Private Mountain Guiding and Instruction

Hire your private mountain guide.
Our high levels of qualifications and experience, coupled with excellent local knowledge and friendly approach will ensure safe and rewarding adventures.

Engaging the services of your private mountain guide, at anytime of the year, is available as a popular alternative to attending a set mountaineering course with other people. Together we will design a bespoke itinerary that will meet your requirements and help you to achieve your ambitions, whether you are an individual or part of a group.  The duration and location can be tailored to your requirements.

One of the main advantages of private mountain guiding is that is is delivered entirely around your aspirations. A flexible approach enables the pace of the course and level of challenge to be easily adjusted to match your ability and experience. This ensures that skills are developed progressively and at a suitable pace.

All of the mountain guides, instructors and leaders that we employ for all of our courses are all very active mountaineers and climbers. All have climbed and walked extensively throughout the UK and many have been on adventurous expeditions around the world. With such a wealth of experience, we will make sure that we find the right professional for you.

West Coast Mountain Guides enjoy the challenge of accommodating even the wildest requests; allow us to help provide you a safe and enjoyable time in the mountains.

Private mountain guiding and instruction ratios will depend on the type of activity requested. Prices will reflect the location, duration and number of people who want to participate. Please see below for our pricing structure. If you would like some help with your request or wish to discuss ideas and options with an experienced instructor, please get in touch.

Some examples of private mountain guiding include:

  • One day of 1:1 guided winter ice climbing at grade V on Ben Nevis (e.g. Point 5 Gully or Orion Direct)
  • One day of 1:1 guided winter climbing on Tower Ridge, Ben Nevis
  • Two days of 1:2 learning to lead winter climbs in Glencoe (e.g. Dorsal Arete or NC Gully)
  • Two days of 1:2 mountaineering preparation for Island Peak, Nepal (one day of fixed rope and abseil training in Glen Nevis, followed by one day of winter mountaineering on Beinn a’Chaorainn)
  • Three days of 1:4 (with a family) guided winter mountaineering in Lochaber (e.g. Ledge Route on Ben Nevis, School House Ridge in Glencoe)
  • Two days of 1:2 summer mountaineering on the Black Cuillin, Isle of Skye (e.g. Clach Glas-Blaven Traverse, Sgurr Mhic Choinnich-Inn Pinn-Sgurr na Banachdich)
  • Two days of 1:4 winter skills and basic alpine ropework in preparation for the Chamonix to Zermatt Walker’s Haute Route (skills day on Aonach Mor, making use of the gondola followed by a ropework day in Coire na Ciste, Ben Nevis)
  • One day of 1:1 guided hillwalking expedition to the remote Corbett; Ben Adan in Knoydart.

Guiding Tower Ridge in Winter

One of the most popular options for private mountain guiding in winter is the magnificent Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis. The below video features Alan Kimber, former owner and founder of West Cost Mountain Guides, climbing and describing the ascent of Tower Ridge.

Customer Reviews

  • 5 star rating CIC hut (mid March 2020) Had an amazing week of winter climbing, which was professionally guided by Ken Applegate and Mark Scales. All the clients on this particular course were experienced winter climbers and we were well matched, allowing us to make the most of the excellent conditions and cram in so many classic grade IV/V routes over the week including: Minus Three Gully, Gutless, Minus Two Gully continuing up North East Buttress, Right Hand... read more

    G5764WYphilg 26 Apr 2020

    5 star rating CIC HUT WEEK WINTER CLIMBING COURSE A truly fantastic week with Ken and Mark. I can't believe how much we got done and how kind the conditions were to us. The guides knowledge of the mountain and routes was outstanding, which allowed us to make the most of everyday. I always felt safe and found the climbing, conditions, views and exposure amazing.
    Definitely up there as one of my best climbing trips!
    I have previously...
    read more

    Swillis72 16 Apr 2020

    5 star rating Guided winter mountaineering We booked 4 days of guided mountaineering. Booking was easy and Ken responded to all emails before booking concerning gear etc quickly. We had two guides, Niels and Mike. Both were professional, friendly and knowledgeable and went out of their way to ensure we got the most out of our days out. Highly recommend West Coast Mountain guides!

    Livinthedream102 10 Apr 2020
  • 5 star rating Excellent Grade II winter climbing and guiding We called West Coast a couple of weeks ahead of our planned long weekend on 14th-16th March 2020 and Ken was able to give us two different guides (Jamie and Jamie!) for both of our planned climbing days. We’re both coming back into climbing after a long time out so wanted to re-learn various skills and both of our guides were spot-on in their approach and choice of Grade II... read more

    StevieLeChamois 06 Apr 2020

    5 star rating Excellent couple of days guided winter climbing Had a great day in the Northern Corries, climbed 3 good routes in Sneachda. The next day was on the Ben climing V/6 on the Douglas Boulder. Tim's expertise meant we crammed in a lot of climbing, especially benefitial when navigating tricky avvy conditions on Ben Nevis.
    Really good 2 days and would highly advise booking through them if you're looking to maximise you're available time. Thanks again.

    324cameronr 06 Apr 2020

    5 star rating Just what I was after The weather didn't look promising but thanks to Jamie's local knowledge, expertise and judgement we cracked two quality IVs on the Minus face - despite howling gales and snow high up and rain all the way down from the CIC hut. Add to that some intelligent conversation and general happy blether and it was exactly the day I was after. Thanks Jamie and thanks West Coast Mountain Guides.

    stevebK6037NY 31 Mar 2020
  • 5 star rating Private Guiding with Ian Fowler Top notch service. Excellent and tailor made winter guiding with tough routes and summiting Ben Nevis and Cairgoms. Highly recommend!

    BorysD2013 31 Mar 2020

    5 star rating Quality Mountain Day with a Quality Company An outstanding quality mountain day (QMD) on 16 March PLD (pre-lockdown) with Dave and Ian from West Coast Mountain Guides. Ken runs a great company and is efficient, organised and responsive. First rate administration. Dave and Ian, our guides for the day, were both brilliant; knowledgable and highly professional, and also great company. And we would not have been able to do what we did (Schoolhouse Ridge, Ballachulish) without them,... read more

    79nicka 31 Mar 2020

    5 star rating Excellent mountain climb I found West Coast Mountain Guides to be extremely professional, great company and they had excellent local knowledge

    JamesdFawcett 31 Mar 2020
  • 5 star rating Grade 4/5 guided winter climbing. Climbing with Malcom guide for 4 days. Climbing higher grade routes....knowing that I was in very safe hands. Not made to feel that my amateur skills next to the professional..were embarrassing. Knowing Malcom went out of his way to find the best route for the conditions..

    AndyMc43 28 Mar 2020

    5 star rating Quality Mountain Day with a quality outfit. West Coast Mountain Guides are simple a very professional and friendly outfit.
    Our guides Ian and Dave filled us with confidence, in difficult weather conditions. They quickly identified the strengths and weakness of the group immediately set a pace and level of instruction to suit.
    Our trip was cut short due to the Corona Virus but we will return to the Hills hopefully with Dave and Ian.
    read more

    NickG268 26 Mar 2020

    5 star rating Great Guide. Great Communication before and during the course. Great Course. Booked a private, 2 day, winter mountaineering skills course with these guys.
    Our team of 2 really liked Dave Barker’s approach. He gave good advice, showed very good judgement and was a safe pair of hands in somewhat challenging conditions.
    He was clearly very experienced and his depth of knowledge, from research and experience was evident.
    Our team had very different levels of experience and Dave was great with both...
    read more

    JT_NS 15 Mar 2020

Private Mountain Guiding in the UK

All prices are per guide per day.

Year Round Hillwalking and Skills (no ropework involved)

  • 1:1
  • 1:2
    £230.00 (£115/person)
  • 1:3
    £250.00 (£84/person)
  • 1:4
    £270.00 (£67.50/person)
  • 1:5+
    £290.00 (£58/person or less)

Year Round Mountaineering and Climbing (ropework involved)

  • 1:1
  • 1:2
    £250.00 (£125/person)
  • 1:3
    £270.00 (£90/person)
  • 1:4
    £290 (£72.50/person)

Please get in touch if you have any specific requirements or would like prices for larger groups.