The progression from winter walking to mountaineering and winter climbing can be tricky without a little guidance from a professional. Allow us to provide an Intro to Winter Climbing by taking you through the steps to be a safer and more efficient mountaineer.

Synergy Guides offer a bespoke service which means working closely with you to ensure a personal itinerary is established. Content will differ for each person depending on the focus and experience yet almost certainly we will spend a good portion of your winter climbing course learning about then practising avalanche avoidance and safe winter travel. We aim to climb some of Scotland’s classic snow and ice climbs.

The amount of days we provide is totally up to you as Synergy Guides work on a Private Guiding basis so you can decide how many days to run your course over. 

  • Climb graded winter routes from Scottish I – III
  • Learn about winter navigation and avalanche avoidance
  • One axe to two axe climbing techniques
  • Lead your first winter climb
  • Bespoke – Book any number of days that suit you or your team

Challenge yourself this winter accompanied by a friendly & fully qualified mountain professional – join us for an Intro to Winter Climbing course.


The best and safest way to experience an Intro to Winter Climbing is to keep the ratios low. Having no more than two people climbing with one guide means you are not bound by grades and particular routes. Your progression will be smoother and the option to move from steeper climbing on two individual climbing ropes to more difficult mountaineering on one rope, such as climbing Tower Ridge is easy and safe. If you are a larger team requiring an additional mountain guide please get in touch, we believe we are very competitive on price.

Number of People Rate Per Day
1 £300
2 £350
Enquire Today - Intro to Winter Climbing
Intro to winter climbing
Intro to winter climbing

Intro to Winter Climbing – What to expect

Initially, you will speak with your guide a few days prior to the start date. At which point you can agree to a suitable time to meet in the morning, inform them of any kit requirements you have and agree on the planned content of your Intro to Winter Climbing course.

Based in Fort William we are near to the mountains of Ben Nevis and Glencoe. This allows us access to the best local conditions for snow and ice climbing.

Fit and check equipment ready for climbing in the mountains. Discuss what equipment we are going to take with us and be advised on the specialist winter equipment your guide might take. Distribute equipment amongst the team.

Discuss and explain how we use the avalanche forecast and recent weather patterns to decide on a suitable climbing venue. This includes looking at different weather forecasts and the SAIS Be Avalanche Aware resource.

The main part of your day is focused on the initial plan laid out with your booking and your morning discussion. Your guide will tailor this to meet your aspirations, manage snow conditions and your ability to operate in what can be adverse weather conditions.

Typical routes which might be climbed are NC Gully, Dorsal Arete, West Gully Douglas Boulder, Good Friday Climb, Left Twin, Twisting Gully, East Ridge North Summit Stob Ban and Castle Ridge.

Essential Item Recommended 
Wicking base layers Patagonia Capilene Thermal Weight Zip-Neck Hoody
Thick winter weight socks Thorlo Mountaineering sock
Windproof trousers or thick thermal leggings Mountain Equipment Eclipse Pant
Fleece or synthetic mid-layer Patagonia Nano Puff
Waterproof and breathable jacket Patagonia Pluma / Rab Latok
Waterproof trousers with long boot zips Rab Latok Bib / Mountain Equipment Tupilak Pant
Warm hat
Two or three pairs of gloves Mountain Equipment Couloir Glove / Winter Glove Guide
Belay jacket Patagonia DAS Parka
B3 winter boots Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro GTX
Pair of technical axes Black Diamond Viper Ice Tool
C3 crampons Black Diamond Cyborg Pro
Helmet Black Diamond Vision or Vector
Harness Black Diamond Technician
Ski Goggles Bolle / Julbo / Any with a good fit
Sunglasses and sun cream
35-40l Pack Black Diamond Speed / Arcteryx FL 30 or 40
Head torch Petzl or Black Diamond
Drinks bottle 1l
Optional Items Recommended
Headware Buff or Balaclava
Compass Silva Expedition
Map OS Map 41 & 43 / Harveys Ben Nevis & Glencoe
Small flask 500ml max
Plastic survival bag
Gaiters Rab Muztag Pro
Walking poles Black Diamond Compactor Ski Poles


Mountain Guides Scotland
Mountain Guides Scotland
Mountain Guides Scotland