One Day Winter Skills Courses

a man standing on a mountain in the snow

Winter 2020/21:

An opportunity to spend a day on Helvellyn with a Lake District National Park Authority Fell Top Assessor as they climb to the summit of the mountain to take snow and weather readings for Lake District Weatherline Service. For each event our Fell Top Assessor will guide you on a route up the mountain, chosen according to snow and weather conditions and the ability of the group members, teaching you the basic skills of snowcraft needed for safe winter walking in the fells and mountains of the UK.

The day promises to be strenuous, informative, challenging, but also a lot of fun!

Group Course:

  • Upto 6 participants on a group course
  • £100 per adult
  • Select dates available

Book your group course now

Exclusive Masterclass / Private Course:

  • A private masterclass with the Fell Top Assessor
  • 1:1 - £250 just you and the Fell Top Assessor
  • 2:1 - £325 you and one guest and the Fell Top Assessor
  • 3:1 - £425 you and two guests and the Fell Top Assessor
  • Select dates available

Book your private course now

About the courses

A Lake District taster day for anyone who wants to learn the basics of how to use an ice axe and crampons for winter walking. A Lake District Fell Top Assessor will guide you through the basic techniques required for safe winter walking in the fells.

  • Start point: 08.30am in Glenridding.
  • Postcode: CA11 0PD
  • Grid ref:  NY385169
  • ///lecturing.skate.gambles
  • Length: 10-15 km
  • Duration: 8-9 hours
  • Total ascent: 900 m
  • Highest point: 950 m
  • Grade: Strenuous
  • A good level of fitness is required.
  • Adults only. Not open to those under 18 years of age.

Available to hire

  • Winter walking boots - £15 per day
  • Crampons - £12.50 per day
  • Ice axe - £12.50 per day

A group of people climbing Helvellyn

Winter Skills Gift Vouchers

Gift vouchers for our group courses and private masterclasses are now available. Perfect presents for those looking for a true Lake District adventure!

Book your vouchers below:

Voucher for 1 place on a Winter Skills group course

Voucher for a 1:1 Winter Skills Masterclass

Voucher for a 2:1 Winter Skills Masterclass

Group winter skills course in the Lake District mountains

For details of our COVID-19 safety measures, please see our T&Cs at the bottom of the page

Essential clothing and equipment

We can provide all the technical gear for the day, but you are expected to have your own personal clothing and equipment. You will need*:

  • Full waterproofs (including trousers and gaiters)
  • Warm layers including a spare fleece/down jacket
  • Woolly hat and gloves, ski goggles, head torch and spare batteries
  • Rucksack (at least 30L)
  • Winter walking boots (must be rated B1 or B2 to take crampons - see our list of compatible boots) can be hired when booking at £15 per day
  • Packed lunch including a hot drink and spare snacks
  • You will also need an ice axe and crampons (rated at least C1 – not ‘spikes’) can be hired when booking for £12.50 per day

*The instructor reserves the right to refuse to take anyone on the day who does not have the correct personal clothing and boots. No jeans please, and avoid cotton baselayers.

You must also be able to agree to the following conditions:

  1. I am currently fit and well.
  2. I have read the list of relevant medical conditions listed below* and none of them applies to me.
  3. I have not had to take any long term medication prescribed by a doctor in the last 12 months
  4. In addition I am not currently under the care of my own doctor or hospital for investigation into any medical condition or symptoms.
  5. I have no undue problems taking exercise such as strenuous walking, running for a bus, swimming, lifting day to day objects or jumping from a 3ft wall.
  6. I haven’t within the last 3 months had surgery or a serious injury, including a fracture.

* Relevant medical conditions list:

  • A heart attack within the last 6 months
  • Angina/chest pain
  • High blood pressure that is not well controlled with medication
  • Joint problems such or arthritis in any joint, or back or neck, that stops you exercising due to pain
  • Asthma which is brought on by exercise and not well controlled with medication
  • Pregnancy

If you have any questions about these conditions and whether they apply to you please do get in touch by emailing winterskills@lakedistrict.gov.uk

About your instructors

Our winter skills day courses are run by instructors who are passionate about the outdoors, about the Lake District fells, and about giving people the skills they need to be safe.

Both our instructors have great experience in leading people on mountains in all conditions, and both are members of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors.

Association of Mountaineering Instructors

Zac Poulton

zac poulton

Zac is a Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor (formerly MIC), the highest mountaineering qualification in the UK and is a full member of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors and the Alpine Club. He has a background in Sport and Exercise Science and is medically trained as a WEMSI Wilderness First Responder.

Working as an expedition guide Zac has safely led a total of 27 people above 8000m including a successful ascent of the North Ridge of Everest. Other notable ascents have included an early ascent of Baruntse (7201m), the 2nd British ascent of Himlung Himal (7126m), multiple ascents of Antarctica's Mt Vinson, a ski traverse of Greenland's Liverpool Land, a ski expedition to the South Pole, made a solo ascent of Ama Dablam and guided 5 of the 7 Summits.

Wes Hunter

wes hunter

Wes is a passionate climber, mountaineer and a fully qualified Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor (WCMI), the highest mountaineering qualification in the UK. Wes has been working in the outdoor sector all of his working life and loves it as much today as he did when he first started back in the mid-’90s.

Brought up around Keswick in the English Lake District, Wes began rock climbing in the Lakeland fells as a child. Over the years, he has climbed most of the classic routes in the Lakes up to E5/E6 as well as a handful of E7s. Wes has climbed extensively throughout the UK, as well as trips to Europe, Nepal, Morocco, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and California. Wes loves all aspects of climbing and mountaineering and the diverse and evolving nature of the sport.

Weather conditions

In the event that there is a lack of snow or snow conditions are deteriorating, a course will continue with a mountaineering day. The day will provide the opportunity to experience a day in the mountains with our highly skilled and qualified Fell Top Assessor(s).

In the event of adverse weather, our Fell Top Assessor(s) will make a decision on the day as to whether the event will proceed or if an alternative will be offered. Their decision is final.

There must be a minimum of 3 participants / maximum of 6 for the group courses to run. All courses must be booked in advance.  

Disclaimer: Winter hill walking is a potentially hazardous activity. Although all reasonable steps are taken to ensure the safety of people participating in the events listed, individuals do so at their own risk. Your instructor reserves the right to refuse to guide anyone who does not have appropriate clothing and footwear. Please phone prior to booking if there are any disabilities which could affect the logistics of the course.

Please read our full terms and conditions before booking


Boots compatible with crampons

Aku

  • Serai GTX
  • Tengu GTX
  • Montagnard GTX
  • Yatumine GTX
  • Terrealte GTX

Berghaus

  • Kibo

Boreal

  • Arwa Bi Flex
  • Nelion

Garmont

  • Mountain Guide Pro GTX
  • Pinnacle GTX
  • Tower LX GTX

Hanwag

  • Badile Combi GTX

La Sportiva

  • G2 SM
  • G5
  • Nepal Cube
  • Nepal Extreme
  • Trango Ice Cube
  • Trango S Evo
  • Trango Tower GTX

Mammut

  • Mamook GTX
  • Magic Guide High GTX
  • Magic High GTX

Meindl (German Rating C & D)

  • Jorasse GTX
  • Jorasse Lady GTX
  • Super Perfect
  • Perfect
  • Verte GTX
  • Glockner MFS
  • GroBvenediger MFS

Millet

  • Charpoua GTX Alpine

Scarpa

  • Charmoz
  • Manta Pro GTX
  • Mont Blanc Pro GTX
  • Phantom Tech
  • R-Evo Pro GTX
  • Rebel Lite GTX
  • SL Active

Zamberlan

  • Dufur Evo GTX RR
  • Expert Pro GTX RR
  • Mountain Pro Evo GTX RR

Winter Skills Course: Terms and conditions

The Winter Skills courses are subject to our terms and conditions. By proceeding with a booking and attending one of our events you agree that these terms and conditions will apply.

Covid-19 safety measures

As this is an activity undertaken outdoors, the risks of contracting Covid-19 are reduced. Numbers of participants will remain at 6 per group course and all hire equipment will be sanitised after use.

Participants must not attend a course if they have any symptoms of Covid-19. Anyone who cannot attend because they are exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms, are awaiting the result of a test, or have a positive diagnosis will be offered an alternative date.

Each participant will have their temperature taken on arrival on the day of the course. Anyone registering a temperature in excess of 38 degrees Celsius will be excluded from the course and asked to leave. They will be offered an alternative date.

If you accept the offer of an alternative date, we will transfer your booking to another Winter Skills Course to be taken by Easter 2021. If you do not accept the offer of an alternative date, we will only be able to provide you with a refund upon receipt of a doctor’s certificate.

In the event of changes to Government guidance that affects the running of a winter skills course, we will offer a full refund to those participants affected.

These courses are delivered by our Fell Top Assessor(s), who are contracted to deliver these sessions on behalf of the Lake District National Park Authority. Booking is through our Benveno online booking system or by calling our contact centre on 01539 792605.

The following terms and conditions also apply to these sessions:

Disclaimer

  • Although all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure the safety of people participating in our events, individuals do so at their own risk. Hill walking and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement.
  • Winter skills courses are open to over 18s only.  No one under the age of 18 will be accepted onto a course. The Fell Top Assessor(s) have been instructed to ask for proof of age if they suspect an attendee is under 18.
  • All participants must abide by instructions issued by the course leader, including health and safety instructions. Anyone failing to abide by these instructions may be asked to leave the event if, in the opinion of the leader, their actions could endanger anyone in the group.
  • If anyone leaves an event before the finish, either by agreement or having been asked to, the leader's duty of care will cease at that point.
  • We reserve the right to alter or cancel an event if it is not safe to proceed. This is most likely in the event of extreme weather conditions.
  • We reserve the right to exclude participants if they are deemed by the leader not to be adequately prepared. Please check event details, which will state if suitable clothing is advised or required - particularly in relation to footwear and clothing. Please ensure you have enough food and drink for the type and duration of the activity.
  • We reserve the right to refuse participation if it is considered a person's conduct puts either themselves or others in danger. We accept no responsibility for personal property that may be lost or damaged during the event.

Medical conditions

  • The event leader needs to determine, as far as possible, that participants are physically and mentally fit for that particular event.
  • By attending the event you accept that the leader will ask you to declare, in confidence, any relevant medical information that may affect your performance.
  • Covid-19 safety measures – all participants will have their temperature taken on arrival on the day of the course. Any participant registering a temperature in excess of 38 degrees Celsius will be excluded from the course. An alternative course date will be offered in accordance with these terms and conditions.

Attendance on events

  • Maximum numbers apply to all events for health and safety reasons and group enjoyment.

Bookings

  • Bookings are taken directly through our Benveno booking website.
  • You will be issued with a booking reference which you will need to present to the leader on the day.

Booking guarantee

  • Your credit or debit card details will be requested to purchase your ticket(s).
  • Your credit or debit card details will be requested to complete your purchase and a "print-at-home" ticket will be generated.

Cancellation policy

Weather conditions

In the event that there is a lack of snow or snow conditions are deteriorating, a course will continue with a mountaineering day. The day will provide the opportunity to experience a day in the mountains with our highly skilled and qualified Fell Top Assessor(s).

In the event of adverse weather our Fell Top Assessor(s) will make a decision on the day as to whether the event will proceed or an alternative be offered. Their decision is final.

Cancellation by us

If we need to cancel the course we will offer you a full refund (if applicable) or with your consent, transfer your booking to another Winter Skills Course to be taken by Easter 2021.

Cancellation by you

Exchanges and refunds: If you inform us at least 14 days before your course, we will be happy to transfer your booking onto another suitable Winter Skills Course or hold a credit for you against a future booking until Easter 2021.

We regret that we are unable to give refunds unless the course is cancelled by the Lake District National Park Authority.

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