Learn Winter Skills on our Mountaineering Courses in Spain's snowsure Sierra Nevada mountains
Our winter mountaineering and winter skills courses are held in Spain's Sierra Nevada mountains during the months of December through to the end of May. These hills are ideal with good snow lasting well into June. They will teach you to travel and progress safely in the winter mountains.
Is it for me?
If you enjoy 3 season hillwaking, maybe even a bit of scrambling, and wish to progress to travelling safely in the winter mountains then this may be for you. The rewards are massive! Be aware though that the winter mountains are tough and a certain amount of hardship will be endured. In our opinion real life experience is by far the best way to learn.
You will be taught and coached by our professional guiding team backed by 40 years experience in the Alps, Patagonia and Kamchatka. If you also wish to include travelling safely on glaciers, alpine ascents or expeditions then you should try our 4 day "Alpine Introduction Course".
The Sierra Nevada
The 3000m mountains of the Sierra Nevada offer both beginner and the more experienced experienced mountaineer good long routes in a quiet environment. Few others will be seen. In addition the ample sunshine hours normally guarantee good weather. Our 4 wheel drive vehicles transport you to 2,500 metres in the Sierras. Here are excellent training areas with snowbowls, gullies and cliffs galore. No 3 to 4 hour walk-ins to the snows anymore!
Maximum time can be spent in learning the skills necessary to be in the hills in winter or to ascend Alpine peaks. After acquiring those new skills we take you into the hills, thus allowing you to put them into practice in a big mountain environment.
We are in the course of producing an online guidebook to this area. This great climbing venue is still relatively unknown and provides a fantastic alternative with much more chance of that magical combination of sun, snow and splendid isolation!
What you will learn
You'll gain a clear understanding of the principles and quickly attain the skills. You'll be able to choose the most appropriate technique for the terrain and conditions. With adequate time given over to practise, you'll finish the course proficient in both the technical winter skills and those essential winter navigation techniques. If you:
- wish to extend your hillwalking into the winter season
- need to know how to use an ice axe
- want to know about emergency snow shelters
- want to learn all the skills for safe movement across snow & ice - covered terrain: crampon techniques, evaluate avalanche risk, etc.)
- want to know about step kicking and cutting
- want to consolidate the skills to optimise future winter trips
and ..... plus a whole lot more ... then this will be the course for you!
Winter Skills Course Content
- Kitting out for winter
- Use of Ice Axe
- Use of Crampons
- Avalanche awareness
- Roping up
- Snow belays - use and suitability
- Ice Axe braking (self arrest)
Additional to the 2 day course a combination of the following will be done depending on snow and weather conditions:
- Ascent of Mulhacen (3479 metres)
- Traverse of Puntal de la Caldera (3215 metres)
- Ascent of Tajos de los Machos (3085 metres)
- Ascent of Cerro de Caballo (3215 metres)
- 2/3 day crossing of the Sierra Nevada (staying in ruined refuges or bivouacs)
For those going on Expeditions to Polar or Greater Ranges we run a short 2 day course which can be "bolted on" to our existing Winter Skills Mountaineering or Alpine Introduction Courses