Intro to Winter

An exhilarating and exciting guided ascent of one of Carrauntoohil's classic grade I/II winter routes, including intro Winter Skills tuition.

 We obviously must wait for Winter conditions to arrive in the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks to be able to run these courses and we can’t predict when they will!

Keep an eye on our social media platforms and here on our website “Upcoming Events” section where we will advertise any scheduled courses.  Then get in touch to check availability. 

Conditions are very fickle meaning these courses are usually scheduled only a couple of days in advance – flexibility is key !

This course is the first step to enjoying the mountains in Winter and is aimed at the regular hill-walker who now wishes to gain the relevant skills to competently venture out in the snow and ice covered hills and mountains. This memorable day will leave you confident with the use of ice-axe and crampons, winter navigation, selection of essential & appropriate kit and coping with the extreme & adverse Winter weather. You will gain avalanche awareness, as well as how to generally equip and look after yourself in the mountains at this magical time of year.

No previous experience of winter hill walking is necessary. As winter days can be strenuous, a good level of hill fitness is required which is only gained from regular hillwalking days of over 7+ hours.

These particular ascents/courses are strictly limited to favourable snow conditions so don’t miss out!

The main topics covered are:

  • Selection, choice and organisation of personal kit appropriate to Winter hill walking
  • Route selection & planning
  • Basics of Winter Navigation
  • Personal movement skills on snow, including kicking steps and using the ice axe for walking, cutting steps, and self-arrest
  • Use of crampons in ascent/descent
  • Emergency procedures/Mountain Rescue
  • Avalanche awareness and safe route choice
  • Movement over grade I winter snow and ‘scrambling’ type terrain
  • Constructing basic snow anchors as well as body belays

Price: €100 pp (Minimum numbers required)

Note: Rope skills are NOT covered at this intro level

Own Boots are required. These would need to be B2 or B3 rated – ie stiff or semi stiffened sole. General/Summer walking boots are  NOT appropriate or acceptable. Contact us to discuss if you are unsure!

Crampons and Ice axes are available to hire at €5 per item. 
Full equipment list is provided upon booking.

Courses run from 8am – 5pm

Starting/meeting point is Cronin’s Yard Tea Rooms, Mealis, Beaufort.

Here’s a Tripadvisor review of what previous client thought of his day:

“There aren’t enough words to describe how much I enjoyed my day out in the hills with Piaras from Kerry Climbing, but I’ll try! Having climbed Carrauntoohill via the “normal” routes, I felt like getting my teeth into something more adventurous. So when I saw the chance to learn winter skills and climb Curve Gully I jumped at the chance. I wasn’t disappointed, the climb was truly fantastic, a must for everybody.

Piaras has a great way of sharing his vast knowledge of the skills and the mountains. The practical part of the winter skills was well thought out, there’s nothing like a well explained demonstration followed by trying it for yourself. Piaras is great company for the day and it felt like climbing with a buddy rather than a guide. A special mention for Catherine in ‘base camp’. Once I rang and put my name down for the course, I had an email back with the booking form, details of times and meeting points and a list of items that I’d need for the day. Afterwards I was absolutely delighted to get an email from her with photos from the day, a really nice touch. I’d highly recommend them and I’m already thinking about what I’d do next time.”

Winter skills Carrauntoohil