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snowdon in winter

winter mountain trips

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Winter mountain trips in the UK

Winter mountain days are offered in Snowdonia, the Cairngorms and Ben Nevis areas - with one, two, three and four day excursions available to suit individual requirements.

Most days start around 08.30 hrs and after an introduction, issue of kit and quick safety briefing, we aim to get into the mountains by 09.30 hrs to make the most of the weather, the conditions and abilities of the group. Although the main focus for each day is the safe enjoyment of a suitable route, any additional skills required may be covered during the day, which usually finishes at around 16.30 hrs. Open trips are run at a maximum ratio of 1:4, with all technical equipment, including winter boots, supplied. Private guiding or mountain days are also available, with more flexible itineraries and ratios.

Snowdonia

Snow and ice transform these often  familiar mountains into an impressive winter landscape, with easy access to some stunning routes in the Ogwen Valley as well as Snowdon itself, providing the opportunity for some fantastic winter adventure. Itineraries may include the Snowdon Horeshoe, Crib Goch, the Glyders and the Devils Kitchen, the wild plateau of the Carneddau. etc.

Cairngorms

With an international reputation, the Cairngorms offer a unique mountain environment, easily accessed from the ski centre at Coire Cas, the Northern Corries provide a gateway to some of the UK's wildest and most spectacular winter mountains.
Itineraries may include Cairngorm, Ben MacDui, Braeriach & Cairntoul etc.

Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis and Lochaber offer classic winter mountain routes, with the easily accessed mountains of Glencoe and the Mamores providing challenging alternatives to the high plateau of Ben Nevis. Itineraries may include the Aonach Eagach, Ring of Steall, Carn Mhor Dearg Arete etc.

Winter mountain trips information

These trips focus on enjoying the challenges and charms of the UK's classic winter mountain routes.

Venues:

Courses are based in Snowdonia, North Wales or Scotland - Aviemore, with easy access to the Cairngorms mountains, or in Fort William, within easy reach of Ben Nevis and Lochaber, Glencoe and Creag Mheagaidh.

Trip itineraries:

It is preferable to meet informally on the evening before the start of the course if possible, to discuss past experience, aspirations, equipment, plan for next day etc., this maximises our time out in the mountains and allows a relaxed preparation for the days objectives.

Typical itineraries start with: Weather and conditions evaluation, route choice, equipment and a safety briefing.

Mountain days will focus on enjoying a suitable route given the conditions and group ability, with any additional winter skills required, covered as the day progresses. We should be off the mountains by 16.30 hrs on most days.

Transport links:

For North Wales ( Betws-y-Coed ):
http://www.directrail.com/train_tickets.aspx
and coach services via :
http://www.nationalexpress.com

For Scotland ( Aviemore and Fort William ):
http://www.directrail.com/trains_to_aviemore.html
http://www.directrail.com/trains_to_fort_william.html
and coach services via :
http://www.nationalexpress.com
http://www.citylink.co.uk/index.php

Accommodation:

As popular tourist destinations, the venues have many options for accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets including good campsites, chalets, bunkhouses, Youth Hostels, B&B’s, self catering cottages and hotels – please note, winter camping can be hard ! – all to be found on :
http://www.visitscotland.com/guide/where-to-stay
http://www.visitwales.co.uk/holiday-accommodation-in-wales

You will need:

Waterproof Jacket - full weight breathable model preferred
Base Layer
Light fleece jackets + heavy fleece jacket or softshell or insulated jacket
Trousers and waterproof overtrousers or salopettes 
Hat or Balaclava - must fit under a helmet
Warm Ski Type Gloves – Spare pair just in case one gets wet and / or:
Spare Mittens - especially if you suffer from cold hands
Socks
Gaiters
Ski Goggles ( can be supplied )
Sunglasses
Suncream
Rucsac 30-35 litres
Waterbottle and / or thermos flask
Headtorch
Personal medications + blister kit
Camera
Packed lunch for the mountain days.

Technical Equipment ( can be supplied at no extra cost )

Winter Mountaineering “B2 /B3” Boots – crampon compatible 
Harness
Climbing Helmet
C2 / C3 Crampons (preferably with anti-balling plates)
Ice Axe / axes
Long sling + locking karabiner

If you already have any personal equipment, bring it along - this will help with familiarity with your gear and give us the opportunity to discuss the pro's and con's of different equipment.

Although I have Public Liability insurance to the value of £ 5M, you may wish to purchase personal accident, and travel insurance as you think necessary ! Packages which include insurance for climbing and other mountain activities are available from:
www.thebmc.co.uk

What is included:

Technical equipment – harness, helmet, ice axes, crampons.
I have a selection of other equipment available – Please let me know if you need anything else e.g rucksack etc. – especially if you are intending to buy any equipment for the course.
Boot hire is also available from :
http://www.mountainspirit.co.uk ( Aviemore ) 
http://www.ellis-brigham.com/fort-william.htm


The winter mountains of the UK have an international reputation as an area of unique mountain environments , with their own challenges and rewards to the mountaineer, these trips will hopefully give you an insight into the skills required and the inspiration to climb independently in these beautiful mountains.

Recommended reading:

There a great many sources of information for the topics covered on the course, I would recommend the following:
Scotlands Winter Mountains – Martin Moran – ISBN 0715307940
Winterskills – Andy Cunnignham / Allen Fyffe – ISBN 0954151135
Chance in a million – Bob Barton / Blyth Wright – ISBN 0907521592
Winter climbing + by Neil Gresham / Ian Parnell – ISBN 9781873341964

Online sources include :
http://www.ukclimbing.com

or drop me a line if you have any queries: alec@guidedmountain.co.uk

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