01690 720214

Winter Mountaineering

By Martin Chester


Whether you are a committed winter walker, going winter mountaineering or even a winter climber, this could be for you. So much of a winter day out in Britain involves sensible mountaineering decisions. The secret to a safe day out in winter is often to think ahead a bit more than summer. Here are a few ideas:


Stopping

Stop to gear up (or have a brew/change layers) in safety. What's above you? Could that slope avalanche upon you? Could that other team fall or knock things on you? There is rarely 'safety in numbers' in winter time. Be organised with that kit as well. Put something down in Winter and it will be gone!


Crampons

Winter Mountaineering

Put your crampons on sooner rather than later. It's so easy to delay the decision, and put it off, linking one snow patch to another boulder field etc. Before you know it you are teetering around on a steep frozen slope trying to balance on one foot, putting crampons on with one hand. If you think they might help put them on ASAP. That said:


Think Ahead About Terrain/Route

As always - think ahead. Don't stop to put crampons on if you could go round the tricky patch. Is this your spikes on for the whole day? Don't forget good 'old fashioned' skills like cutting a few steps to cross an awkward patch, or cutting a stance to gear up in. They knew what they were doing those old timers!


Think Ahead About Stopping

Think ahead again - it's nice and sheltered here, but what about round the corner, or the other side of the ridge, or over the top of the corrie? If you are about to head into the full force of the weather, stop before you do. Put an extra layer on now, have a drink and some food, have a look ahead at the navigation. You may even take a crucial bearing now - while you're comfy. It beats battling that map and compass in a storm once you are on the plateau.


Conditions

Winter Mountaineering

Think ahead about conditions. If things are great where you are - where are you going next? As we travel around the mountains things get colder as we get higher, more windy as we round the corner, more deeply drifted as we reach a sheltered place, etc. Where are you going next - will things be getting safer or worse, what about later on, or your way off the hill?




Comments



Got A Date Available - Need An Adventure To Match?

Find out what's going on at the National Mountain Sports Centre between any date range on this handy new search page



Latest News

TRY OUR FREE NATURE TRAIL

Try Our Free Nature TrailTo help visitors to Plas y Brenin discover more about the local area, we've developed the Plas y Bre....



NEW AUTUMN FAST TRACK INSTRUCTOR SCHEME OPTION ADDED

New Autumn Fast Track Instructor Scheme Option AddedWe've added another option to our Fast Track Instructor Scheme. Until now, the course has always run....



FAST TRACK INSTRUCTOR SCHEME
OPEN DAYS

Fast Track Instructor Scheme<br/>Open DaysJoin us for a free information day on May 1st and find out how the Fast Track Instructor Scheme can ....



NEW MOUNTAIN BIKE COURSES LAUNCHED

New Mountain Bike Courses LaunchedCheck out our new range of mountain bike courses designed to help you improve your skills fast.....



EQUIPMENT HIRE

Equipment HireOur equipment stores is packed with carefully chosen, well maintained technical gear. Provided we ....



What's On In Our bar?

Our friendly and lively bar is open to the public. From talks and lectures to film nights and live music, there's always something going on. Find out what's coming up next here



Adventure Sport
Summer Camps (Age 12-17)

Summmer Camps For Young People Aged 12-17Young climbers, mountaineers, paddlers and mtb riders aged 12-17. Develop your outdoor skills with our top coaches on one of our residential summer camps.


Gift Vouchers

PYB Gift VouchersAvailable for any amount, our gift vouchers make the perfect present for any outdoor enthusiast.




Weather Forecast, Tides and Surf Conditions

Find out what the weather's doing in North Wales over the next five days.



Review your holiday or course here

Review Your Course
Help us by reviewing your holiday or course here


Adventure Map


Working alongside UCLan
to educate
outdoor professionals

University Of Central LancashireFind out how we are working with one of the country's top universities to develop lasting careers in the outdoors.