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Think Winter

Getting started in winter climbing isn’t just a case of going along with crampons and axes and wearing your rock climbing head. The basic principles are the same but, although the angles will be easier – at least to begin with – there are a lot more factors to balance out. Not least of these will be the practicalities of navigating your way to the foot of your route and - crucially - navigating your way to safety from the top.

Regardless of your summer rock grades, you’ll probably start on easier climbs – Grade I and II – until you get into the swing of things and start to progress up the grades. This will allow you to become comfortable with the basic skills of movement and security on steep ground under winter conditions before starting to push your grades and tackle harder routes.

The short video clips below were made in the Northern Corries of Cairngorm by the BMC to give an introduction to easier grade winter climbing, outlining some of the basic skills and practices you’ll want to master.

Near the top of Goat Track Gully (II) in the Cairngorms.