work, however fresh unconsolidated snow is of no use whatsoever for winter skills training!

Why a two day Winter Skills Course?

This course is designed to introduce summer hill walkers to the delights of winter walking. Our aim is to make you competent and confident to be able to go walking anywhere in the UK's mountains in winter conditions and have the ability to stay safe and have great days out in this stunning and exhilarating environment.

ice-axe-braking-winter-skills-courses.jpgThis course will help you develop skills essential to allow you to venture in to the mountains in winter conditions. We will give you the technical know how to know how to remain safe in this dynamic environment. The focus will be on developing good movement skills, decision making and judgement of the terrain in the winter environment. In order to cover everything we offer on this course, we need two days in which to do it.

On your 2 day winter skills course we will cover:

  • Movement on snow - look at using the boot as a tool, using the edges of the boot and kicking steps for security.

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

  • Crampons - fitting crampons correctly, walking in crampons and front pointing.  We will look to use crampons on a variety of terrain including snow, ice in ascent and descent. 

  • 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 

  • 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 

  • Snow belays to protect each other on steep ground. The buried axe belay, the bucket seat belay, the stomper belay, the New Zealand Boot/Axe Belay, the Deadman Belay, snow & ice bollards.

  • Constructing Snow Shelters/Snow Holes to survive a night out in the winter environment.

Prior to each Winter Skills Course, we meet, usually the night before the start of your course to make sure that you have everything that you need and that your crampons are correctly fitted to your boots. This is essential to make sure you are properly prepared to get the most from your Winter Skills Course.

Frequently asked questions about these Winter Skills Courses.


Where do we meet for these Winter Skills Courses?  Answer We will arrange with you, prior to the start of each day, a meeting point - these will be one of a number of car parks to be found alongside the A82 through Glen Coe.

What equipment do we need for this course?  Answer You will need to wear suitable clothing for winter mountaineering, including a full set of waterproofs, extra warm layers, a hat & gloves and ski goggles - these should all be packed into a rucksack of no less than 45 litres capacity and you must also bring a flask of hot drink and a packed lunch with you.

winter-skills-courses-lake-district-cairngorms-glen-coe-aonach-mor-winter-skills-scotland.jpgYou will also need winter mountaineering boots for this course and these boots should be rigid and rated to B2/B3 standard (we are happy to advise you on essential equipment at the booking stage) B1 summer walking boots have soles that are too flexible and will not you good grip on hard snow/Neve).

You also need a walking axe such as a DMM Cirque for example and a pair of walking crampons. We do not provide winter boots, crampons or ice axes but can advise where to hire these for your winter skills course. Please contact us to enquire

What is provided by Lakes Outdoor Experience as part of my fee for this 2 day Winter Skills Course? Answer Yes, the fee of £180.00 per person for this course includes the following:

  • The provision of helmets, harnesses, ropes, slings karabiners and snow shovels for your 2 day winter course. 
  • Professional coaching and instruction and by an experienced and qualified Mountaineering Instructor

  • Local & intimate knowledge of the area gained from many years of experience of working teaching winter skills here in Glen Coe

We look forward to working with you on one of our Glen Coe based 2 day Winter Skills Courses. Contact us here to make your booking.



More Activity Locations

More About Us

Iain GallagherLakes Outdoor Experience is run by Iain Gallagher. Iain was born and brought up in The Lake District by parents who were very keen on the outdoors.

Find Out More...