Rob Johnson
Mountaineering Instructor (MIC)
& International Mountain Leader
Photo: Traversing the Aonach Eagach (II), Glen Coe, Jan 2013

Scottish Winter Mountaineering Course

This winter mountaineering course is based in Scotland for people that want to learn the skills to enjoy grade I to III ground in winter.

Location: Scotland - Fort William
Price: £395 per person
Ratio: 1:4 for first day and then 1:2 for the next two days
Length: 3 days

Who is the course suitable for?
This course is for people who have some previous winter hill walking experience (see requirements below) and want to progress to climbing graded winter routes. Over the three days we will aim to progress you from being a winter walker to a winter mountaineer capable of climbing graded winter routes. You will climb routes from grade 1 to grade 3 over the three days.

What does the course cover?
-Ice axe and crampon refresher
-Ice axe arrest refresher
-Avalanche Risk assessment
-Ropework for ground upto Grade III
-Route Finding and personal travel on rocky ridges, gullies, steps, cornices and steep snow.
-Cold weather injuries and avoidance

Sample Programme

Day One: Kit check & discussion 
We will use weather and avalanche reports to understand the implications on route choice for the day. We will then head into the mountains to refresh your ice axe and crampon skills and to introduce you to grade 1 ground at a 1:4 ratio.

Days Two & Three:
We will be joined by another instructor and at a ratio of 1:2 will go and climb grade I to III winter routes. The weather will dictate route choice but we will try and cover both gullies and ridges over the 2 days and teach you the skills to protect yourself and your partner on this type of ground.

Where is the course held?
We run the course in the Highlands of Scotland from our winter base in Fort William. We are very handy for Ben Nevis, Aonach Mor and Glen Coe and will often make the most of the ski centre chairlifts on the first day to maximise the time spent on the snow.

Ben Nevis, Ledge Route - Aerial filming using a drone from Rob Johnson on Vimeo.



What about accommodation?
Accommodation is not provided as this allows us to keep the course cost low and you can then arrange accommodation to suit your budget. For a range of accommodation options visit this link.

I hold the MIC. Not sure what this means - follow this link. I run all of the winter mountaineering and climbing courses myself.

Travel to Fort William
There is a mainline rail station at Fort William and it is within walking distance of where we meet each day. You can also fly to Glasgow and there is a link here for our travel options page which gives details of airports, coach and train companies and road links.

Previous Experience & Fitness
You need previous experience of hill walking in winter conditions. This can be in the form of a winter skills course (5 days - not necessarily with us) or more than 15 days of personal experience using ice axe and crampons. You also need experience
of either some rock climbing (outdoors) or advanced scrambling. You should be happy tieing into a harness and happy with simple knots such as the clove hitch and italian hitch. Our summer advanced scrambling course is ideal preparation. These courses are strenuous and you need to be physically fit to get the most from them. A little bit of training in the form of cycling, running or swimming beforehand will pay dividends!

Meeting Place & Time
Once you book we will send you a comprehensive set of course notes and a letter of confirmation, this will include a detailed kit list and details of where and when we meet. The first day normally starts at 8:30am in For William and finishes in the same place at about 5:00pm.

When does this course run?
You can view the dates of all of our courses throughout the year on the diary page. The 2016 winter dates are now online.

Other Questions
If you have any questions that you can't find answers to on the website visit our contact page for details on how to get in touch. We look forward to meeting you!


Book this Course

If you have any questions about booking a course then please just email. Booking is a simple two stage process:

1. Choose a date.
Individuals - visit the diary page for details of open course availability

2. Book the course
Online: You can book online securely by clicking on the "buy now" button
Download a postal booking form from our booking page.

If you are booking more than 8 weeks in advance you can choose to pay a deposit of £100 to secure your booking. Click here to pay a deposit.

Course type Location Price Quantity  
3 day winter mountaineering Scotland £395 pp


Useful Links

Refresh your winter skills with Rob & Trail



Check out conditions and where I am now with my Blog


Choose an axe and crampons

Read how to choose the right boots, axe & crampons


Request a Brochure

Request a brochure


Instructors Tips

Instructors Tips

Instructors Tips

View Photos of this course




There are probably not enough superlatives to describe my time with you on our 'Winter Mountaineering Course' I brought the sun from Yorkshire and a chest infection ! Scotland provided some amazing mountains and you, Huw and Dave brought humour,skills,knowledge and masses of patience and encouragement. Even on one lung this was without doubt one of the most challenging but rewarding and enjoyable weeks of my life. Great to meet like minded people who want to learn skills from a pro like yourself. Once again thanks for your patience,encouragement and sense of humour. I am already looking forward to booking on another course ASAP.


Rick Jones
Winter Mountaineering Course March 2014

Hi Rob, thanks for the pictures and thanks for a great week. Myself & Mick had a really enjoyable and fun time. The three days we had in the mountains were more than we could of expected with great guides and great people. I would also like to thank yourself & Huw for being great company and for having patience with me & Mick. We will hopefully see you next winter in Scotland again if you & Huw would put up with us again. Many Thanks & regards, Steve - Winter Mountaineering, March 2014

Hi Rob,

I just wanted to say a big thank you for a really great few days - I've had a fantastic time and learnt a great deal, and I'm very impressed that you managed to get us out three days running despite the weather. I really appreciate all the time, effort and patience that has obviously gone into this, and you (and Huw) make great company too, which is even better! It has been a lot of fun, and I will be back... Please pass on my thanks to Huw too, and I hope you have fun tomorrow in the Vallee Vert...

I did eventually get out of Glen Coe, after 2 hrs queuing and a very snowy crawl up the hill. I got out just before the road was closed again, so I was very lucky. That does mean I'm working rather than skiing tomorrow, though...

Take care, and see you next month!


Winter Mountaineering - Feb 2014

Hi Rob, cheers again for this week. Yesterday was awesome! Struggled to walk to the bathroom this morning though! Charlie, winter mountaineering - Jan 2013

Rob, Many thanks for a fantastic course. It looks as if we had the pick of
the weather so far this year! I had a great week and am looking forward
to practising my new skills in what is left of winter. Standing on top
of Ben Nevis on a glorious winter day topped off a fantastic week and is
a happy memory that will stay with me for a very long time. I hope you have some decent winter weather for the rest of the season.Take care, Dave Winter Skills 5 day course Jan 2011

Hi Rob
Thanks very much for the week in Scotland. Getting to visit the Nevis Range, Glencoe and the Cairngorms all in a week was a real treat (and thanks especially for driving us all the way to the Cairngorms). Also the weather was never as grim as forecast for five days running, so thanks too to whoever runs the weather side on your courses. I'm looking forward to seeing the photos on your gallery. From your blog it seems you had a pretty exciting week after we left, but perhaps now you are back with the family in Wales. Thanks again for all your work on the course, I'm looking forward to Norway
Best wishes Julian Winter Skills 5 day course Feb 2011

Read more testimonials here.





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