toggle menu

Ice Climbing Courses

Introduction to Winter Climbing

Is It For Me? Course Prerequisites:

Here at the Ice Factor we have probably taught more people to winter climb than any other centre. This gives us an unparalleled experience of teaching people to winter climb for the first time. Based just outside Glencoe on the west coast of Scotland we are within striking distance of many classic climbs on mountains such as Ben Nevis, Creag Meagaidh, Buchaille Etive Mor and Stob Coire nan Lochan. The main focus of the two days is on introducing you to the main core winter climbing techniques whilst seconding a variety of winter climbs.

To get the most out this course you should have some experience of summer rock climbing and winter hill walking (including using an axe and crampons).

Course Aims

To develop a solid foundation in core winter climbing skills, whilst seconding a variety of winter climbs, such that you will be a competent and self reliant second. Leading may be covered if time and progress allows.

Course Content

You will usually be in a group of no more than two with one instructor. Meeting your instructor on the evening before provides an opportunity to discuss everyone’s experience and aspirations enabling the instructor to plan the programme based around these. The main topics to be covered are:

  • Recap of core winter skills, such as using ice axe and crampons, for approaching climbs
  • Basic rope work and anchor selection (snow, ice, rock and turf) and belaying both leader and second
  • Use of technical ice tools and crampons on a variety of mediums (rock, ice, snow, turf) on ground of up to grade IV.
  • Coaching to develop personal climbing technique on ice and mixed ground
  • Escaping from winter multi pitch climbs (including abseiling from a variety of anchors).
  • Use of the Ice Factor’s indoor Ice Wall (the largest in the world) in order to improve climbing technique and in case of bad weather.
  • Avalanche awareness and its implications for safe route choice.

Evening sessions may include an avalanche awareness talk and a general interest talk.

The programme is fairly flexible, taking into account individual needs and aims, weather, etc.

Course Price: £225


Ready to take your climbing skills to the next level?

Complete the enquiry form below or call us on 01855 831 100.

Can’t find a date or time to suit? 

Give our friendly team a wee call on 01855 831100 anytime between 9am-6pm as we often have additional availability on site. 

Have a great day. We look forward to hearing from you! 

The Ice Factor Team