Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor Training

Though said in jest, we do believe ‘West is best’ for these courses. Quite simply, we have a huge diversity of mountain ranges and terrain all within a 45-minute drive.


5 Days

Instructor Ratio1:2




5 Days

Instructor Ratio


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From celebrated mountaineering journeys in Glen Coe, to classic snow and ice gullies on Ben Nevis and Aonach Mor, and mixed climbing in the Southern Highlands, it’s all within easy reach. This means we can maximise our time on the hill, make the most of the conditions, and develop skills progressively and in context.

Our team of WMCI trainers have a combined experience of over 100 winter seasons; rest assured, they’ll work with you to make the most of your time with us and create the best learning and coaching environment possible. We’ll cover the WMCI syllabus as practically as possible, with time dedicated to skills that are trickier to develop independently. Evening sessions will support the more theoretical sides of what’s covered on the hill. Expect to leave the course brimming with new knowledge, inspired, and, most likely, tired!

These courses are residential to ensure the highest standards of quality and safety for all candidates are fully maintained. Accommodation and catering are provided from the night before your course starts and finishes with breakfast on the morning after your course ends.

Non-residential options can be negotiated; please contact PYB directly to discuss.

The Objectives 

You’ll leave the course inspired and motivated to progress on to your Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor Assessment. Through feedback and reflection you’ll gain a clear understanding of your current abilities and an action plan towards assessment.

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What to Expect

We encourage all participants to read the syllabus which can be found on the MT website. The programme is subject to change according to weather and snow conditions, but courses aim to follow this outline.


  • Arrive at Alltshellach from 5pm and settle in, with dinner at 7.30.


  • Introduction to the course and scope of the WMCI
  • Snowcraft / ice craft/ snow belays
  • Emphasis on teaching and coaching fundamental skills
  • Snow and avalanche awareness


  • Mountaineering day
  • Emphasis on personal movement on grade I / II ground with 1 ice axe
  • Short roping and pitching


  • Personal / guided climbing day
  • Emphasis on basic ropework, anchor placement and stance management.
  • It’s anticipated routes of grade III or above will be climbed on this day


  • Teaching climbing day
  • Emphasis on teaching and coaching techniques on the move


  • Consolidation of skills
  • Course review and action planning


  • Breakfast and farewells

Experience Required

Prior to booking an assessment candidates must have attended a Winter and Mountaineering Instructor training course and gained the following experience as a minimum;

  • 10 days in the mountains managing parties in winter conditions
  • 5 days’ climbing experience at Grade III
  • A valid first aid certificate of at least 2 days / 16 hours minimum contact time
  • Having more experience, and in particular, recent experience will stand candidates in the best stead to be successful.

How Should I Prepare?

You must be registered on the Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor scheme with Mountain Training prior to attending this course and have the required experience. Candidates who have only the minimum experience are unlikely to benefit fully from either the training or assessment course.

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Why Plas y Brenin?

Plas y Brenin is at the forefront of outdoor instruction. Whether you are starting a career in the outdoors, or just want to take an adventure holiday, PYB is the place for you.

We inspire explorers. We train trainers. We’re internationally recognised. We’ve been around since 1798, with our earliest guests including Queen Victoria. Since then, we’ve focussed on providing the best customer experience, working alongside some of the greatest, 007 included.

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Expert Tuition

You’ll receive expert supervision from fully qualified and psyched instructors, creating the perfect environment to learn and enjoy something new!

Our Instructors

Explore Eryri

Your experience will take place in the heart of the extraordinary Eryri National Park. Our National Outdoor Centre features accommodation, a bar, dining, and more. And while you’re here, why not check out some local gems?

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Develop a Passion

Everyone at Plas y Brenin, from staff to visitors, is excited about adventures and inspired to get outside. Our guests return year after year to experience all that North Wales offers.