Lake District Winter Skills

Winter skills course for walkers

Have you ever looked up at the snow covered mountain tops wondering what it would be like up there? Winter is THE best time of the year to get out and about in the mountains, on a good day holding some of the most amazing views you will ever see, and on a 'bad' day really putting your hill skills to the test, which brings its own perverse rewards!

By coming on a winter skills course day with us, we will help you to to lay down some strong technique foundations to enable you to go on and have some brilliant winter experiences of your own.

This one day winter skills courses will give you an ideal taster of winter walking and will give you a glimpse into the magical world winter mountaineering is all about. These one day courses are also suited well to those looking to refresh their skills.

What is it?

Who teaches us?

You will be taken out by an experienced Winter Mountain Leader (or higher award holder) who will also hold the NNAS (National Navigation Award Scheme) tutor award, ensuring that you maximise your learning and experience in what can be a very challenging environment.

What do we cover?​

As we run all our Lake District winter skills courses to order, we will adjust what we cover to your existing level of experience, and what you want to progress onto. Below is a rough idea of what we will aim to cover for different levels of experience. We can also have a look at the leap from summer navigation to staying located in winter conditions, and touch on the basics of Avalanche Awareness / avoidance.

For absolute BEGINNERS;

Our beginners skills courses will last between 6 - 7 hours depending on the weather conditions and the size of the group. These courses are ideal for anyone who has had limited (or no!) contact with snow, crampons, ice axes etc. This is a very practical day, with the entirety of the time spent out on the mountains learning and using the skills. Over the duration of the day you can expect to cover:

  • When and how to put on Crampons
  • Use of Ice axe for safe progress and stopping a slide.
  • Winter Navigation
  • Introduction to Avalanche awareness

The course is based on practical activity, and is one full day of learning, really upping your skill levels.

For those with some previous experience,

We will spend some time refreshing the skills above, and then apply them in a more challenging, less forgiving, mountain area, perhaps on steeper ground or on really hard packed snow. This will really help you to sharpen and trust your axe and crampon skills, and give you the experience and confidence to push yourself a little bit more in your future winter walking adventures.

For the experienced;

If you are happy using crampons and ice axes, and are confident with your winter navigation skills, then the final part is rope work, to either safeguard your team on ascent and decent of steeper ground or to look after yourself in case of an emergency.

Making it longer

If you want to really get your winter skills and navigation up to speed, maybe consider a second day of training. This extra day allows the consolidation of the skills learnt on the first day, and enables you to really perfect them under the guidance of an experienced Winter Mountain Leader. As with all of our skills courses the 2 day course will be tailored to suit your aims, so whether you're an absolute beginner or have a sturdy foundation already, you'll be sure to leave this course bursting with new confidence, and ready for the next challenge!

Typical Itinerary


Meet up at carpark and introductions.


Issue and trial fit of crampons.


Start up the hill (location dependant on conditions). Practise the skills above as suitable.


Back down and home.

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