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
  • We managed to get a last minute booking for a novice day learning to rock climb in Glen Nevis and what a day we had! After all the horrible weather we were lucky enough to have the sun shine on us and our guide Steve was exceptional, not only was he patient but we learned so much and have to say, I cannot wait to book another course with him in the near future. Highly recommended.

    Paul Duxbury Avatar
    Paul Duxbury
    8/18/2014
  • 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 one week before we started our trip to Scotland (my wife, our 17 years old son and myself) I tried to get some guides for scrambling / climbing tours on Skye and around Ben Nevis by writing emails. Steve answered nearly immediately with recommendations and possibilities for us (having described our experience so far - climbing yes, scrambling no). That was the first positive point with Steve: extremely easy to communicate - anwers always on the same day giving the needed information etc. So booking procedure & communication before and after to organise the trips: excellent! Trips: for the first day we booked the InPin (Inaccessible Pinaccle Cuillin). At the end of a wonderful day we were able to do An Stac, the Inn Pinn, Sgurr na Banachdaich and Sgurr a’ Ghreadaidh there. That was our first scrambling adventure and it was really a great day with Steve. We always felt very safe enjoying his competence, tranquility and joy. It was a wonderful full day of adventure, effort, and fun, so we wanted more scrambling! Being around Ben Nevis (Ballachulish) on the following week we did the Tower Ridge with Rich and we just can say the same again: brilliant communication before for the organisation of the trip, feeling very safe with the competence and tranquility of Rich, having a lot of fun as a group together with Rich and: yes, the Tower Ridge is a great adventure!

    Jens Avatar
    Jens
    8/20/2016
  • 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
  • Really couldn't have hoped for a better experience and Tom was a complete legend. Feel very lucky to have had the conditions on our side also which made for the perfect day.The whole trip has been an eye opener

    Gregor MacKinnon Avatar
    Gregor MacKinnon
    6/09/2021
  • I had a really good day despite the poor weather. We made it up the inaccessible pinnacle and had time for a second munro, getting down before the worst of the rain. Iain gave me lots of tips throughout the day and kept me focused on the task in hand

    Craig Campbell Avatar
    Craig Campbell
    8/02/2020
  • 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
  • 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.

    Val's life official Avatar
    Val's life official
    1/31/2020
  • We had the most amazing three days on Skye with Steve. He is incredibly knowledgeable and really nice to spend time with. We highly recommend him.

    danny mitchell Avatar
    danny mitchell
    7/26/2021
  • 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
  • Steve took us up Inn Pinn in Skye last week. Even though it's more technical than we are used to and I am scared of heights, he made us feel at ease. He seems very knowledgable and was good company on the long walk.

    Stuart Flannigan Avatar
    Stuart Flannigan
    6/21/2019
  • Steve was incredibly knowledgeable and knew just how far to push us within safe limits. We had two wonderful days in the mountains and now have a lot more confidence tackling Winter climbs. We also received excellent guidance on kit / diet / route-planning which will be taken forward on future expeditions. I could not recommend Synergy Guides any more highly!

    Jacob Avatar
    Jacob
    12/22/2019
  • 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
  • A great day on the Aaonach Eagach with Rich. Expert guiding throughout-it made what could be intimidating ridge a great fun day out. Thanks!

    Stephen H Avatar
    Stephen H
    7/12/2016
  • 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
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