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Winter Skills and Ben Nevis Ascent

Winter skills course and Ben Nevis ascent based in Fort William, Scotland over 2 days. The 1st day focusing upon winter skills: building your confidence and knowledge, the 2nd day putting it into practice with a summit of Ben Nevis.

Dates to suit you, please enquire, kit hire available. 

Ben Nevis summit
winter skills, Ben Nevis


  • Distance: 16km

  • Ascent: 1345m

  • Terrain: mountain path

  • Average duration: 6-8 hours.

  • Start/finish – Ben Nevis Inn, Glen Nevis


Experience of mountain walking in summer conditions.  No experience of winter walking needed, but having the ability to look after oneself whilst on the mountain.

winer skills Ben Nevis

What we offer

All our guides are local to the Fort William area and have many years’ experience in Scotlands' mountains, helping people navigate through the Scottish hills and up Ben Nevis in winter.

Crampons and ice axe included in the price and we can organise winter boot hire which are essential. 

We organise private groups and open groups for our winter skills courses and ascending Ben Nevis in winter.


Day 1

A winter skills course based in Fort William practising the fundamentals of safe winter travel can be invaluable, whether you are just taking your first steps into winter walking or want to get some tips to add to your experience.  These 2 days are designed to give you a base of knowledge so that you can start to apply the key principles of travelling safely in the winter mountains, whilst building upon your own experience. 

Our skills days are based upon the ‘Be Avalanche Aware’ safe winter travel model developed by the Scottish Avalanche Information Service.  With the focus being predominantly on gathering correct information in the planning stage of a winter day and adding to that information whilst out on the hill. 

We also look at key decision making points throughout the day that can increase your safety as you travel around the hills as well as safe practical route choice.

In addition, if the snow conditions allow we also look at the basic skills of ice axe arrest, having secure footwork and walking in crampons as well as others.


Areas covered on day 1:

  • Use of the boot for secure footwork

  • Appropriate use of an ice axe

  • Using an ice axe in an emergency

  • Efficient, safe movement with crampons

  • Avalanche awareness

  • Safe route choice through the mountains

  • Identifying snow hazards

  • Basic winter navigation techniques

Day 2

Starting at the Ben Nevis Inn we will be able to see the snow level that constantly changes throughout the winter season, where there can be a big difference between the weather in Glen Nevis and that on the summit.  So we always go prepared for any conditions taking crampons and a walking ice axe to be used higher up the mountain. 

On our way up we will pass the frozen waterfall of the Red Burn at the half way point before gaining the zig zags that takes us up the rest of the mountain.  If not already, at some point on the zig zags we will gain the snow line and from here on in, it is a case of making our own tracks in the snow up to the summit.

Additional Info

These days are programmed to start at 8am. We can arrange to meet you at the start of the route or we can pick you up from your accommodation in Fort William for small groups if preferred.  You need to bring your own kit, lunch and water for the day.


We will supply ice axe and crampons for you to use for small groups. 

It is strongly recommended that winter rated boots are worn.  These can be hired in Fort William which we can arrange, for a small additional hire fee.

Winter skills Ben Nevis
Winter skills, Ben Nevis
Winter Skills Ben Nevis
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