Is It For Me?
This course requires meeting at 16:00 on the Sunday evening of your course start date
This course focuses on climbing classic Ben Nevis winter climbs as appropriate to prevailing conditions, as such, it is a guided experience allowing participants to maximise their climbing time on the Ben. You may find yourself climbing a range of grades from III to V.5 with the emphasis on mileage.
Please note: As the focus is on ascending more challenging climbs whilst focussing on improving personal performance it is not expected that participants will lead. It is more of a guided experience allowing you to maximise climbing time on a variety of winter routes. Participants will become very familiar with the layout of the Ben which will be off use in any future personal trips
To get the most from this experience you must have winter mountaineering experience (ideally happy soloing up and down exposed Grade I ground), plus experience of seconding/leading grade III winter climbs. This is a physically demanding course, you should expect 5 physically hard days of climbing.
Based at the CIC Hut at the foot of Ben Nevis the course will concentrate on ascents of classic Ben Nevis winter climbs, whilst developing your awareness of the many facets that make climbing on the Ben such a unique experience. Staying at the hut ensures we have the maximum time for climbing.
You will usually be in a group of no more than two with one instructor. Meeting your instructor on the Monday morning provides an opportunity to discuss everyone’s experience and aspirations enabling the instructor to plan the programme based around these. The main topics to be covered are:
• Climbing classic Ben Nevis snow, ice and mixed routes from Grade III to V.5
• Intensive coaching to develop personal climbing technique on ice and mixed ground.
• Avalanche awareness and safe travel techniques.
• Top tips in the Black Arts of protecting Ben Nevis climbs including use of pegs, Dead
Man, ice screws and all manner of sneaky tricks
Note: although late March is generally a reliable time on the Ben with regard to ice conditions, Scottish winters are notoriously fickle. In the event of poor ice conditions we can still climb routes although we may be limited in our choice depending on conditions and with safety in mind.
What Will I Need?
Glenmore Lodge has a large, comprehensive store of up-to-date clothing and equipment. You are welcome to use your own equipment and pick and choose odd items from the store. Your instructor will want to check that personal equipment before we leave for the Ben.
What we can supply?
- Waterproof jackets and trousers
- Plastic Boots
- Ice Axes
- Harvey’s 1:25.000 map of Ben Nevis
- Winter climbing harness
- Day Sac
- Head torch
- Any technical equipment if applicable
What will you need to bring? Listed here are the essentials; this is not an exhaustive list.
- Thermals or suitable under clothing. Top and Bottoms x 2
- Insulating layers – top & bottoms, soft shell or fleece or both?
- Over sized synthetic belay jacket
- Thick socks (several pairs)
- Spare fleece/insulated jacket
- Waterproof jacket (with a good hood)
- Waterproof over-trousers or salopettes
- Hat & balaclava plus spare
- A good pair of climbing gloves, plus an oversized warm pair for belaying
- Ski goggles (should have double lens to avoid misting up)
- Compass – Silva type 4 recommended
- Rucksack liner
- Vacuum Flask & Water Bottle
- Box or bag for packed lunch.
- Survival Bag – Plastic type
- Sleeping bag and liner
- Small technical climbing pack around 20ltrs
- Personal toiletries, medications & personal first aid kit (towels are provided)
Remember the price is all inclusive
We want our customers to easily know what their course will cost, up front and in the open. Accommodation on the nights during your course, pick up from the train station on the Sunday, breakfast, lunch, cake break and dinner are all included. All transportation on the course, centre facilities & any equipment you borrow are also part of the package.
Please note that this course is based in the CIC hut in order to maximise the amount of climbing time available. The hut offers basic but comfortable accommodation and has no full time guardian, this means the food and supplies need to be carried up on the Monday. The CIC hut is an excellent location from which to access the climbs quickly without having to walk up from the valley each day. The CIC hut owned by the Scottish Mountaineering Club is a fantastic location to soak up the history surrounding the Ben’s classic routes, a truly unique experience!
What’s included on your course
- Use of kit
- Shuttle bus to Glenmore Lodge (departs Aviemore station 5:20pm on Friday and Sundays)
- Packed lunch and afternoon tea each day
- In-course transport
What’s included if you choose the residential option – As above PLUS
- Bed in shared en-suite room – available from 3pm on day before your course starts *
(Single rooms may be available for a supplementary charge, please ask at reception when you arrive)
- Dinner for each course day (except one day and back-to-back courses)
- Use of the facilities at Glenmore Lodge
- Linen is provided along with a towel, you may wish to bring an extra towel if you would like to use the facilities or are on a paddlesport course
Arriving at Glenmore Lodge
- For more information on travel to the Lodge click here
- Your first inclusive meal is breakfast (7:45 -8:30am) An evening meal is not provided on your arrival night, but bar meals are available in our Lochain bar 5pm to 9pm (5-7pm on Mondays and Tuesdays)
- Packed lunches are collected at breakfast
- On Mondays and Saturdays only there will be a 10 minute welcome talk at 8.15am, on other days you will meet your instructor at 9am. The daily programme of your course will be discussed with your instructor when you first meet, taking into account aspirations and prevailing weather conditions
On your last day
- Check out time is 10am on the final day of your booking, we have changing areas, showers and left luggage facilities on site
- All courses will finish by 5pm
- On Fridays and Sundays we offer a drop off to Aviemore station, leaving Glenmore Lodge at 5pm, please contact us at least 24 hours in advance if you would like to book this service
*some exceptions – see detailed course notes
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Check our FAQ’s here or contact us on [email protected] or 01479 861256