How can we help you?

We offer a variety of courses throughout the UK as well as treks much further afield.

For example courses are regularly run on Dartmoor with it’s featureless terrain perfect for learning to navigate, North Wales home to some of Britain’s classic mountain walks and scrambles whilst all our winter courses are held in Scotland either in the Cairngorms or on the West Coast.

Guided walks suitable for all abilities can be organised anywhere but popular ones include, the Moors and Tors of Eastern Dartmoor, the Snowdon Horseshoe, and Ben Nevis via Carn mor Dearg.

If you are looking  to learn some new skills or for specific training then have a look at our Navigation, Hill Skills, Rock Climbing or Winter Skills sections below.

Perhaps you fancy something more adventurous such as some Scrambling, or want to learn the art of traveling light and Bivvy overnight or experience  a night in a Snowhole. Alternatively if you would like some one to one tuition or you are a group of friends then please do get in touch.

Above all we want you to learn new skills and have a memorable day.

As you would expect we are fully insured for all the activities we undertake.

The costs of all courses is £140 per day for the first per person. An additional person is £20 extra, up to the course maximum which is either 2, 3 or 4 clients depending upon the course. Full details upon request.


Fancy doing one of the following?

All courses are personally run by Ian Ridley, Everest Summiteer

NAVIGATION

We offer a variety of navigation courses to suit all levels of ability.

Modern GPS navigation systems are a great tool for finding your way, but, as with any device, they can fail, leaving you stranded without any means to find your way unless you can use a map and compass.

Learn to Navigate
Whether you are a complete beginner, or you don’t feel confident to venture out on the hills yourself then a 2 day course will give you plenty of practice and a sound footing.

Topics include:
Maps and scales
Grid references
Bearings and back bearings
Interpreting contours and topographical features
Relating the map to the ground and vice versa
Attack points and aiming off
Pacing and timing
Navigation in poor visibility

Advanced Navigation
This 2 day  course covers all of the topics in the Learn to Navigate course but  places much greater emphasis on micro navigation techniques, contour interpretation and relocation  to enable you to navigate whatever the weather and the terrain. It also covers the use of a GPS.

Refresher Course
This one day course is aimed at brushing up on your existing skills and will be of interest to those who haven’t been walking for a while or those undertaking their Walking Group Leader or Mountain Leader awards.

Night Navigation
For the ultimate challenge why not practice navigating at night. It will prepare you for walking in thick cloud and  greatly increase your confidence not only in terms of general map reading but also if  ever you get caught out by failing daylight.
Please telephone us for further information particularly in relation to costs as these vary depending upon the time of year and whether it is combined with one of our other courses.

Please note that the maximum group size for all Navigation courses is 4 people.

HILL SKILLS / CAMPING

If you want to get the most from your days on the hill or simply feel you would benefit from some expert advice then  our 2 day course will help to improve your confidence and enjoyment whilst out on the hills.

Topics include:
Weather
Route planning
Access and conservation
Clothing and equipment
Navigation
Personal movement – pace, foot placement, the use of walking poles
Party  management
Mountain hazards
Emergency procedures

Camping
If you’ve never been wild camping and want to experience it for the first time or perhaps you’ve been and felt it could have been more enjoyable then consider our 2 day Hills Skills and Camping course.

Topics in addition to the above Hill Skills include:
What to  pack including food and type of stove
Site choice
Minimal impact
Camp craft

SCRAMBLING

For the more adventurous walker scrambling,  which is the middle ground between walking and rock climbing, adds spice and interest and  opens up a number of classic routes to the top of some of Britain’s peaks. You will need to get your hands out of your pockets and move over steep and rocky ground so a good head for heights is  essential!

We offer 1, 2 and 5 day courses which are generally held in either North Wales or Scotland.

Read on if you fancy the excitement of ascending a route that is not too difficult or steep enough to be classified as rock climbing.

1 Day  
Never tried scrambling and fancy  a go, well North Wales has numerous routes to suit all abilities. Possibilities include:

The South Ridge of Crib Goch enabling you  to do a complete circuit of  the Snowdon Horseshoe, the north ridge of Tryfan or the Dolmen Ridge up Glyder Fach.

2 Days  
A typical course includes instruction on:
1. Understanding scrambling grades
2. Basic techniques
3. Movement skills
4. Using the rope
Assent of 2 or 3 routes  depending  on the weather eg  Cneifon Arete, Bristlly Ridge, or the Aonach Eagach Ridge.

5 Days
The Cuillin Ridge,  Isle of Skye. Over the 5 days you will get to know the ridge, climb the Inaccessible Pinnacle and depending upon the weather we will attempt a traverse over two days with an overnight bivvy on the ridge. Due to the strenuous nature of this course some scrambling and ideally rock climbing experience is preferable.  

Please note that the maximum group size for all scrambling courses will always be two people. This is  to ensure your safety and also to enable you to get the most enjoyment from the day.  All  safety equipment can be supplied.

ROCK CLIMBING & ABSEILING

Whether you are interested….

….A Rock Climbing Taster Day,

….One or  Two day introduction to Rock climbing,

….A Family Day Out,

….Experience the Thrill of Abseiling,

….Progressing from  Indoor to Outdoor climbing,

….Gear Placement  and Setting up Belays,

All of these (and more)  can easily be arranged.  What ever you have in mind
just give us a call  to discuss your precise wishes as we are sure we can help.

WINTER SKILLS

We run a 3 day course which is ideal for those wishing to make the step up from summer walking to safely enjoying the delights of the British hills in Winter and is an excellent introduction to the skills needed.

The course covers:
The challenges of Winter and its hazards,
Winter equipment,
Food and clothing
Use of ice axe and crampons including self-arrest,
Winter navigation
Avalanche awareness
Emergency shelters

Courses are run from December to the end of March.

Winter Munros

For those with some previous winter experience looking to explore the Scottish Hills and ‘bag’ some winter Munros, we can tailor  trips to suit your aspirations. Please see our Private Guiding page here.

This also makes an ideal extension  to our Winter Skills course giving you an opportunity to consolidate the skills learned.

SNOWHOLES / BIVVY

Snowholes. You’ll never forget your first one.  Described by one client as ‘my best night out ever!’.  There really is something extremely satisfying about building your own shelter out of snow.

Our snow hole course is run over either two or three days.  If its your first time on the Scottish hills in winter then our three day course is recommended as it includes some instruction in basic winter skills on the first day.

The second day will involve 4 or 5 hours walking with a full pack (approx 10-15kg) followed by 2-3 hours very physical exertion to construct a snow hole.

Hopefully we’ll awake to a glorious view on day  3 when after breakfast we shall return taking time to look at other forms of emergency shelter.

The course needs a minimum of two people (to share the digging!) so bring a friend along. Naturally you’ll need to be physically fit.

Bivvy.  ‘Would you rather lug a heavy pack around for two days or learn the art of traveling light and bivvy?’.

Falling asleep where you choose in an out of the way location with minimal impact on the environment and waking to a stunning view – as soon as you open your eyes. If so then come and experience this course.

Needless to say this is not for those looking for the height of comfort but it is a great experience and will prepare you should you be forced to spend an unplanned night out on the hills. We normally run this course  between May and September.

As with all our courses nothing is set in stone and if you have a particular objective or requirement then please do telephone – our advice is always free!

PRIVATE GUIDING

Whether you are interested….

… in progressing from hill walking to mountaineering,

….want to avoid the crowds,

….have a particular peak you want to climb, or

….would like some 1:1 tuition .

All of these (and more)  can easily be arranged.  What ever you have in mind whether it be a day or a week just give us a call  to discuss your precise wishes as we are sure we can help.

According to levels of demand we run trips to Nepal as outlined below. The Autumn of 2017 would be when the next trip may run and the itinerary may well vary depending upon client demand and requests.

We also offer totally bespoke trips so do get in contact about any requests you may have.

Sample Itinerary: Everest Base Camp & Island Peak 6189m

This trip of a lifetime will  take you into into the heart of the Khumbu. and will be led by Ian Ridley, an Everest summiteer. We follow the classic expedition route to Everest Base Camp  via the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar and make an ascent of Kala Patthar (5545m) for close up views of Everest. Crossing the rarely used Kongma La Pass (5535m) we will also have magnificent close-up views of Nuptse. We then walk into the Imja Valley to Island Peak Base Camp. Climbing this peak is challenging as it involves scrambling , ascending a steep now face  then finally tackling  the knife edge summit ridge. For those who are well acclimatised, determined and have the energy, the views from the top provide some of the most striking scenery in the entire region. This longer 22 day trip gives you ample time to acclimatise and hence increase your chances of successfully summiting. An outline itinerary is shown below:

Day 1 Arrive in Kathmandu
Day 2 Sightseeing in Katmandu
Day 3 Fly to Lukla & Trek to Phakding (2652m) or Monjo
Day 4 Trek to Namche (3450m)
Day 5 Rest day in Namche
Day 6 Trek to Tengboche or perhaps Pangboche (3867m)
Day 7 Trek to Dingboche (4252m)
Day 8 Rest day in Dingboche
Day 9 Trek to Lobuche (4930m)
Day 10 Trek to Gorak Shep (5184m)
Day 11 Trek to Everest base camp & back (5357m)
Day 12 Trek to Chukhung (4750m) via Kongma Pass. This is a tough day
Day 13 Trek to Island Peak base camp (5150m) Tents
Day 14 Trek to High Camp
Day 15 Ascent of Island Peak (6173m)
Day 16 Spare day for weather
Day 17 Trek to Pangboche (3950m)
Day 18 Trek to Namche (3450m)
Day 19 Trek to Lukla (2800m)
Day 20 Fly to Kathmandu
Day 21 Sightseeing in Kathmandu
Day 22 Depart Kathmandu.

Please contact us for the latest price as this does vary upon the exhange rate

The price includes:

• Transfers to and from the  Kathmandu airport
• 4 star category hotel in Kathmandu 4 star category 4 nights on a shared BB basis
• KTM – Lukla – KTM return flight ticket
• Domestic airport drop off and pick up service
• Domestic airport departure tax
• Everest National Park Fees
• Island Peak climbing permit
• Garbage deposit fee
• Full board in Teahouse/Lodges during the trekking (B,L,D with tea/coffee) three times    a day
• Food, fuel and cooking equipment whilst on the mountain
• All tents and other communal equipment necessary for the climb
• A comprehensive medical kit

but excludes:

• Nepal Visa fee ($50 USD cash and two passport photographs)
• Excess baggage charges (15Kg allowance on Nepalese domestic flights)
• Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu (and also in the case of early return from the      mountain)
• Extra nights accommodation in Kathmandu because of early arrival, late departure, and early return from the mountain due to any reason other than the scheduled itinerary
• Personal camping and climbing gear
• Travel and rescue insurance
• Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters,  bottle or boiled water, shower etc)
• Tips for guides and porters

An ascent of Island Peak is suitable for people who have previously completed an Alpine 4000m PD route, (eg an ascent of Mont Blanc or similar mountain) with snow arete exposure. If you don’t have Scottish winter climbing experience and would like to attempt Island Peak, then please contact us to discuss the level of difficulty and possible preparation trips. For the most part, the approach route involves steady trekking, but there are some climbing sections on the summit day of Island Peak. Overall, the most obvious physical obstacle is the effect of such a high altitude, so you should be suitably fit and prepared for the challenge.You should be comfortable with using an ice axe and crampons ideally to Scottish Grade 2.

Finally, please don’t hesitate to contact us  for more information.

Client testimonials

‘The scrambling was awesome. No wonder it’s got such a reputation’
Cuillin Ridge

JP of Glasgow
‘Really patient-took the time to explain everything clearly. I’ve now got the confidence to go into the hills myself.’

AB of Fleet

Inspirational and motivating after dinner speaking and illustrated talks

If you would like to hear about Ian’s Everest adventures either as an after dinner speaker or an illustrated evening lecture then please do get in contact. Pricing starts from £250 for talks in Devon.