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 The Black Cuillin (Skye) Ken got us to the summit of all 11 Munro’s on the cuillin ridge (Isle of Skye). His knowledge and understanding of the mountains was first class and I would highly recommend using Ken.

    Michaelmcmillan93 03 Aug 2020

    5 star rating Aonach Ridge Booked myself and the wife onto the Aonach Eagach route. Do a bit of scrambling but no rope experience hence the booking.
    Had first rate correspondence all the way through lockdown and was offered our money back, but we were willing to hold on for this iconic ridge.
    It was a wet day, but if Ken had any reservations he certainly didn't let on so didn't make us nervous any more than...
    read more

    Tonethemoan3 25 Jul 2020

    5 star rating Tower Ridge, Ben Nevis Excellent guidance by Ken throughout our ascent of Ben Nevis via Tower Ridge. His competence and knowledge can't be faulted, giving us a fantastic experience and leaving us feeling in safe hands throughout. I'd definitely recommend West Coast Mountain Guides-professional, know their stuff and great company.

    187069Kath 24 Jul 2020
  • 5 star rating In pin ascent Booked with Ken for the guided ascent of the in pin, got up and down with no hassles. It was a great day out, with lots of tips for future treks given to us. Would highly recommend Ken and west coast mountain guides.

    DMacaskill1 05 Jul 2020

    5 star rating Inn pinn (skye) Top notch service from ken! Got us up and down the inn pinn making sure we were in safe hands, learnt some great tips for future hikes

    381duncang 05 Jul 2020

    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

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.