Essential winter know-how

Posted by Tony Ryan on 03/11/2016
Are you ready for winter? Photo: Alex Messenger.

Heading for the hills this winter? Whether you're a seasoned winter warrior or just taking your first icy steps, we've got a mountain of essential skills & equipment advice right here on the BMC website.

Winter can be a magical time, when Britain’s mountains are temporarily transformed into a sparkling white playground presenting exciting challenges for walkers and climbers alike. But the winter environment requires specific equipment and skills over and above those used in summer hill walking and rock climbing, and the consequences of making errors can be much more serious.

To help you find and utilise that information we've collected our most useful winter articles here in one convenient place. So, make sure your skills are as sharp as your crampons by reading the information and advice in the following articles:

The Basics

BMC New Hill Walkers booklet

Subsidised BMC Winter Skills courses

How to start mountaineering

Planning for winter conditions

Winter climbing grades

Ten mistakes winter walkers make – and how to avoid them

Avalanche forecaster's tips on staying safe in Scottish winter

Hill skills: winter mountaineering

How to keep scrambling over winter

Climb skills: winter climbing

Winter climbing: cold goals

Six stunning winter ridges

Emergency: who to call for help when in the mountains or on the crags

Clothing & Equipment

What gear do you need to start mountaineering?

Mountain clothing for climbing and walking

Packing your rucksack for the winter warriors

Layering systems for winter clothing

Choosing a winter mountaineering boot

Crampons for mortals

Crampons: choosing the right ones and looking after them

Using micro crampons and mini spikes for winter hill walking

A guide to ice tools for walkers and climbers

Harnesses for climbers and mountaineers

Climbing helmets

Climb skills: Your winter rack

Have you checked your camming devices recently?

Tech skills: how to choose a sleeping bag

Caring for your equipment

Apps for use in winter
 

Skills & Hazards

Winter skills videos – Series 1

Winter skills videos – Series 2

Winter skills videos – Series 3

How to keep hill walking over winter

Ten mistakes winter walkers make – and how to avoid them

Get set for an early sunset

What are the Jonathan Conville skills courses? 

BMC club member winter skills courses

Hill skills: map basics

Mountain Info Services Project launched to help reduce accidents

Smartphone apps: handle with care

Hill skills: how to survive a whiteout

Hill skills: avalanche awareness

Avalanche forecaster's tips on staying safe in Scottish winter

Be avalanche aware: new free advice download

Mountain Accidents in the UK and abroad

Winter Mountain Leader Award: everything you need to know

Winter safety: a scary point of view

How to climb Scottish Grade 5 this winter

Climb skills: how to become a mixed master

Cool running: mountain running on the white stuff

How to go snowshoeing

Hill skills: how to take your dog walking

Looking like a mountain pro

Access & Environment

BMC Green Guide to the Uplands

How to judge winter climbing conditions

Winter climbing: conditions apply

Winter climbing: conservation impact

North Wales White Guide

Lake District White Guide

BMC online shop: Books & DVDs

BMC Crampons & Ice Axes booklet

BMC Safety on Mountains booklet

BMC Winter Essentials DVD

Navigation in the Mountains

Winter Skills: Essential Walking and Climbing Techniques

BMC Off Piste Essentials DVD

BMC TV

BMC TV, our online video platform, went live in November 2013. It’s a great mix of excitement, inspiration and technical advice, showing over 500 films with more being added every day. As you’d expect, it’s fully optimised for phones and tablets and perfect for sharing on Facebook.

To get you started, take a look at these winter-themed films:

WATCH: Choosing winter boots and crampons on BMC TV

WATCH: How to choose an ice axe, on BMC TV

Watch more in this series of winter walking films on the BMC TV walking skills channel

More winter-themed films on BMC TV:

Winter Essentials DVD trailer

Winter Hill Walking: If Only They Knew

Conditions Apply: Winter Ethics

Parsley Fern slide

Ice Axe Self Arrest

How to climb Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis in winter

BMC International Winter Meet 2012

BMC International Winter Meet 2014 teaser

Winter Mountain Leader Award (WML)

The WML training experience: spindrift and snow holes

Down Equipment Buying Guide

Cairngorms in Winter: Ben Macdui

Cairngorms in Winter: Moine Mhor

Distilled: the trailer

Distilled: belay chat with Andy Cave

Orion Face Direct

The Starting Blocks, Glencoe

Watch more films on BMC TV

Current conditions & weather forecasts

Mountain Weather Information Service

Met Office mountain area forecasts

Cwm Idwal Climbing Information Project – live temperature and conditions information               

Lake District Weatherline – daily readings from Helvellyn summit

sportscotland Avalanche Information Service – daily forecasts of avalanche, snow, and mountain conditions

UKClimbing: winter climbing forum          
 

Test your knowledge   

Try the Plas y Brenin Winter Climbing and Mountaineering Quiz

DON'T MISS:

 


Go BIG this winter

This season, 12-months BMC Alpine and Ski Insurance is only £136*. Time to book another adventure.

Years of experience

We've been insuring adventurers like you for over 30 years. That's why all of our policies come with:

  • 24-hour emergency assistance helpline
  • £10 million emergency medical cover
  • £100,000 search, rescue and recovery cover
  • £10,000 personal accident cover
  • £5,000 cancellation cover
  • £2,500 baggage cover
  • No age loading until you're 70

WATCH: BMC Insurance: built for the #mountains on BMC TV

Want to know more? READ: 5 reasons why you need BMC Travel Insurance

*Policy details: insurance is from £136.34 for annual multi-trip European Alpine & Ski cover up to age 69. Offer ends 1 April 2017. 


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