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 experience winter climbing in Scotland. 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
  • I’ve been waiting to go winter climbing on the Ben for three years. I live in Brighton and have a family so my trips north tend to be planned weeks in advance - irrespective of the weather.

    I was lucky to get a recommendation from another mountain guide to contact Steve. A gent, a scholar, a great climber and fantastic company.

    While I know I can climb ... on warm, south facing, picturesque Italian multi pitch routes I had never climbed in Scotland on a proper winters day.

    No messing, went for Gully Number 3 Buttress Direct III 4. Steve gave me the confidence - I knew I could do it.

    Six pitches and and piece of p***. The climbing didn’t scare me and nor did the exposure - in fact I loved it - the weather did. As I belayed Steve on the last pitch it started to hail/ spindrift. On my own, Steve 25m above me, out of sight and no verbal contact. My axes, rope and legs up to my thighs covered in deep fresh snow. Did I say I had to climb without my glasses; funnily enough I had perfect vision that day. Felt the 5 nudges in the rope, set off and stormed the last pitch.

    Can’t recommend Synergy and Steve enough. My best climbing day so far in 35 years. Looking forward to doing it all again; fingers crossed Green Gully next.

    Cheers fella!!!

    Chris Godfrey Avatar
    Chris Godfrey
    2/05/2020
  • 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
  • Steve was recommended to me by a fellow hillwalker who knew I was looking to finish the last of my scary Munros on Skye.
    Although it was short notice Steve was able to fit me in and I'm so glad that he did.
    I met him at the Slig and was greeted with a huge beaming smile and a warm handshake. On the journey to the start, Steve reassured me that the route that we would take would be the most straightforward and safest and hopefully the most enjoyable for me.
    On the ascent to the ridge and the dreaded An Stac screes, Steve constantly we went at my rather moderate pace. So once on a climb I was never out of breath or suffering from sweaty back syndrome. We had a couple of pitstops along the way and plenty of opportunities to look back at views when we got them.
    The scary part of the climb up to the summit was made extremely safe because Steve used short roping and lots of encouragement to get me there. No I'm sure he has reached hundreds of summits but he made me feel as if I had done something very special and unique. I was so pleased with myself.
    The descent was a reverse of our ascent route and it reassuring to spot familiar bits of rock and knowing what obstacles were to be overcome. By keeping my rope tight I was able to downclimb/ bumshuffle my way to safety. All too soon our day was over- I never thought I was say that about a dreich day on the Cuillin!
    I would wholeheartedly recommend Steve to anyone, no matter what your abilities are. What he does in a very subtle way is encourage you, he breaks down the climb into stages so that you are aware that you are making progress and most importantly he gives you confidence and at no point do you feel that you are being a pathetic wimp!

    Pauline Henderson Avatar
    Pauline Henderson
    6/30/2016
  • WOW!What a phenomenal experience and adventure with Steve.My cousin booked up with Synergy Guides for myself, him and a friend. The 3 of us climbed Tower Ridge and the In Pinn. I had never climbed before (which I don't condone - put the preparation in!) but the confidence I took from Steve's competence really got me through it.A very calm, approachable, experienced and knowledgable person and guide.I have already recommended him to a few friends and definitely recommend him to anyone reading this.

    Scott Jeffrey Avatar
    Scott Jeffrey
    9/21/2019
  • Simply Outstanding In short, Steve has taken me from being a keen hill walker to leading Graded scrambles and climbs and doing my first Graded Scottish winter routes - something I never thought I would achieve.

    Steve is really easy to get on with which is, in my opinion, really important when you are a nervous climber and being introduced to the technical aspects of scrambling and climbing. He is calm and instills confidence in you as you learn the skills and knowledge. Steve took me out of my comfort zone (by agreement) but I never, ever, felt anything but safe. Thanks to Steve I have had some superb adventures including all but one of the Ben Nevis ridges (getting the last one this year), summits on Skye, some great scrambles in Glencoe and climbs in Glen Nevis and I have managed to bag at least two Grade 3 Scottish Winter routes and now have the confidence to lead other folk on routes.

    I can't rate Steve highly enough and highly recommend him to anyone wanting to enjoy the great outdoors in Scotland

    John Adams Avatar
    John Adams
    6/15/2015
  • Had a great time, over two days! Very professional and very educational, truly makes me want to come back in the future.

    Victor Jungnell Avatar
    Victor Jungnell
    10/05/2019
  • 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
    9/21/2019
  • 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
  • Just back from two days as one of 3 beginners with Steve from Synergy Guides going over basic winter mountaineering skills including completing winter routes on Stob Coire Nan Lochan and Ben Nevis. It was an amazingly fun and informative weekend that I'll not forget and I've walked away feeling confident that I could tackle more winter routes and continue to improve on the skills we developed over the last two days.Steve is incredibly knowledgeable, enthusiastic and also patient. He struck a perfect balance of teaching and challenge/excitement for a group of almost novices. Each route felt considered and safe and his directions were always clear and easily understood. I would definitely use Synergy again!

    Catherine McCutcheon Avatar
    Catherine McCutcheon
    4/21/2019
  • Have achieved several bucket-list adventures booking with Steve and hope to continue doing so for more. Privileged to have great friends to experience these with and having Steve feels very similar - reassuring, encouraging, patient and his positive energy is infectious. Would strongly recommend.

    John McKay Avatar
    John McKay
    10/26/2019
  • Just used Steve from Synergy Guides to complete a winter route on Ben Nevis. We climbed No.3 Gully Buttress Direct, was a fantastic experience and one I'll remember forever.I have used Steve as a guide before on a few occasions now and his knowledge is second to none. He is very professional, enthusiastic climber and knows how to give you a memorable outing. Everything is planned out very well, directions on the climb are clear and easily understood. Awesome experience and will definitely use Synergy again.........already booked another climb in June!

    David Campbell Avatar
    David Campbell
    4/21/2019
  • have worked with a number of guides in the area and Dave was definitely one of the best. He assessed our team very effectively during the ascent and made sure that we all had an enjoyable and safe traverse of this spectacular ridge. The weather was not ideal but having seen the team on the hill for a couple of hours Dave made the right call and we were rewarded with a memorable day. His leadership and mountain skills were excellent and he went over and above the call of duty by chatting with us for 1/2 hour after the route was completed about other routes we might like to do on this and subsequent trips.

    Andy Avatar
    Andy
    6/01/2017
  • 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
  • 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
  • What a great weekend with a great instructor. Thanks Steve! Steve went out of his way to accommodate everyone in the group and make sure their needs were met so we could all get the most out of the weekend. I for one took a great deal away from it and look forward to putting my new found skills into practice!

    Jenny Henderson Avatar
    Jenny Henderson
    1/19/2016
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 winter 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

Remember we don't run pre-made climbing courses but we do tailor any amount of days, consecutive or alternate to take advantage of the best weather and climbing conditions. Our friendly mountain professionals have the qualifications and experience to give you the best investment of your time, and money.

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. Here, a steady progression will ensue, learning how and when to use a rope in snow filled gullies or rocky ridges and how to select the correct climbing equipment for its uses in 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