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Winter Climbing advice

Winter Climbing Advice

So you have decided you would like to try winter climbing.  But you are 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 these skills in a progressive manner.  And 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 climbing advice on what you could learn before venturing out in winter.  And then hopefully have a more enjoyable time (type 1 fun).

 

Have the correct clothing

 

Have a good set of boots B3

 

Gloves, gloves and more gloves

 

Crampons

 

2 ice axes (Two technical axes) Talk about technical and very technical

 

Be able to navigate

 

A sense of adventure

 

 

The skills needed to be safe out in winter, walking are as follows:

  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

 

On top of this, skills needed for winter mountaineering are:

  1. More knowledge on snow structure and avalanche awareness, as you are likely to be venturing on terrain or getting close to terrain that may be more avalanche prone
  2. Be able to use a more technical ice axe
  3. Put on a harness, and tie in
  4. Be able to belay
  5. Manage rope(s) efficiently
  6. Be able to place rock and ice protection
  7. Have the ability to build simple anchors
  8. Be able to use snow anchors
  9. And lastly, you need good judgement (route selection, route planning out in the field, your own and friends’ ability)

 

 

On top of this, the skills needed for winter climbing are:

  1. More complex rope management
  2. Be able to place more complex rock and ice protection
  3. Have the ability to build multi point anchors
  4. Be able to use more technical crampons
  5. Use more technical ice axes
  6. Have an understanding of climbing movement

 

 

Having all of the above skills will mostly guarantee you will have lots of type 1 fun out on the hills.

 

If you are interested in booking a course with us, and learn all of the above skills, feel free to contact us, or click the link below:

 

Winter climbing