Winter Mountaineering

Based in Glen Coe

Friendly guiding

5 mountain days

21 healthy meals

Close to Ben Nevis

Professional instruction

1 invaluable rest day

7 comfortable nights

You can experience the magic of the mountains and enjoy the best of the weather with our flexible schedule, so come ready for stunning sunrises, scenic sunsets, shining stars and the magical moon.

Intro to Winter Mountaineering – Grade I

  • Ratio: 4 clients to 1 instructor
  • Holiday: £695 per person
  • Course: £795 per person

Advanced Winter Mountaineering – Grade II+

  • Ratio: 2 clients to 1 instructor
  • Holiday: £895 per person
  • Course: £995 per person

If you want a guided mountaineering week in the wonderful Scottish winter, with fun times, relaxing evenings, great company, magical mountain adventures and a friendly guide too, the holidays are for you.

If you want to develop your skills, build your competence and grow in confidence to enjoy your own mountain adventures, with professional coaching throughout and evening workshops too, book onto a course.

Winter mountain walking in snow, at Stob Coire nan Lochan, Glen Coe.
Andreea and Nick walking into Stob Coire nan Lochan, Glen Coe.

“An amazing few days introduction to winter mountaineering! Paul is a great guy and a knowledgeable and patient instructor. I felt totally safe with him yet he really pushed me to my limits, which was perfect for me. The chalet was really close to the pub and everyone was super friendly and good to get on with. Paul has lived this life for years and it shows in how relaxed and experienced he is in the mountains. Roll on next year!”


How to book:

Or call 0300 030 1045 or email to ask any questions, find out more and book your place. We’re looking forward to enjoying the Scottish Highlands with you this winter!


11th – 18th January

25th January – 1st February

8th – 15th February

22nd – 29th February

7th – 14th March

21st – 28th March


Take the train to Glasgow, followed by a bus to Glencoe, and we’ll pick you up in the village. There’s also parking space if you decide to drive and we can team you up with other clients for a car-share.

Snow covered summit of Sron na Lairig, Glen Coe, Scotland.
Johnathon and Amber enjoying the alpine nature of Sron na Lairig (II), Glen Coe.

“Our week with Mountain Magic far exceeded our expectations in every way. Thanks to Dave – our highly qualified instructor – we learnt and experienced so much more than I could have hoped for. Paul took great care in every aspect of the experience – in addition to ensuring that the course was tailored to everyone’s skills and experience, it was evident that he carefully considered the instructors he chose to work with and the comfy lodging, not to mention the amazing feasts he somehow manages to whip up every morning and evening! We absolutely loved our week with Mountain Magic, and cannot recommend it highly enough.”



We are all professional members of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors and we all love our work. Friendly guides, patient instructors and experienced coaches, we love to see you enjoying the mountains and developing into competent winter mountaineers.


Just four clients to one instructor on the intro course or holiday, and only two clients to one instructor on the advanced course or holiday, so you can make the most of your adventure time on a holiday, and maximise your learning time with 1:1 coaching on a course.


Here are the skills we will focus on for your learning and development during a course:

  • Selecting the right winter clothing and equipment for your comfort and safety.
  • Using avalanche reports, weather forecasts and maps to plan your day well.
  • Understanding how snow pack forms and changes to assess avalanche risk.
  • Navigating in the dark, snow and a full white-out with safety and efficiency.
  • Travelling safely on steep snow when approaching and exiting your climb.
  • Moving in balance on steep ice, rock and snow with ice axe(s) and crampons.
  • Building safe anchors in ice, rock and snow for protection, belays and abseils.
  • Slick rope work and belay changeovers to save time and prevent problems.


You can carry a full 30-40L rucksack and walk for up to 8 hours on mountainous terrain. Some prior experience of rock climbing and/or winter walking is useful.

Winter mountainerring on east ridge of Stob Coire nan Lochan, Glen Coe.
Mike enjoying the easy approach to the east ridge of Stob Coire nan Lochan, Glen Coe.

“Thank you for all your help last week. I really enjoyed the course. I have been teaching full-time for over 15 years and I recognise you as a great teacher. I learned a lot about rope work, dealing with gear wearing thick gloves, packing a rucksack, placing and removing gear, setting up anchors, abseiling and clothing for severe cold and strong winds. Now I know what winter mountaineering is. It’s tougher than I thought it would be but I’m feeling confident walking on crampons and climbing with ice axes now. I found your lesson on controlling my centre of gravity very useful. It instantly improved my sense of balance and confidence. Having climbed many mountains over the last 8 years, I thought that I knew how to walk! I stand corrected. You put so much of yourself into the course and I felt like you really wanted us to succeed.”



Arrive at 6pm on Saturday evening, in time for dinner at 7pm. Departure is after breakfast the following Saturday.


Leave at 8am and return by 6pm, or make the most of the weather: start with the stars and catch the sunrise, or see the sunset and finish with the moon. With a rest day mid-week, here are some typical options:

Intro Course or Holiday

  • Buachaille Etive Mor – Four beautiful mountains on one ridge with some grade I terrain on Stob Dearg.
  • Beinn Fhada and Stob Coire Sgreamhach – A quiet route with a grade I section on one of the ‘Three Sisters’.
  • Stob Coire nan Lochan via the East Ridge or Broad Gully – Two contrasting grade I routes up a beautiful peak.
  • Bidean nam Bian – The highest of the Glen Coe peaks with a spectacular grade I ridge on its north-east flank.
  • Sgorr Dhearg via School House Ridge – A grade I ridge taking you onto the wonderful Ballachulish Horseshoe.
  • Sgùrr a’ Mhàim and Stob Choire a’ Mhail via The Devil’s Ridge – A fine grade I ridge outing in the Mamores.
  • Ben Nevis via the CMD Arête – A big day with a brilliant grade I ridge and an ascent of Càrn Mor Dearg too.

Advanced Course or Holiday

  • Dorsal Arête – A classic grade II ridge with an exciting (and avoidable!) grade IV finish on Stob Coire nan Lochan.
  • Ledge Route – By far the best grade II on Ben Nevis, with awe-inspiring views of the mountain’s north face.
  • Sron na Lairig – A fine grade II ridge with gorgeous views, an exciting finish and a remote feel above Lairig Eilde.
  • The Dragon’s Tooth – A brilliant grade II outing with a gully, a ridge, an abseil and the summit of Sgorr Dhonuill.
  • Curved Ridge – A wonderful grade II/III on Stob Dearg, with amazing views across Rannoch Moor all the way.
  • The East Ridge of The North Buttress of Stob Ban – A great grade II/III route with a remote feel in the Mamores.
  • The Aonach Eagach – ‘The Knotched Ridge’. Possibly the finest ridge traverse on mainland Britain. Grade II/III.
Rich and Paul enjoying the sunshine on Ledge Route (II), Ben Nevis.

“This was one of the best experiences I have ever had. Despite very extreme conditions, deep snow and more, Paul remained a professional, supportive, expert teacher and friend throughout. I can’t recommend this enough! If you have an interest in the outdoors, want a new experience and enjoy pushing yourself whilst maintaining absolute safety throughout, then look no further.”



Our warm and comfortable eco-chalets are situated right in the heart of Glencoe, tucked away in the forest, next to the river and a short walk from the fabulous Clachaig Inn. They each have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a cosy dining area, under-floor heating, a drying room and wi-fi. They’re also run by two lovely people, Keren and Rob, who enjoy mountain adventures and understand why we’re in Glen Coe.


Bringing a group of people together is one of the most enjoyable aspects of our winter courses and holidays. Clients often leave as good friends and get together for their own adventures afterwards. We cook and eat together in the evenings, so help in the kitchen is much appreciated. Aside from banter and trips to the pub, there are documentaries to watch, an extensive library and maps galore.


If you’re on a course, there’s an informative workshop every evening too. After dinner, we check the Met Office and MWIS weather forecasts, and the detailed SAIS avalanche report before helping you to plan for your next day. Developing your avalanche awareness, map reading and safe planning skills are a key part of this invaluable time. It’s estimated that 90% of what keeps you safe happens before you step outside.

Winter climbers with ice axes on Ben Nevis, Scotland
Steve and Paul enjoying Number Two Gully (II) on Ben Nevis.

“I very much enjoyed the week in Glencoe and I’m not sure what could have made it better. It has given me a lot to think about and I have started to improve my navigation for the serious conditions and poor visibility of winter. It has widened my comfort zone and taught me a lot, and I notice how much more confident I feel moving on snow and ice. Thank you!”



We love healthy, nutritious and tasty food, that’s prepared with love and ideal for mountain days too. Meals are sourced as ethically and locally as possible, with quality ingredients and tailored to your needs with vegetarian and vegan options. We want you to enjoy your food, so please tell us if there’s anything you’d like and we’ll get it for you.


Scrambled eggs with chilli, slow-cooked spinach with olive oil and garlic, baked tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, Kalamata olives and wholemeal or rye bread toast with butter. Creamy coconut porridge is also available with banana, cinnamon, honey, nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Quality coffee and a wide range of teas are available too.


Sandwiches with any fillings of your choice, hard-boiled eggs, oatcakes, apples, bananas, oranges, dark treacle flapjack, a trail mix of nuts, seeds and dried fruit, chocolate and anything else you would like… just tell us about your favourite mountain munchies and we’ll make sure you have them. We leave you to put your own packed lunch together so it’s just the way you like it.


One of these evening meals will be served each day;

  • Baked salmon or nut roast. Served with steamed broccoli and a sweet potato and carrot mash.
  • Spinach, chickpea, carrot, cauliflower and creamed coconut curry. Served with wholemeal rice.
  • Free-range, organic chicken or smoked tofu and spicy vegetable stir-fry. Served with egg noodles.
  • Meat or vegetarian haggis and gravy. Served with steamed broccoli and a parsnip and swede mash.
  • Scottish lamb and root vegetable stew with swede, parsnip, herbs and curly kale. Served with bread.
  • Smoked mackerel or egg-fried wholemeal rice with peppers, garlic, chilli, lemon, ginger and marjoram.
  • Three bean vegetable and cacao chilli burritos. Served with a spicy salsa, sour cream and guacamole.
  • Rich and saucy Scottish beef or Portobello mushroom spaghetti Bolognese. Served with a green salad.
Johnathon enjoying a belay with a view into Lairig Eilde on Sron na Larig (II).

“Thanks for another outstanding week in Scotland! I was looking forward to upping the game this year and I wasn’t disappointed. Your relaxed and adaptable approach to instruction allowed me to concentrate and build confidence in a new set of technical skills. From ice climbing on the north face of Ben Nevis to a moonlit ascent of Aonach Dubh, I thoroughly enjoyed all the challenges! As an introduction to winter mountaineering, this course is perfect. I would challenge anyone not to come back for more!”



Ice axes, crampons, a harness and a helmet are all included in the price of your course. You will need to bring or hire your own winter mountain boots, plus waterproofs, warm clothing, a head torch and a rucksack. If you’re on a course, please bring a map, a map case and a compass to make the most of the navigation opportunities.

Kit List

  • Lightweight Base Layers – Synthetic or wool for wicking sweat and moisture away from your skin.
  • Warm Mid Layers – One thin and one thick. Made from fleece, synthetic fibres or wool. No cotton.
  • Waterproof Jacket & Trousers – Also windproof with a good hood to close around your face in a storm.
  • Warm Hat & Balaclava – You need to cover your head and your face in a blizzard. A ‘Buff’ is great too.
  • Warm Gloves or Mittens – Hand protection must be very warm and windproof. Thin liners are also good.
  • Warm Walking Socks – Thick, comfortable, with space for your toes to wiggle in your boots and no cotton.
  • B2 Mountain Boots – Comfortable fit, well insulated for winter, waterproof and compatible with crampons.
  • Gaiters – These prevent deep snow and water from getting inside your boots. Well worth it in winter.
  • 30-40 Litre Rucksack – With room for all your kit, fits your back well and feels comfortable when full.
  • Waterproof Rucksack Liner – A robust waterproof bag that will last. Rubble sacks are OK. Not bin liners!
  • Sunglasses – To protect your eyes in bright sunlight on highly reflective snow. Essential on sunny days.
  • Cheap Ski Goggles – To help you see in blinding blizzards that blow sharp snow crystals into your face.
  • Water Bottle – At least one litre, leak proof and easy to use with gloves on. Hydration tubes will freeze up.
  • Hot Flask – Not essential but very welcome on cold winter days and useful to increase your fluid intake.
  • Head Torch – To enable you to see in the dark and still have your hands free for safe movement skills.
  • Spare Batteries or Spare Head Torch – Running out of battery power is a problem that slows everyone.
  • Map, Map Case & Compass – Please bring OS Explorer 384, OS Explorer 392, and a Silva compass.
  • Walking Poles – Not essential but highly recommended and very helpful when walking in snow.
  • Waterproof Protective Phone Case / Bag – Essential if you want your phone to survive a soaking.
  • Personal First Aid Kit – Just a small one with items like a blister kit, plasters and cleansing wipes.
  • Blizzard Bag – a brilliant bit of emergency kit and so much better than an orange, plastic ‘survival’ bag.
  • Suncream – Sunburn does occur in the Scottish winter. Sometimes it can feel like the Alps in summer!
Rope climbing on grade I snow slope on Stob Coire nam Beith, Glen Coe.
Johnathon using a stomper belay to secure Amber on Stob Coire nam Beith, Glen Coe.

“Paul was very helpful and patient as our guide on Ben Nevis. He shared his experience and thoughts with us and we had some nice chats! Plus some very nice photos! Highly recommended.”

Ling Ling