Typical Winter Lead Climbing course layout
Each day of our winter lead climbing course, we would spend time assessing the weather, snow and avalanche conditions, in order to learn about safe route planning and detecting potential avalanche terrain.
Guided winter climbing, usually a grade III/IV. Looking at rope and stance management, placement and removal of protection, and descent, which usually involves navigation.
Introduce route selection and have a go at leading a grade II gully or ridge. We will be looking at placing protection, rope and belay stance management, abseiling using snow anchors, and navigating down a suitable descent route.
Consolidate the skills learnt on the previous days. Take a more in depth look at route selection taking into account the avalanche/snow/ice conditions. Also looking at efficient movement on mixed terrain, and introduce ice climbing.
Consolidate the skills learnt on the previous days. Look at placing pegs, abalakov threads and climbing a grade III/IV/V ice route. Looking at ice screw placements, ice belays and ice climbing techniques.
Here we put all of the skills learnt on the previous days into practice, and allow you to take ownership of some/if not all of the day i.e. route selection (under our guidance), and if you feel confident lead a route within your ability. This is the day we take a backseat, and allow you to flourish into a confident winter lead climber.
The course content and location tends to be dictated to us by the weather, so the winter lead climbing course layout can change.
The 3-day Winter Lead Climbing course is a more condensed version of the above, but we strongly recommend 5 days, as there is a lot to cover.