Winter Skills Week 2018

3rd to 10th  March 2018


This week will cater for three target audiences:
1) Novices,  four (4) places are available on this week for novices i;e those who want to gain experience in Winter conditions having already gained a good Summer mountain walking experience.
2) Scout leaders who wish to be assessed for their terrain 2 Winter Scouting authorisations.
3) those that are experienced Winter mountaineers who wish to develop their skills.
A programme of Winter walking skills will be arranged to introduce those who have little to no winter experience. This will include a progressive learning experience of the differences between Winter and Summer walking.

Those wishing to be assessed must have extensive Winter walking/leading experience compliant with the technical competencies laid out within POR, they must be able to provide log book evidence of this experience and be able to show an assessor these skills when required.

For those applicants who already have a good grounding in winter skills with relative winter experience but wish to improve and enhance that experience bt joining with other like minded individuals then this week will offer the opportunity. the applicants will have the ability  and confidence to choose and follow their own routes whilst not relying on others to lead them.

For all categories there are a limited number of places and the method of booking is simply on a “first come first served basis”. To confirm your intention please complete the application form and send along with a deposit cheque to the address noted on the application form

If you wish to discuss your suitability then please contact us through the email addresses noted on our website or email to [email protected]

The minimum age for attending is 18 years old.

Fitness plays a large part of the successful completion of the Winter week and as such it is essential that those wishing to attend this week should have good mountain fitness and  the ability to carry their own kit on what can be big Winter mountain days.
Within our programme we will, if weather and conditions permit, offer an overnight experience. This can range from snow holes, bothy to 4 season camping. If this activity interests you then please bring appropriate equipment to sleep out in Winter conditions.

Course Venue

The venue for the 2018 course will be Crubenmore Lodge.

Course Costs

The cost of the week is £365.00, which includes fuel costs (subject to car sharing), food and accommodation.
A deposit of £50 is required with your Course Application Form . Cheques should be made payable to “HCSC” and sent to the address on the application form. Payment by bank transfer is also available and details can be sent with the emailed confirmation of receipt of your application form / booking.

The Programme

The programme for the week is based on the expertise and aspirations of those attending, and will be finalised once exact numbers have been confirmed.

Obviously the existing snow conditions and weather will play a great part in what we do and where we go.


HSMT can and will advise on equipment needs and can arrange, if necessary, the borrowing of some items.
The team will have some maps of the areas, emergency shelters and shovels for loan free of charge (if returned!). Other specialist equipment ie Ice axes, helmets and crampons can be arranged for an additional charge of £10 per item for the week). A meeting nearer the event will be held to identify requirements.

Individual Kit

Please note this is not an exhaustive list for everything you need, but a guide to the key essential Winter type items.
Other items will be be confirmed prior to the week.

Winter boots, suitable for crampons (B2 for example)
Warm sleeping bag (4 season if out over-night)
Gloves, composite or separate inner/outer; water-proof/breathable outer
Sunglasses – goggles may be used instead on overly bright days
Waterproof jacket and trousers
A separate set of old waterproofs suitable for sliding on rough ground
Inner and mid layers, thermal inners – body, arms and legs,
walking trousers and mid wear thermal fleece jacket
Rucsac 45/50 litre for day; normal large expedition sac if over-nighting
Crampons that are suitable and fit your Winter boots (C2 for example)

Ice Axe (Walking)
Personal first aid & penknife
Compass & map-case
Dry-bag or rucksack liner
Balaclava & Warm hat
Orange emergency bivvi bag
Rugged flask and mug
Gore-tex bivi bag
Thick socks
Head torch
Spare – emergency food

Recommended Reading

Hillwalking by Steve Long [Publisher: UKMTB (2003), Paperback 224 pages, ISBN-10: 0954151100, ISBN-13: 978-0954151102]

Mountaincraft & Leadership by E Langmuir [Publisher: sportscotland; 3rd edition (1995), Paperback 480 pages, ISBN-10: 1850602956, ISBN-13: 978-1850602958]

Scotlands Winter Mountains by M Moran [Publisher: David & Charles PLC; 2nd Revised edition (1998), Hardback 256 pages, ISBN-10: 0715307940, ISBN-13: 978-0715307946]

The Handbook of Climbing by A Fyffe & I Peter [Publisher: Pelham Books; 2nd Revised edition (1997), Hardback: 384 pages, ISBN-10: 0720720540, ISBN-13: 978-0720720549]

Mountain Navigation by P Cliff [Publisher: Menasha Ridge Press Inc.,U.S.; 4th Revised edition(1991), Paperback 58 pages, ISBN-10: 1871890551, ISBN-13: 978-1871890556]

also the following websites may be of interest.

Website of the ML.UK

The BMC website essential winter know-how

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland website winter hillwalking

Please contact us if you have any queries.

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