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Winter skills advice

Winter skills advice

So you have decided you would like to dabble in winter walking, but unsure as to where to start.  Well, you have several options.  As I am an instructor, I would obviously say book onto a course with us, or another provider, and learn the basics first hand.  The benefit of this is that an instructor can teach you all the skills in a progressive manner, that you would need to become an independent winter walker.  The instructor would pass on years and years of knowledge in a small time frame.


Or you can go out there by yourself or with friends and have a play and learn that way.  Below is my list of winter skills advice on what you could learn before venturing out in winter.  And then hopefully have a more enjoyable time (type 1 fun).   First you need the following.


Have the correct clothing


Have a good set of B2 boots (a little more flexible than a B3 boot, so a little more comfortable underfoot)


Gloves, gloves and more gloves


Crampons (The right type of crampon to fit the boot) 


Ice axe (the correct length) – The correct length is that when the thumb is under the adze, the four fingers are around the pick, and the shaft is pointing to the floor, the spike of the axe should be touching the top of your boot.


Be able to navigate


Have a sense of adventure



Here is a list of skills needed to be safe out in winter walking.

  1. Using crampons on different types of terrain
  2. Using the ice axe
  3. Self arrest/ice axe arrest
  4. Navigate in low visibility
  5. Have an idea of how to dig an emergency shelter (not necessary, but helps you build an idea of what’s involved in case you should ever need it)
  6. Avalanche awareness
  7. Weather forecast interpretation and route planning


Once you have the knowledge and know-how on the above, you can go and enjoy winter walking comfortably.  The above is our winter skills advice list.  If you have any questions, or would like some information on one of our winter skills courses, click the link below:


Winter Skills course