Walking in the winter mountains is a magical experience. Once the temperatures drop, and the nights grow longer, the mountains of the UK become the preserve of the experienced mountaineer. Paths become iced over, all those features that we rely on for navigation in the summer months can become covered with lovely, pristine snow, and only those with the right equipment and technical know-how venture onto the mountain tops.
Graham Uney Mountaineering offers two-day courses in the Lake District for anyone who wants to learn the basics of how to use an ice axe and crampons for winter walking.
2-DAY WINTER SKILLS – WHAT'S COVERED?
These courses are offered in the High Street and Helvellyn mountain ranges in the Lake District National Park. On the first day we meet at 8.30am at our tearoom in Bampton for a quick chat about equipment, the weather forecast, and the overall plan for the weekend. We then head out into the mountains for the day, finishing at around 7pm after a night navigation session. On the second day we start at 8.30am, but finish around 4.00pm.
Among the skills you will learn on this course, we will focus on:
using an ice axe to cut steps;
using an ice axe to self arrest (stop a slide)
fitting and walking in crampons
… As well as having a chance to climb some of the Lake District's finest mountains!
If we are unlucky, and there is not very much snow (it does occasionally happen!), we'll turn the focus of the course onto summer mountaineering skills, such as scrambling safety, route planning, and navigation.
This two-day Winter Skills course costs £180 per person (maximum six people per course), and we can also offer B&B accommodation here at our home in Bampton for an additional charge from £40 per person per night. That way, if you arrive on the Friday night, you'll be right here ready for the start of the course nice and fresh, and you'll also be able to relax properly when you come down off the hill on the Saturday night.
2018 Course dates
6-7 January 17-18 February
You will need full waterproofs (including overtrousers and gaitors), warm layers, woolly hat and gloves, ski goggles, a rucksack, and winter walking boots (must be rated B1 or B2 to take crampons). You will also need a map and compass. We'll advise over kit when you book. You will also need an ice axe and crampons – we have a small stock for hire at £20 for an ice axe and £20 for a pair of crampons per course; please let us know when booking if you need to hire these.
Booking is essential on all our courses. Contact us byemail, through ourcontact formorcall now on 01931 713351
For all our Winter Skills courses, your instructor each day will be Graham Uney. Graham is the Fell Top Assessor on Helvellyn for Lake District Weatherline
, so he knows the winter conditions out on the fells as well as anyone, and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share.