/ Best Winter Climbing/Ice Climbing Course
I'm looking for a good Winter Climbing/Ice Climbing course that will be running this winter. I've previously done some summer alpine routes (up to AD) and some Scottish Winter Grade II gullies but have never done actual climbing on ice.
Can anyone give an advice on which courses out there are best value for money and teach the necessary skills to start doing more technical routes in the Alps and Scotland.
I've hear good things about the ones run by Glenmore lodge and Moran Mountain, just wondering if I'm missing any others.
if you can afford it I would find a buddy who wants to do the same and then find a guide, rather than a centre, who has a good reputation for this; guides can be more flexible in relation to venue.
if you mean ice climbing, rather than Scottish winter climbing, I'd also consider a course based on the continent as coditions will almost certainly be more reliable.
I've done 3 ice climbing courses with UCPA. One beginner, and an improver, both in Queryas, and an improver in Val Cenis the third year.
I think it's €800 for a week - 6 nights, 5 days. On the beginner you top rope at an icefall for first 2 days and tackle a 3/3+ icefalls the next 2, with some dry tooling on the last day. The improver you just spend 1 day at the top rope , before spending the rest of the week on 3+ to 4+ icefalls. All icefalls are multi pitch, with 3 to 5 pitches.
Food is A1 at both Val Cenis and Abries.
The experience was one of my best.
Learnt and did another trip with Jagged Globe who were excellent
I've also done alpine climbing with ISM who do ice climbing
As said above, I think the main thing in getting best value for money, is to actually spend more money and go to the Alps if it is waterfall ice you want. You are much more likely to get good reliable conditions and places like Cogne have loads of easily accessible spots which minimise walking times and maximise time on the ice. Loads of easy stuff and harder routes as well if you progress quickly.
However, this reply is based on you wanting to climb waterfall ice. If you just want to climb harder and more technical spring/summer alpine routes then focusing on improving mixed and rock climbing might be better.
Be careful as well, once you climb waterfall ice you will be hooked. I strongly recommend going to Canada (Banff area) and Slovenia when you are hooked.
Ditto re Jagged Globe. If you want Scottish winter and if you want Alpine (mountaineering and/or waterfall ice) as well.
This Winter Conditions page gives a summary of what is being climbed at the moment, what is 'in' nick and what the prospects are...
A British hiker emerged from five days alone in the mountains of New Zealand to find that the country had unexpectedly shut down in his absence.