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Winter Climbing Scotland

    Smaller group sizes

    Putting local communities first

    Your safety is our number one focus

    Sustainable travel

    Amazing experiences at affordable prices

    Is This Course For You?

    You’ll need a good level of fitness for this course and be used to being out in the winter mountains in poor weather. You’ll also be competent using crampons and ice axe and will have led some summer rock climbs. This course is also for you if you have previous winter climbing experience and are looking to refresh your skills and/or improve.

    The Course

    On our winter climbing course we will, as you’d expect, aim to climb some classic winter routes and in doing so we will hopefully furnish you with the skills you need to become an independent winter climber.

    During the course, as well as climbing, our focus will be on:

    • Route choice.
    • Working with the weather.
    • Safe travel in the winter mountains.
    • Minimising the risk from avalanche and other winter mountain hazards


    • Efficient movement and climbing techniques.
    • Selection and use of winter anchors.
    • Rope and stance management.

    Previous winter climbing experience is not essential as we will cover all the skills needed.

    This is a hands-on course and you can expect to get lots of winter climbing done.

    All our courses are tailor made to your needs, so it doesn’t matter if you are completely new to winter climbing or already have some knowledge, you’ll definitely learn plenty and grow in confidence and ability. Choose from a single day up to a full week depending on how much time you have available.

    All our courses are tailor made to your needs, so we don’t have a set itinerary.

    The main areas we use for our winter climbing courses are the Ben Nevis/Fort William/Glencoe areas and the Aviemore/Cairngorms area. That said, we will select venues based on the weather and climbing conditions so we may visit other areas whilst delivering our courses. If you have specific routes in mind then we can also factor those in for your course and travel further afield to work with you to help you achieve your aims.

    All our courses are tailor made to your needs, so it doesn’t matter if you are completely new to winter climbing or already have some knowledge and experience you’ll learn plenty and grow in confidence and ability.

    Choose from a single day up to a full week depending on how much time you have available.

    Prices are £250 per day for a maximum of 2 people.

    We can run this course at any time from late December through to early April depending on conditions.

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    Included in the price of this trip

    • Professional guiding and instruction with fully qualified and experienced guides
    • Maximum ratio of 1:2 to ensure safety and increase learning opportunities
    • All technical equipment including ropes

    Not included

    • Travel to or from the course venue
    • Your accommodation before, during and after the course
    • Meals and drinks before, during and after the course
    • Personal travel insurance (to cover you for cancellation, accident, health, emergency evacuation and loss, theft of or damage to baggage and personal effects etc)
    • Personal equipment (please see our clothing and equipment section)

    Essential Clothing & Equipment

    • Boots B2

      A good pair of B2 boots which provide ankle support, are insulated and crampon compatable and are well broken-in. B2 boots are the most suitable. Boots are essential - Please ask if you are unsure what boots to bring.

    • Boots B3

      B3 boots have a rigid sole and are compatible with C3 crampons - they are ideal for winter climbing. Please ask if you are unsure what boots to bring.

    • Buff

      Essential for helping to keep the sun off your neck at lower altitudes, protecting from dust and wind and as neck/face protection higher up.

    • Climbing Harness - Standard

      These are available to hire for a small fee – please enquire.

    • Compass

      A silva compass for navigating with

    • Crampons - C3

      12 point mountaineering crampons with anti-balling plates. Ideally these will have a rigid toe and heal bale as opposed to flexible bindings and will be a good fit to your expedition/B3 boots.

    • Dry Bags

      A selection of rucksack liners and dry bags as required to keep your clothing, sleeping bag and equipment dry and organised.

    • Fleece or Soft Shell Layer

      This can be a fleece jumper or fleece jacket or a soft shell jacket.

    • Gilet

      This is an optional item but a good choice as an extra layer to keep your core warm. Any gilet you choose should be low volume (not bulky) down, primaloft or fleece.

    • Gloves

      A lightweight windproof pair of gloves for wearing on a daily basis as required.

    • Hiking Socks

      We recommend a good pair of proper hiking/trekking socks. A minimum of three pairs but ideally you should have a pair for each day.

    • HMS Karabiners

      These should be locking Karabiners – you will need a minimum of 2.

    • Insulated Jacket

      Can be down or synthetic.

    • Liner Gloves

      Thin silk/wool/polypropylene liner gloves – 2 pairs.

    • Long-Sleeved Thermal Top

      Essential base layer for colder days and nights. Pack at least 2 of these.

    • Mid-Layer

      Lightweight microfleece or something similar is ideal as a mid-layer. You should bring two mid-layer tops – tops with zips allow ventilation and are often better than round neck tops.

    • Mittens

      Expedition standard modular mittens with a warm fleece lined inner and a durable windproof/waterproof outer shell. Ideally your mittens will also have wrist straps.

    • Outer Gloves

      These should fit over your liner gloves and be fleece lined with a durable windproof/waterproof outer shell. Ideally they will have wrist straps.

    • Personal First Aid Kit

      This should include suncream, lip balm, blister plasters (compeed), plasters, painkillers and any prescription medicines, insect repellant etc.

    • Sling 120cm

      1 x 120cm sling.

    • Snow Goggles

      For protecting your eyes on glaciers and/or travelling in snowy winter conditions.

    • Soft Shell Trousers

      These should be insulated/fleece lined for winter use.

    • Soft-Shell Jacket

      Make sure it is insulated and, importantly, windproof (not all soft-shell jackets are windproof).

    • Sunglasses

      For general eye protection, wearing whilst trekking or on glaciers if applicable to your trip – for wearing on glaciers sunglasses need to be Category 4 and be close fitting or have side protection.

    • Technical Climbing Axes

      A pair of climbing axes, one with a hammer and one with an adze - please ask if you aren't sure.

    • Thermal Long Johns

      1 pair, for wear at high altitude an/or whilst sleeping.

    • Warm Layer

      This can be a fleece jumper, fleece jacket or lightweight duvet/insulated jacket.

    • Water Bottle

      At higher altitudes your Camelbak may freeze and so it is a good idea to have a 1 litre Nalgene type bottle. Also great for events like the Cuillin ridge Traverse.

    • Waterproof Jacket

      Hard shell jacket ideally this will be waterproof and breathable (GoreTex or equivalent) and it will have a hood.

    • Waterproof Trousers

      Ideally they should be windproof and breathable (Gore Tex or equivalent) and with full or ¾ length side zips.

    • Woolly hat

      To keep your head warm - Ideally a hat that will cover your ears too and fit under a climbing helmet.

    Optional Clothing & Equipment

    • Belay Device

      A tube type Belay device is best - Our guide will provide this if required

    • Mobile Phone

      You may want to use you phone as a camera. On our overseas trips signal is often limited or non-existent so making calls or sending texts may not be possible - see FAQs for trip specific info.

    • Small Stainless Steel Flask

      Useful for hot drinks during the day/night

    • Walking poles

      Not essential but extremely useful when carrying a load, descending and for any river crossings.


    • Booking Confirmation

      This will be sent to you aproximately 10 days before departure

    Carbon Footprint

    We are yet to determine the average CO2 emissions per person for our Winter Climbing courses.

    What are we doing about it

    Trekking and mountaineering trips such as this are low carbon in comparison to other forms of travel and activities. That said though, we are working hard to understand exactly what the carbon emissions are for all our products. By the end of 2024 we hope to have measured everything we do and have a good understanding of all the individual carbon footprints. This will then act as a starting point for us to take action to reduce our emissions to as low as reasonably practicable and drive towards net zero.


    No, unfortunately we don’t currently provide equipment for hire but can recommend Expedition Kit Hire.

    Yes, taking photos is an absolute must! We do however advise you only to take a small camera as the extra weight of large SLR type cameras and accessories can all add up. Any extra weight will contribute to a more difficult day and possibly affect your balance on any tricky/technical sections.

    A deposit of 25% of the total cost of the trip/course is payable at the time of booking and the balance is due 8 weeks before the departure date. If the booking takes place less than 8 weeks before departure, then the full amount is due at the time of booking. If you would like to discuss payment options, then please get in touch.

    A comprehensive list of clothing and equipment required for your trip can be found by visiting the ‘Kit List” tab on the relevant experience.

    Please refer to our Booking Conditions which can be found here. Alternatively, please feel free to contact a member of the team.

    Venturing into the mountains or taking part in rock, ice or mixed climbing brings with it a certain amount of risk. To minimise these risks, we often deploy ropes to keep each other safe – you will need a harness to attach yourself safely to the rope. The mountain and crag environment is littered with loose rock so we always advise on a helmet to help protect your head from any falling objects.

    Monkey Mountaineering is a family-owned business with a wealth of mountaineering experience. We only use fully qualified professional mountaineers to provide guiding and instruction and only work at small ratios (1 to 1 or 1 to 2). We will never pair you up with someone you don’t know, and our focus is on giving you the best experience possible. If you have booked onto one of our courses, then you can rest assured that the training will be tailored around your specific needs and previous experience.

    Walking poles are not mandatory, but many people do use them to help reduce the pressure on knees or help with balance. If you regularly use walking poles then please feel free to bring them with you.

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    Bespoke experiences

    Can’t see what you are looking for? All our trips can be customised to meet your needs so, if you need bespoke dates, want to add extra days, or modify the itinerary then please just let us know – we will be happy to help.