Winter Navigation

Winter NavigationThis instructional course is for people who want to spend time focusing on their winter specific navigation skills.  Its aimed at people with some navigation experience who want to apply their skills to the added challenges of the mountains in winter conditions.  The days out will take you into the mountains away from the usual obvious features where the focus will be on using subtle features to work off as many of the usual features will be snowed over, paths and river beds for example.

Some of the skills we often cover on this course in winter conditions are;

  • map selection
  • route choice and winter specific strategy
  • winter specific hazards and avoidance, frozen rivers, cornices etc.
  • compass use
  • taking bearings
  • pacing distance
  • timing distance
  • contour interpretation
  • judgment when route finding
  • weather effects and forecasts
  • relocating when disorientated
  • tracking another leader
  • micro navigation
  • avalanche awareness and safe route choice

We tend to run the majority of our winter navigation courses in Scotland, the Aviemore area being very reliable with perfect terrain.  We can also run winter navigation courses in other locations on request and based on winter conditions, please Contact Us to discuss.  The Lake District is also very good for this type of course when the snow cover is adequate and can be easily accessed from the south even for a weekend.  See our Blog for updates on winter conditions.

Additional skills possible;

  • night navigation.  Winter navigation by head torch.  This can be an additional 2-3 hours out on the mountain at a small extra cost (£20 per person).  Alternatively it can be incorporated with a night in a snow-hole which we can construct.  This gives a unique experience at an additional cost (£60 per person) and night navigation can be included within that price.
  • basic emergency winter rope-work
  • emergency skills, evacuation and emergency snow shelters
  • advanced avalanche awareness

Note – by including extra winter skills, other than night navigation, you will reduce the time spent on navigation and so 2 days at least might be worth considering.  Or alternatively you could consider our Winter Walking Skills course which is more focused on crampon and axe use but can include some navigation if requested.

All technical equipment can be supplied at no extra charge.

1:1 – £160
1:2 – £180
1:3 – £200
1:4 – £220

Note – We run Winter Navigation courses at a 1:4 instructor client ratio max.  We can supply additional instructors for larger groups wanting winter navigation or you can look at Group Programmes for group activities which can include guided winter walks for groups.

Mark Rock Climbing Course

‘Having spend three days in the mountains with Paddy I’ve got to say he’s the best guide I’ve ever worked with. Everything was pitched perfectly for my individual level - the choice of climbs, the balance between learning and mileage on the crag, all suited my level of experience. In three days I went from never having climbed trad to leading VD, seconding HVS+ and ticking off a classic mountain route, all thanks to Paddy’s professionalism and enthusiasm. Can’t wait to get out there again!’