01690 720214

Mountaineering Instructor Certificate Training

Course Overview

This 5 day course covers the teaching and instructing of snowcraft and icecraft including ropework and placement of ice anchors. Topics such as short roping, personal movement, route choice and teaching ice climbing are also covered. The days' activities will be supplemented by evening lectures and activities.
You must be registered on the Mountaineering Instructor Certificate scheme with Mountain Training prior to attending this course and have the required experience.
This course is based at HF Holidays Country House Alltshellach near Glen Coe.

Experience Required

* Includes accommodation on the night after your course finishes

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Scheduled Dates

blackBlack = Open for booking

blackGreen = Guaranteed to run (additional places are limited please email to enquire)

blackRed = Course fully booked

 

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Detailed Course Notes

You should be 18 years old to attend this course.

Pre-requisites for the training course

Mountain Training strictly requires that all students are specifically registered for the Mountaineering Instructor Certificate (MIC) Scheme prior to commencing the course. 

The Board will not recognise completion of the course by non-registered participants. 

Please do not book a place on a course until you are registered with the scheme.


Course content

We will work closely with the MT syllabus. In particular we will concentrate on areas that the board feels it is difficult for candidates to learn on their own. The programme may be revised at short notice to take account of weather and other considerations, in such a way as to satisfy the spirit and detail of the Mountaineering Instructor Scheme syllabus. The five days are generally split into the following five areas:


Snowcraft/ Ice Craft

  • Emphasis on teaching and coaching basic skills


Personal Climbing

  • Emphasis on basic ropework, anchor placement and stance management. These skills will be covered as part of a journey and a climb on the hill.


Guiding Winter Routes

  • Emphasis on guiding students on winter routes up to Grade III.


Teaching Winter Climbing

  • Emphasis on teaching and coaching techniques on the move.


Mountaineering

  • Emphasis on personal movement, short roping, route choice etc


In addition, there will be evening classroom or centre based sessions, covering some of the more theoretical aspects of the syllabus. We intend to look at the following areas:


  • Snow and Avalanche awareness
  • Snow and weather interpretation
  • Planning a teaching day
  • Discussion of consolidation period – outline of assessment course
  • Course review and Opportunity for individual feedback


Throughout the week snow and avalanche evaluation will take place during the days on the hill.


The winter mountain environment is genuinely hazardous and training courses will normally proceed irrespective of weather and snow conditions. Course directors make every effort to ensure that candidates are not exposed to unnecessary risk but it is essential to the process of the training of winter mountain leaders that candidates are exposed to situations where real judgements about safety have to be made. Candidates are urged to ensure that they have recent winter mountaineering experience in Scotland before attending training, and that they are fully aware of the weather and snow hazards to which they will be exposed.



The Venue

We shall be based at HF Holidays House at Alltshellach, between Glencoe and Fort William on the West Coast of Scotland. This Victorian style stone building stands on the shores of Loch Linnhe, metres from the sea. Spectacular views are afforded out towards the Ballachulish Horseshoe, and along the Glencoe valley. We are ideally placed to access the major peaks in the Western Highlands including Ben Nevis, The Mamores, Creagh Meaghaidh, and the summits of Glencoe.



The Accommodation

We have sole use of the house, which is warm, friendly and comfortable, with its own bar, small shop, drying room, and roaring fires. Accommodation is in shared rooms with single beds and soft duvets, some en-suite. Dinner and breakfast are served in the spacious dining room. Meals and packed lunches are wholesome and suited to long, tiring days out on the hill. Vegetarian and other diets are catered for, if you let us know in advance. Alltshellach also has a pool and spa bath - so don't forget your swimming kit!


For Arrival and Departure Information Click Here

Useful Books

  • Hillwalking by Steve Long (MLTUK official pub.)
  • Mountain Navigation by Peter Cliff
  • Rock Climbing by Libby Peter (MLTUK official pub.)


Also recommended reading 
  • Mountain Weather by Pedgley
  • Chance in a million by Barton & Wright
  • Snow Sense By Fredson and Fesler
  • Weather for Hillwalkers & Climbers by M Thomas
  • www.mltuk.org Website of the MLTUK




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What's Included In The Price?

The high mountains of Scotland offer a unique challenge to mountaineers that comes with unrivalled rewards. The Scottish mountains have a world-wide reputation as the perfect training ground for mountaineering in the Alps or higher ranges. For our Scottish winter courses we are based in Glencoe, with much of the best climbing in Scotland right outside the front door. Our comfortable hotel-base 'Alltshellach' is situated at the head of Loch Leven amongst the most stunning scenery in Scotland. This is the ideal location for reliable winter mountaineering conditions, within a short drive of many iconic winter venues including Glen Coe, Ben Nevis, Aonach Mor and the Mamores. We recognise that to learn effectively and a gain the most from every day, it is important to have a comfortable, relaxing base for your adventures. That's why we return to Alltshellach each year.

It has everything to help make your course an enjoyable and rewarding one. Comfortable rooms, a relaxing bar, great food designed to fuel you up before and after a big day and even a swimming pool to sooth those aching muscles. This year, we've included a night's bed and breakfast at the end of your course too, so you can leave in the morning relaxed and recharged before your journey home.

Whilst you are with us in Scotland you'll be able to take full advantage of our equipment stores too. Our stores are packed with the latest high-quality equipment and our staff will help you select the most suitable gear for you and the winter environment. Of course, all technical gear hire is included in your course fee so, as always at Plas y Brenin, there are no hidden costs.

Combined, our high-standards of instruction, accommodation, food and equipment represent an unrivalled experience and excellent value for money. Take a look at the list of what is included in the price below.


    Afternoon tea & homemade cakes
    Instruction/coaching
    Equipment hire
    Snow safety equipment hire
    Free (low-speed) wifi access in the bar & dining room
    In course transport
    Parking with CCTV surveillance
    Free use of swimming pool


    Accommodation the night before your course
    Accommodation during your course
    Accommodation the night after your course and breakfast before you leave
    Breakfast & evening meal
    Bar Lunch/packed lunch


What's Not Included In The Price?

    Aanoch Moor Gondola (600m of mechanical uplift). Approximately £10
    Ice Factor - indoor ice climbing wall. Approximately £20

One, none or all of the above may be included in our course programme depending on the weather and mountain conditions.




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Accommodation For This Course

Alltshellach

Your accommodation for this course is in comfy en-suite rooms (normally shared) at Alltshellach, a fantastic hotel owned and run by HF Holidays. Each room has tea and coffee making facilities and all bed linen and towels are provided. There is also a WiFi Lounge and swimming pool.

Your course fee includes accommodation the night before your course begins and the night after the course finishes.

All your meals are included - breakfast, packed lunch, afternoon tea and freshly baked cakes and a three course evening meal, starting with dinner on the night you arrive and finishing with breakfast on the day you leave.

If you wish to upgrade to a single occupancy room please contact the Plas y Brenin bookings team on 01690 720214 or bookings@pyb.co.uk.

HF Holidays are happy to extend your stay prior to your course or for additional nights after, to arrange this please contact then on 0208 7321247 or jamie-leewhite@hfholidays.co.uk.

Arrival and Departure

Please arrive at Alltshellach the evening before the start date of the course, for dinner at 7.15pm. An evening meal is provided on the night of arrival, but cannot be saved for people arriving later than 7.15pm, unless booked in advance (you can do this on your equipment loan form).

Departure is the morning after your course finishes with breakfast the following morning is also included. Check out is at 10am.

Please remember that winter in Scotland can mean snow and ice on roads and rail causing bad or impossible travel conditions; therefore, please allow plenty of time for your journey.

Plas y Brenin cannot be held responsible for adverse weather conditions and in this respect we cannot offer refunds or transfers of course fees. If you are late in arriving for a course we will do our best to help you make up for lost time! Please try to contact Plas y Brenin if you are delayed on route.

To contact a member of staff, please call Plas y Brenin main centre on 01690 720214.

The address of PyB in Scotland is Alltshellach, Onich, Fort William, Inverness-shire PH33 6SA.
If you are delayed please contact HF Holidays on 01855 821357 and let reception know.

Travel
Download travel information here

By Car
From the South, you can travel by car along the A82, through Glencoe and over the Ballachulish Bridge towards Fort William. When you reach Ballachlish Bridge, ake the second road on the right after crossing the bridge, signposted B863 Kinlochleven. Alltshellach is a short distance along on the right (approx. 400 yards).

By Train
You could also travel by train. Most trains leaving from London Euston will take you direct to Glasgow Central Station. A short walk will take you to Glasgow Queen Street Station, from where trains leave to Fort William. Fort William is 13 miles from Alltshellach. You can take the overnight sleeper from London Euston direct to Fort William.

Scottish Citylink Buses (tel: 0871 266 33 33 or www.citylink.co.uk) depart from Fort William High Street fairly regularly. Or take a taxi (approx. £15 with Blue Bird Taxis tel 01397 703000). Scottish Citylink also have a service from Buchanan Bus Station, Glasgow (close to Glasgow Queen Street Station). Both will stop just past Ballachulish Bridge, just ask the driver when you get on.

The Plas y Brenin minibus will meet the Scottish Citylink Bus which leaves Glasgow at 6pm and arrives at approximately 8.34pm each evening, please let us know if you arriving on this bus by ticking the box on your equipment loan form. Details of how to reach Alltshellach from the main road are above.

By Bus
The final option is to travel by coach. National Express (tel 0871 781 8181 or www.nationalexpress.com) offer an extensive service throughout the country. Take a coach to Buchanan Bus Station, Glasgow. For onwards journey details from Glasgow, please see above.

By Plane
It is also possible to fly into Glasgow from major UK airports, and continue your journey across country from there.

If you are delayed please contact HF Holidays on 01855 821357 and let reception know. If you need to contact a member of Plas y Brenin staff, please call Plas y Brenin main centre on 01690 720214.

follow this link for more details




Sorry. We have no dates currently available for this course




What Equipment Do You Need To Bring?

Equipment


• A pair of technical Ice axes* - These would generally be 50cm long with a pair having one with an adze on and one with a hammer on. They should have dropped pick and include leashes or a lanyard. Many types of axes are available the DMM fly is a good example of an axe for easier grades and the DMM Apex is a good example of an axe suitable for higher grades.


• Boots* - Good quality stiff boots that are rated B3 and have a Vibram sole. A good example is the Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro Gtx.


• Crampons* - 12 point crampons that have anti-balling plates on. They should have clip- in rear bindings that are compatible with your boots. Good examples are Grivel G12 and G14s.


• Gaiters - Extremely useful to prevent snow and scree entering your boots and help to keep your feet warm. For example the Mountain Equipment Trail DLE gaiter.


• Crampon Bag - A tough Nylon bag to protect the contents of your rucksack from the sharp points.


• Climbing Helmet* - A CE rated climbing helmet that is large enough to fit over a hat, such as the DMM Ascent.


• Snow/Ski Goggles - An essential item for days out in the Scottish winter environment. A budget pair with two layer lenses will be fine.


• Harness* - A sit harness with adjustable leg loops that is large enough to go over all your layers including waterproofs. A good example is the DMM Mithril.


• Climbing Rack* - Bring along any hardwear that you already own. A belay device, 3 screwgates and a 120cm sling are particularly useful.


• Rucksack* - There is generally a lot more that needs to be carried on a day out in the mountains in winter compared with summer. A 35 to 45 Litre rucksack is fine such as the Deuter Guide 35+.


• Rucksack Liner - Almost no rucksacks are waterproof, so a waterproof liner is needed to keep your kit dry. Either a large dry bag or several small ones works well or a strong plastic bag such as a rubble bag (not a bin bag).


• Flask/water bottle - A small flask (1/2 to 3/4 litre) and a similar sized water bottle. Hydration systems with tubes rarely function well in winter.


• Map - Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 map Sheet 41 of the Glencoe and Ben Nevis area. Ideally laminated or in a small map case.


• Compass* - Silva Expedition Type 4, in degrees.


• Waterproof case for your mobile phone - A method of protecting your mobile phone from the elements is essential.


• Whistle - A cheap plastic whistle is a useful item of emergency equipment.


• Head Torch - An extremely useful item of emergency equipment. A Petzl Tikka + or similar would be fine.


• Survival Bag - An orange plastic survival bag is an important item of emergency equipment.


• Personal First Aid - A small first aid kit in a waterproof bag to include Compeed or similar for blisters, a wound dressing, a triangular bandage and pain relief eg. Ibuprofen or paracetamol


• Emergency Food - Some spare items of high energy food that are sealed in a bag eg. Chocolate or muesli bars.


• Sun block and Lip Salve - To provide protection from UV radiation and the wind.


• Trekking Poles - Useful for walking below the snow line and for low angle snow slopes. Should be collapsible into 3 or 4 sections to make stowage inside your rucksack easier.


• Camera - Of your choice - the smaller and lighter the better.


Clothing


• Waterproof Jacket* - A robust breathable and waterproof jacket that fits over several layers. It should have a permanently attached hood that is large enough to go over a helmet.


• Waterproof Trousers* or Salopettes - A robust pair of breathable and waterproof over trousers, ideally long side zips (to aid putting on whilst wearing crampons) and braces.


• Insulated Jacket - A large warm jacket to wear whilst stationary is useful. It should be insulated with a synthetic material rather than down, which does not perform well in damp conditions.


• Base Layers - A couple of lightweight 'thermal' tops, short or long sleeved. Should be of a synthetic material and not cotton.


• Mid Layers - A couple of mid weight layers, ideally fleece, gives more flexibility for managing your temperature rather than one thick one.


• Trousers - Fleece trousers or power stretch tights work very well under waterproof trousers.


• Hat - A fleece or wool hat that is suitable to be worn under a helmet - no bobbles! A neck gaiter is useful.


• Waterproof Gloves - At least two pairs are essential. They should be dexterous enough that you can put crampons on whilst wearing them. The Mountain Equipment Guide or similar is recommended.


• Thin gloves - A thin fleece pair is useful for wearing whilst approaching the hills. For example the Mountain Equipment Touch Screen Glove.


• Socks - Several pairs of loop stitch style socks


• Personal clothing and effects for life in the hotel including swimwear for the pool.


*Indicates available to borrow free of charge from our kit store.


If you would like to borrow waterproof jacket, waterproof trousers, helmet, winter boots or crampons please complete our equipment loan form available here and return to Plas y Brenin. For all other items marked with a * we don't need to know in advance, just ask your instructor when you get there.


If you would like to request a pick up from the 8.30pm Scottish Citylink Bus at approx. 8.30pm and/or would like a late dinner if you arriving after 7.15pm you can request this on the equipment loan form.




Sorry. We have no dates currently available for this course






Not found what you were looking for?

You can hire one of our coaches instructors or guides from only £250 per day. They'll tailor the day to suit your aims and aspirations perfectly.
You can enjoy one to one coaching for that cost or if you get together as a group, depending on the activity, you can split that cost between up to 6 of you. If you are a group we can run any of our courses on a date that suits you and your friends. Or you could just write your own agenda for a week or weekend and we'll price it up for you - with or without accommodation. What's more, just like out normal course fees, our private instructor hire charge covers all your equipment too. Click on the link below to fill in a request form and one of our coaches will call you back (or e-mail if you'd prefer) to discuss things in detail with you.

Fill in a Callback Form


Other holidays or courses you should consider?

Mountaineering Instructor Award Training

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Mountaineering Instructor Certificate Assessment

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Scottish Performance Winter Climbs

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