Training Courses

There are several organisations offering subsidised places on mountaineering courses for young people and members of university hillwalking and mountaineering clubs, thus making valuable training available at an affordable price.

Jonathan Conville Memorial Trust - Mountaineering Courses

These are probably the most well-known subsised mountaineering courses. They run every year and are organised by the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) with funding from the Jonathan Conville Memorial Trust. There are three types of course:

Mountain Skills Workshops (1 day)
Based in the Lake District in England (usually in early February), these 1 day courses focus on topics such as navigation, ropework, use of equipment, and avalanche assessment.
Scottish Winter Mountaineering Courses (2 days)
Winter mountaineering requires a unique set of skills (generally involving spiky things). These courses cover the skills needed to stay safe in the Scottish mountains in winter. A lot of our members have attended and have found it a very valuable experience.
Based in the Cairngorms (usually in January), the Scottish Winter 2-day courses typically cover use of ice axe and crampons, navigation, avalanche assessment, and some snow belays.
Alpine Courses (3 days)
Moving from the Scottish mountains on to the Alps and the Greater Ranges presents additional dangers (altitude, rockfalls, glacier crevasses etc.) The Alpine course provides traning in the skills necessary to manage these dangers.
Based in Chamonix, France (usually in June, July and August), the Alpine 3-day courses provide an introduction to Alpine Mountaineering skills - typically Glacier travel, Crevasse rescue, Ropework, Alpine safety awareness and use of equipment.

Applications for these courses will be available from the VP in due course (information will be sent out via the announcements forum).

Catherine Smith Memorial Trust - Mountaineering Courses

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCoS) in partnership with the Catherine Smith Memorial Trust (CSMT) organise subsidised Winter Skills courses based at Glenmore Lodge in the Cairngorms. They are similar to the Conville Scottish Winter courses and usually take place in March each year. The subsidy arrangement is such that these are even more affordable than the Conville courses, and since places are allocated only to Scottish University club members there is less competition for places than with the Conville courses, making them more accessible. The Catherine Smith Memorial Trust also invites funding applications for subsidising other projects (see CSMT webpage).

Photos from the 2007 course are on our photo gallery here. Information on the MCoS/CSMT Winter Skills course will be distributed by the VP via the announcements forum at the appropriate time.

Mountaineering Council of Scotland - Mountain Safety and Skills Sessions

The MCoS Safety and Good Practice Seminar held in November each year is a weekend course for Scottish student mountaineering clubs which includes some mountaineering skills training as well as important lectures on a variety of topics. This years event is listed above, details available from VP. This event is extrememly valuable for anyone who is (or is interested in becoming) a committee member as it covers a lot of relevant topics, but is equally valuable for anyone keen to learn more about mountaineering skills and mountain safety.

Other Subsised Courses

The Plas y Brenin Outdoor Centre in Wales runs mountaineering and climbing courses in the UK and abroad. Each year there are bursaries and awards which provide subsidised places on some of their courses. The details vary from year to year so check their website for current information. If there doesn't seem to be much information on their website when you look then it is worth contacting them, because these places are well worth applying for.

Non-Subsided Courses

In addition to the subsised courses mentioned above, outdoor centres such as Glenmore Lodge in Scotland and Plas y Brenin in Wales operate a wide range of other courses (for details see their websites).

Remember you can also find out a lot about these courses by having a chat with committee members and other experienced members of DURC - many of us have attended one or more of the above and so can offer a bit of insight and advice..