/ Getting into winter climbing

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spenser - on 30 Nov 2016
Since I started climbing I've wanted to take up winter climbing but location and lack of transport/ injury have so far all provided obstacles to me properly starting, however it looks like I am going to be spending mid february to the end of march in Glasgow courtesy of work, even better I will have my own transport.
I've got plenty of experience leading multi-pitch rock, a reasonable walking background and did a bit of winter skills stuff while I was at uni which focused on basic use of crampons and ice axes, low visibility navigation, avalanche awareness and a snow hole expedition which I really enjoyed, also a tiny amount of alpine stuff after my conville course a couple of years ago. I'm happy with all of the walking aspects for winter (except for Avalanche awareness which I need to brush up on and plan to do so over the next few weeks and maybe get some practice with after christmas).
I'm thinking of taking a long weekend at the tail end of january and doing a course to figure out how to do all of the more winter specific stuff properly (body belays, the various types of snow belay, gain a bit of experience judging conditions with someone experienced at hand and a refresher on moving together), who would you recommend using for this kind of instruction (I know they should be MIC qualified, I am more after specific recommendations)?
Tricadam on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to spenser:

Sounds like a good plan, Spenser. In terms of recommendations, I did a week's course with Martin Moran up in Strathcarron. Both he and Ken Applegate (MIC) were excellent. Ken is now working for West Coast Mountain Guides ( so based in Fort William - easily accessible from Glasgow.

You could do a lot worse than getting in touch with some of the Glasgow climbing clubs. JMCS and Lomond are two of them. That would be a good way of finding some partners and learning the ropes. Falkirk Community Trust are worth checking out too: very good from what I've heard (
spenser - on 01 Dec 2016
In reply to Tricadam:

It's worth mentioning that I will be traveling up from Derby for the course itself so Skye etc would mean a properly epic drive, more southern options with likely reliableish conditions at that time of year would be ideal.
JMCS have reciprocal rights with a club which I am part of (the Oread) so will definitely give them a shout.
mmmhumous on 02 Dec 2016
In reply to spenser:

Having used him several times for the club, Pete Hyde from the ice factor is simply amazing. You can tell he's drawing on a lot of experience and a really friendly guy.
olddirtydoggy - on 02 Dec 2016
In reply to spenser:

I used the Glenmore Lodge last year and had a great instructor. We got lucky as one or two other groups mentioned their instructors were good but not that friendly. By far the majority of the people working there are fantastic and the facilities make it very worthwhile. That said, if you already have accomodation, another recommendation here might work better. Good luck.

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