Guided day or Instruction – What’s best for you?

Our Scheduled Courses and Trips will generally fall into one of two categories, ‘Guided’ or ‘Instructional’. Realistically there is always an element of both, but the course or trip will usually lean towards one depending what the aims associated are. With our bespoke days out under Private Guiding and Instruction we can run a day in either way or with a combination of the two depending what it is you want to achieve. Its worth having a think in advance though as to what your main aims are, we can then pick the best venue for the day.

Below is a breakdown of what the two different approaches might include, the examples relate to climbing and mountaineering courses as this is where the differences are most relevant.

Instructional Days

The main aim here will be to teach you the skills you want to learn for yourself. These days can often be more static than ‘Guided’ days  giving you lots of time to go over skills and practice with our support. We’ll often use areas with quick access for these days to maximise your time on the rock or ice allowing lots to be packed in.


‘Learn to Lead’ climbing course

Skills often covered,

  • good route selection and guidebook use
  • tying in with a rethreaded figure of eight knot
  • belaying
  • placing gear and building belays
  • lead climbing and placing gear on lead
  • rope management
  • movement coaching and technique on rock
  • improvised rescue techniques

and in winter,

  • ice axe arrest technique
  • assessment of snow slopes (avalanche awareness)
  • reading ice conditions
  • placing ice screws
  • abseil retreat off ice threads
  • movement coaching and technique on ice and mixed ground
  • navigational considerations

Guided Days

The main aim here is usually one of two things, either a specific route (such as a ‘Classic’ or ‘Hard’ Rock route, or ‘Cold Climbs’ route – these are selections of routes from around the UK presented in hard back books), or, lots of mileage!  There will nearly always be something to learn obviously and a level of instruction will always be present, but the main focus will be moving quickly and efficiently and only teaching you what is needed or you’d like to know more about whilst on the move.  Examples of the sorts of routes we often lead in a more ‘Guided’ style are below.


The ‘Inn Pinn’ on Skye

  • Gimmer Crack, Langdale, Lakes (VS)
  • Bilberry Buttress, Raven Crag, Langdale, Lakes (VS+)
  • Slipknot, White Ghyll, Langdale, Lakes (VS-)
  • Laugh Not, White Gyhll, Langdale, Lakes (HVS+)
  • Jack’s Rake, Pavey Ark, Langdale, Lakes  (Grade 2)
  • Napes Needle, Great Gable, Lake (HS)
  • Needle Ridge, Great Gable, Lakes, (VD)
  • Threading the ‘Needle’ and Sphinx Ridge, Great Gable, Lakes (Grade 2-3)
  • The Giants Crawl, Dow Crag, Lakes (D)
  • ‘C’ Ordinary Route, Dow Crag, Lakes (D)
  • Murray’s Route, Dow Crag, Lakes (S)
  • Eliminate ‘A’, Dow Crag, Lakes (VS)
  • Little Chamonix, Shepherds Crag, Lakes (VD)
  • Tophet Wall, Great Gable, Lakes (HS+)
  • Corvus, Raven Crag, Borrowdale, Lakes (D)
  • The Old Man of Hoy (HVS)
  • Curved Ridge, The Buachaille (Grade 3)
  • Ledge Route, Ben Nevis (Grade 2)
  • Tower Ridge, Ben Nevis (D)
  • The Cuillin Ridge Traverse, Skye (up to VD)
  • Pinnacle Ridge, Skye (Grade 3/D)
  • The Inaccessible Pinnacle, Skye (M)
  • The Munros of Skye
  • Cioch Direct, Skye (S)
  • Arrow Route, Skye (D)
  • Integrity, Skye (VS)
  • Commando Crack (HS)


Pinnacle Ridge, Lake District

Pinnacle Ridge, Lake District


  • Raven Crag Gully, Raven Crag Borrowdale, Lakes (IV)
  • Chock Gully, Falcon Crag, Lakes (IV)
  • Pinnacle Ridge, St. Sunday Crag, Lakes (III)
  • Viking Buttress, Helvellyn, Lakes (IV)
  • Point 5 Gully, Ben Nevis (V)
  • Tower Ridge, Ben Nevis (IV)
  • NE Buttress, Ben Nevis (IV)
  • Smiths Route, Ben Nevis (V)
  • Hadrian’s Wall, Ben Nevis (V)
  • Cutlass, Ben Nevis (VI/7)
  • Green Gully, Ben Nevis (IV)
  • Dorsal Arete, Stob Coire nan Lochan (II)
  • Ordinary Route, Stob Coire nan Lochan (IV)
  • Crest Route, Stob Coire nan Lochan (V/6)
  • Curved Ridge, The Buachaille (III)
  • Crowberry Gully, The Buachaille (IV)
  • Stirling Bridge, Aonach Mor (VI/7)
  • The Ring of Steall (I)
  • Aonach Eagach Ridge, Glencoe (III)
  • Patey’s Route, Coire an t-Sneachda (IV)
  • Fingers Ridge, Coire an t-Sneachda (IV)
  • Invernookie, Coire an t-Sneachda (IV)
  • The Seam, Coire an t-Sneachda (IV)