Scottish Winter Mountain Courses

Winter hillwalking, mountaineering and climbing in Scotland, and in particular on Ben Nevis, is world famous. We offer courses for everyone, whether you are just starting out or have years of experience under your belt.

Scotland is renown for its challenging conditions, which we are grateful for as they are essential to build up the ice and rime which makes winter climbing here so unique. Winter mountaineering, ice climbing and hillwalking activities are invariably affected by the weather and the current snow and ice conditions. To enjoy this challenging environment it is just as important to develop your skills and understand the hazards as it is to experience your dream route or develop your climbing technique.

All of our guides and instructors that work on our Scottish winter courses have excellent local knowledge accumulated over many years of personal winter walking and climbing. They are able to ensure that the most is made of every day in the mountains meaning anyone attending with us will gain useful insights on how to plan your day and get the best out of it, even during the most challenging weather.


Customer Reviews

  • 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...
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    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...
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    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