WINTER CLIMBING

Synergy Guides pride ourselves on our enthusiasm for Scottish winter climbing. This is our bread and butter, a huge part of why we work in the mountains and the reason we count down the days to the first ice climb of each season. It isn’t just about teaching climbing, learning how to build winter belays or avalanche avoidance. It’s about surviving the elements, embracing the battle to remain warm and gaining confidence to dream big in adverse conditions. If our tagline was ever introduced for one climbing discipline, then Scottish Winter Climbing would be it.

DARE TO EXPERIENCE ADVENTURE

Intro To Winter Climbing

Ben Nevis, Stob Coire nan Lochan, Aonach Mor and Stob Ban are all excellent venues to climb Scottish ice or mixed. Each mountain is within easy reach of Fort William where we live and instruct year-round; take advantage of our local knowledge and allow us to share our extensive experience with you.

Synergy Guides have no set course agenda; we can discuss, develop and instigate the correct itinerary for you. From learning how to lead your first-grade II ridge to the correct technique to climb difficult mixed routes. If you have some previous climbing experience our intro to winter climbing is for you.

Number of People Rate Per Day
1 £220
2 £250
  • Our guide Dave was fantastic. From the minute we met he was full of energy and enthusiasm whilst at the same time making sure that we were aware of the risks of the walks and that he would be constantly assessing us and the weather.
    We did the walk & scramble which for me was a big stretch and Dave was just brilliant with his enthusiasm and constant alertness for our safety.
    Cannot recommend him highly enough if you are walking in Glencoe.

    Mark Pritchard Avatar
    Mark Pritchard
    6/01/2017
  • Me and my dad had an incredible day climbing tower ridge with Steve. Although my dad was a bit nervous at first, with Steve’s clam and clear guidance he was soon climbing with no fear at all and by the time we got to the summit we wanted to do it all over again. Thanks for an amazing day and we’ll definitely be back.

    onlyhereforthebanter Avatar
    onlyhereforthebanter
    8/20/2020
  • I had a couple of days of private guiding last week with Steve from Synergy Guides. Ice climbing conditions were not great so we had a day at Polldubh rock climbing and an indoor instruction session at the Ice Factor. At Polldubh the crags were just drying and Steve was able to choose a selection of routes to suit my level which were in condition. The highlight was Secretaries Direct, superb slab climbing. I have climbed with Steve several times before and always found him to be a safe and reliable guide who helps me get the best out of my climbing. Highly recommended.

    Neil Sandilands Avatar
    Neil Sandilands
    4/21/2019
  • WOW, what a trip!!! I've had a couple of days to reflect on what was a fantastic weekend of winter climbing with Steve. I made the journey with a good mate, both of us having similar experience and technical ability. Whilst we wanted to go climbing we had specific objectives of learning on the move and Steve didn't disappoint. I now have a bunch of new skills i can't wait to put into practice. The whole process was very professional and we had a great laugh along the way. I would have no hesitation what-so-ever in recommending Synergy Guides to climbers of any level.

    Adam Avatar
    Adam
    1/31/2020
  • Had an absolutely incredible time climbing Tower Ridge with Synergy Guides. Steve is an extremely knowledgeable guide and a truly accomplished climber. Tower Ridge itself was a stunning and fun route on the iconic Ben Nevis. Steve made it easy to achieve a real adventure in Scotland just a day after arriving from the U.S. without needing to bring any gear. I'd absolutely recommend Synergy if you're interested in getting into the mountains in Scotland and I look forward to some more climbing with Steve and Synergy in the future!

    Brandon Rose Avatar
    Brandon Rose
    9/22/2019
  • What an epic day! Casper (our guide for the day) was brilliant! Very knowledgeable and full of local mountain info. Day was able to be what we wanted it to be and more! Synergy even brought the sun out with them to make a perfect day!Easy booking and great comms!!Thanks so much guys! Definitely a returning customer!

    Larry Mann Avatar
    Larry Mann
    9/10/2020
  • We had a fantastic day out with Steve. My husband and I are both beginners and wanted a route that was challenging but enjoyable. Steve chose a fantastic route (curved ridge) which suited our ability and he taught us lots along the way.
    We 100% recommend Steve!

    Eleanor Ingman Avatar
    Eleanor Ingman
    9/10/2019
  • Just had a totally brilliant climbing weekend with Steve from Synergy Guides. Steve is really easy to get along with and his mountaineering and climbing knowledge is absolutely top level. He is patient when he is instructing and has a great ability of reading people and pushing them in a really good way. I have used Steve a number of times before and he has taken me from keen hill walker to mountaineer and climber. Highly recommended and I will be back out with Steve in the future.

    John Adams Avatar
    John Adams
    5/21/2019
  • I’ve been out with Steve Holmes quite a few times and would strongly recommend him as your guide. His sole aim is to give you a great day out. He is an excellent judge of where to go for the conditions, weather and your ability. On the hill, he is ever alert to your safety and also offers good coaching tips. He is such a good climber that I always feel he is completely on top of everything. Importantly, too, he is great company and full of enthusiasm, whatever the weather.I am now in my early seventies, and prone to angina, so the qualities above are very important to me. Steve makes sure that associate guides working for Synergy meet the same standards. Through Synergy I’ve had wonderful days on winter routes at III to V in standard.

    David Wilson Avatar
    David Wilson
    6/10/2020
  • Yesterday 6 of us tackled the Inn Pinn on Skye with Steve and Casper from Synergy guides. They were totally brilliant and kept us in good humour the whole way. Steve roped me up the Inn Pinn, I was so terrified beforehand but he was so nice and chilled out it really kept me calm(er). Really pleased to have managed it, it was a fantastic day. Steve and Casper are a great laugh too. The Skye munros are tough, we went over another after the Inn Pinn and even with the amazing weather, I was really glad we had the guides for that too as it was tough terrain and it would have been hard to find a safe path without them. I'd really recommend hiring Synergy to guide you in the Cuillins. Thanks guys!

    Katie Mullen Avatar
    Katie Mullen
    8/10/2020
  • Expedition to Nepal I thought the whole pre-expedition planning was excellent. The food was better than expected and none of us got any kind of stomach bug or illness much to the credit of the in-country staff. The whole Expedition was extremely well organised from start to finish, it went way beyond my expectations.

    Emma Law Avatar
    Emma Law
    11/10/2011
  • Had a fantastic 2 days climbing with Steve. I chose to keep my booking despite the poor weather and didn’t regret it. What I was looking for was to focus more on learning skills and techniques and Steve catered the 2 days to exactly that. Anyone who is serious about learning mountaineering/climbing I highly recommend this place!

    Damo G Avatar
    Damo G
    12/12/2019
  • If you want cracking day/days out then Steve is your man.His understanding and knowledge of the mountains is second to none and is always keen to teach many different aspects.
    The tick list is there to do but Steve will introduce you to something “off piste”
    and take you on that new journey!
    I’ll be back for more that’s for sure, testament to his great work.

    Marc Robertson Avatar
    Marc Robertson
    5/05/2020
  • Absolutely fantastic experience climbing with Synergy in Glen Coe for 3 days. Really well planned and executed by our brilliant guide who showed us all the essentials before taking us up some pretty challenging routes, which is what we asked for. Our guide was very experienced and we never felt at risk, and great company. Would highly recommend to anyone looking for a winter adventure.

    Rory Calderwood Avatar
    Rory Calderwood
    3/01/2020
  • I booked Steve to climb Ben Nevis by the Tower Ridge route & what a day!
    I have never been challenged as much as I was that day & Steve made it all possible.
    It was suppose to be a climb under summer conditions but winter was clinging on & Steve found himself instructing a novice in the use of crampons & an axe whilst also guiding me along the route.
    He did an impressive job & instilled confidence in myself which allowed me to climb rock in crampons, walk across icy ridges & even climb ice to reach the summit.
    Steve is a friendly, calm, positive & encouraging person who is very skilled in mountain arena & I cannot rate Steve enough.

    I would highly recommend him for your adventure in the mountains.

    Marie Skinner Avatar
    Marie Skinner
    5/24/2015
Enquire Today - Winter Climbing
Winter Climbing

Performance Winter Climbing

Perform at your best this winter. Learn how we train, what we eat, and how we look after our bodies in what can be a very testing environment. Performance winter climbing is not just about pulling harder and improving technique; you also need more resilient muscles, better core stability and more than anything a strong psychological approach to climbing.

Synergy Guides pride ourselves on being active and keen climbers. Your time with us will send you on a journey and encourage the progression of your climbing. Let us pass on the tips and tricks, guide you on your first grade V and help you on the way to becoming a safe and successful winter climber. Learn what to pack here!

Number of People Rate Per Day
1 £220
2 £250

Winter Climbing is often seen as a progression from summer climbing and is a great way to train for the Alps or a Himalayan Expedition. Many of our guests who have experienced Skye’s Cuillin Ridge progress to winter in search of the next level adventure.

Winter Mountaineering

Avid winter walkers who want to learn the required ropework to attempt graded winter climbing will be in the hands of one of our friendly and enthusiastic instructors. Our Scottish winter mountaineering course will ensure steady progression in learning how and when to use a rope in snow-filled gullies or rocky ridges and how to use ice axes and ice screws for both ice and mixed conditions. Each day a huge emphasis is placed on understanding avalanche avoidance and good route selection within the limitations of prevailing conditions.

Number of People Rate Per Day
1 £220
2 £250
3 £280
Winter Mountaineering.
Mountain Guides Scotland