Winter mountaineering course will teach you all the necessary skills for advanced trekking or scrambling in winter and alpine conditions. You will use crampons and an ice axe and rope when required. Teaching you about avalanche awareness and rescue techniques is our top priority. You will be challenged by the terrain and weather and have excellent fun while training and sharpening your skills. This course will form an excellent platform for your future development as an alpinist.

winter mountaineering course

Dates in 2023:

17-20 January – done successfully!
14-17 February – fully booked
21-24 March – fully booked
11-14 April – new date! Book in now!
*although we can be fully booked please contact us anyway as customers drop off sometimes.

Price: €600*

*when only 2 people will book the course the price will increase to €750

Winter mountaineering course program:

DAY 1 Metting at Zakopane at 10:00. Trekking to the Morskie Oko hut, winter equipment workshop.

DAY 2 Avalanche outdoor workshop, crampons and ice axe skills, self-arrest practice, a workshop about climbing knots and rope work techniques.

DAY 3 Winter ropework techniques, building stances for belaying using different snow and rock anchors, top rope ice climbing/dry tooling climbing and abseiling off practices, avalanche indoor lecture.

DAY 4 Early start – moving together when roped on steep slopes and exposed terrain at grade II/III, possible summit attempt, building snow shelter. The course will end at 16:00.

  • Please note that the program is subject to change due to weather conditions or other factors.
winter skills course

What’s included?: 

  • full support from the local highly qualified guide.
  • winter mountaineering instructions and technical advice.
  • avalanche set (avalanche device, shovel and probe).
  • all climbing equipment (karabiners, slings, ropes etc.)
  • harness, crampons, ice axe and helmet.
  • 6+ hours of mountaineering every day.
  • indoor lectures/workshops.

Where: Tatra Mountains, Poland

The Tatra Mountains are the highest range in the Carpathian Mountains and Poland’s alpine-type mountains. They form a natural border between Poland and Slovakia. Gerlach (2655 m, Slovakia) and Rysy (2499 m, Poland) are the highest summits. Thanks to the relatively small area of the Tatras compared to the Alps, there’s a cosy atmosphere, but you can also feel like you’re in really high mountains. The landscape of the High Tatras is very interesting and is dominated by alpine-type ridges, towering walls and rocky peaks, which is a testament to the strong action of glaciers. There are so many activities you can do in our Mountains – read more here.

“The Tatra Mountains are quickly becoming a super popular destination for climbing and must-see places amongst all mountaineers!!! “

Our base will be the “Morskie Oko” hut situated at Morskie Oko Lake, in the Rybi Potok Valley. It is located at an altitude of 1410 m above sea level on the bank of the glacial moraine. It was built in 1908 and after a few renovations, it has 78 beds mostly in bunk-style dormitories. It’s only 2 hours away on foot from the central car park (Palenica Białaczańska) and therefore, is a good and very popular place for trekkers, full of mountaineering history as well as an excellent base to reach the best climbing and mountaineering routes in the Tatra Mountains. The route to Rysy starts here!

Important information about the winter course:

  • Mountain hut: We have pre-booked a friendly mountain hut “Morskie Oko” for our course. You will pay directly for the hut after your stay in cash. The average price is €18 per night (bedding, towel and local green tax included). You can buy breakfast (€10), dinner (€18) and snacks at the hut. Boiled water is free. Since this is a bunk bed-style hut, you will share the room with others.
  • Flights and transport: You are responsible for booking your own flight to the place where we run our course. Flights to Poland are at the average price of €140 return (check budget airlines Wizzair and Ryanair). Please book your flight to Kraków airport. Why not combine this course with a visit to this historic city? I strongly recommend staying in Kraków few days! From Kraków, you can take a regular bus to Zakopane (2h). To maximize your time and have stress-free travel I strongly recommend coming one day before and flying back the day after the course.  Zakopane is a busy resort and traffic jams occur very often despite very good transport.
  • We will collect you from Zakopane on the first day at 10:00. After the course, you can easily order a taxi from the central car park Palenica Białczańska back to Zakopane.
  • Experience needed: To be able to take part in this course you should have summer walking experience, outdoor climbing experience, ability to belay and tie knots would be desirable. A good fitness level is required.
  • The course is run by a very experienced English-speaking Guide and Instructor of Alpinism (read about our guides more). Instructor-to-student ratio: 1:6.
  • Required personal clothes for the winter mountaineering course: 
    • mountaineering boots B1 or B2 suitable for C1 or C2 (semi-automatic) crampons
    • waterproof Gore-Tex jacket and overtrousers
    • softshell trousers
    • down or synthetic down jacket
    • base layers top and bottom
    • warm Polartec fleece
    • 2 pairs of warm merino socks
    • warm external gloves (mittens), five-fingers gloves, thin inner gloves
    • hat or balaclava
    • gaiters
    • head torch, flask 0,5l, 35-45L backpack
    • Read more here