View from the Sharp End

Winter Mountaineering Course Glencoe

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Developing the skills to lead safely and with confidence is a tremendously valuable experience. Many instructors work in outdoor education providing certification for people wanting to work in the outdoors. Since 1999, we have delivered practical training in risk assessment and leadership in one of the most demanding environments in the UK. We will improve your broader mountaineering skills en route and show how your decision-making skills can be improved over a number of days. Only having established a rapport with your companion can you explore your approach to risk.

West Highland Guides will support your learning at your own pace. A progression of routes will expand your 1st hand experience and influence your future choices. Much as we appreciate our friends who are still climbing with us ten years on, most folk find their aspirations soar over a few seasons and can explore wilder peaks with a solid grounding of basic skills.

Many of us who started climbing after the early seventies revolution in information and techniques often suspect that we hurried through the steady apprenticeship that our grandfathers served under elder mountaineers and perhaps miss some of the security that comes from long practice.

For many mountaineers, diverse responsibilities prevent frequent climbing. Leading above naturally placed gear becomes a hugely significant act that acknowledges weather, terrain and self-awareness. We understand this, and whilst having a duty of care to each other, most mountaineers spend much of the day unroped above potentially dangerous drops. The effects of bad weather on our concentration should never be underestimated. Given light winds and a trusty third person, many take the opportunity to tackle an easier pitch at the sharp end of the rope.

Ice climbing on Ben Nevis, Western Highlands, Scotland, UK