Please indicate which items you may need to rent before arriving. This can be done on the booking form. We will arrange this prior to your arrival, depending on where you will be based. Some courses include all equipment and will be stated on the course information, but if you are not sure, just ask.
We can arrange hire of the following
Harness from £4.00 a day
Climbing Helmet from £4.00 a day
Ice Axe from £5.00 a day EACH AXE
Crampons from £5.00 a day
Recommended Winter Kit List
For Climbing in winter it is recommended to have a stiff soled, non-bendy B3 boot in either man made materials or leather. For the mountaineering and introductory type courses, a solid leather B2 boot is adequate. Please check in a climbing shop before arrival. Boots can be hired by prior arrangement locally. If hiring please check the size you take at a climbing shop beforehand. One pair of thick socks is adequate, but often an additional thinner pair is more comfortable for some people. Boots should not be very flexible or smooth soled.
Crampons should be ten or twelve pointers with front points. Clip-on heel crampons and front straps are very easy to fit on most modern B2 and B3 boots, whilst older traditional strap-on crampons are okay, but less easy to fit in cold windy conditions. A more rigid twelve point crampon is better for winter climbing. Anti-balling plates are recommended. Ask for advice if you are unsure.
For walking or general mountaineering an axe of 55 – 65cm is adequate. Climbing requires a shorter hammer and axe (45 -50cm) with either an inclined (Banana) or drooped pick. A wrist loop or leash should be fitted to climbing tools.
Not required on all courses on all days. Please make sure the harness fits over thick clothing and can be put on over boots and crampons. Adjustable leg-loops are preferable for ease of fitting. The DMM Cirque or Black Diamond Bod harness is very good in this respect and is a good one harness suits all type.
All courses please bring one along if you can. We have DMM helmets available.
Long sling and two large karabiners (screwgate – HMS) Climbing and mountaineering courses.
Belay plate & screwgate karabiner (HMS) Climbing course only.
Waterproof jacket and over trousers ( Outer shell clothing)
The trousers should have at least a knee length zip enabling them to be fitted over boots/crampons. This is an essential point to remember as Winter boots are bulkier than summer ones. Lightweight waterproofs are often inadequate under severe winter conditions. A large hood to fit over a helmet and your face with wired visor is essential for the jacket in winter.
A medium volume sac (35 -45 litres) is best for winter, with ice axe carrying loops. Use a strong plastic rucsac liner to keep the contents dry. External Rucsack covers have a habit of blowing away and don’t work as well as an internal liner.
A large person sized poly or foil survival bag is the minimum requirement, essential.
Gaiters or Stop Tous
Essential for all courses.
Essential for all courses, plus spare batteries.
First Aid kit
A small personal pack including medication for blisters. Sunscreen cream.
(sheet 41 & 34- 1:50,000) Whistle/Watch
The map should be weather-proofed in a clear plastic mapcase or covered with clear fablon (better) Essential.
Flask & Small sandwich Box
For hot drinks and food on the hill, essential.
Warm dexterous gloves and/or woollen/fleece mitts (Dachsteins), hat/balaclava/socks (plus spares). Two sets of thermals/fleece, top and bottom (not cotton). Down/feather duvet jackets aren’t much use in the damp conditions sometimes experienced in Scotland! Primaloft is better as it stays warm when wet (unlike feathers)
Please indicate requirements before arrival (especially footwear) and ask for advice if you are unsure of your own equipment suitability (shell clothing is important) . If you arrive with the wrong kit it could jeopardize your safety and enjoyment on the course. Please ask for advice, especially if you are unused to Scottish weather conditions. Please keep this kit list if you book onto a course. There is a good range of shops in Fort William which sell the right kit.
Recommended Spring / Summer (Skye Ridge) Mountain Kit List
A sturdy pair of boots with good lateral stiffness and well kept vibram sole are okay for hill-walking , scrambling and simple rock climbing (Skye Ridge). They should have a high ankle to provide support.
Bring a harness if you have one.
Essential for parts of the course and used daily on the Isle of Skye
A medium volume rucsac is best (30 – 45 litres).
Waterproof Jacket and Trousers
Gaiters or Stop Tous
Could possibly be of some use at times.
Essential. The map should be made weather-proof. A guide book can be very helpful on Skye…The Harveys maps are excellent for Ben Nevis, Glencoe and Skye. The 1:50,000 O.S maps cover everywhere.
First Aid Kit
For blisters, headaches, midges and sunburn!
This could be a light-weight 2/3 seasons bag and would be used on a bivouac if attempting the main Skye Ridge Traverse.
If you have a Gore-Tex bag bring it along, otherwise a large foil survival bag is adequate. Pertex ones are also available and cheaper for occasional use.
Food for Bivouacs
This should be lightweight and include packet soups, biscuits, dried fruit, energy bars and dehydrated meals for two days on the Skye Ridge.
Camping Mat-Spoon-Small Stove – Pan
For bivouacs on the Isle of Skye, if attempting a ridge traverse or camping. Lightweight gas stoves are ideal. We provide these.
Water-bottle or bag
Essential to be able to carry a litre of fluids at least. (2 x One litre bottles for a Skye ridge traverse, much better than bladders, you need a bottle to fill a bladder and when one litre bottle is empty, you know what is left)
This should be warm and include mitts/gloves/socks, woolly hat or buff (that can fit under a helmet) and two light-weight fleece tops or soft shell. Personal preference will largely dictate this area of equipment. Shorts, floppy hat, sun specs and trainers might also be useful!! A cheap pair of leather type garden gloves or builders gloves would be useful for folk wishing to protect their hands from the very rough gabbro rock on the Isle of Skye!! Pertex windproof (optional if no softshell)
Small duvet or similar as spare (not totally necessary, more comfort for the evening out but bring one and we will discuss on seeing the forecast and size of garment)
For people who are self-catering, you can either bring most of your food with you or shop in Kyle of Lochalsh (Tescos), Broadford or Portree (Co-op) for fresh goods.
Two books are recommended as follows: ( Available from climbing shops)
1) Modern Rope Techniques (Nigel Shepherd)
2) Handbook of Climbing (Fyffe & Peter)
Alpine Kit List
For the Alps it is essential to have a warm and stiff soled boot. The warmth of the boot is important on high snowy peaks. Boots can be hired, but it is better to arrive with your own well broken-in footwear, in order to avoid problems. They must not be smooth soled or very flexible. Go for a B2 for general alpinism or B3 if you intend climbing more technical routes. Lightweight fabric boots are not recommended.
These should be ten or twelve pointers with front points. They should fit the boots you will be wearing! Rigid C3 crampons ‘ball up’ badly and are not recommended for that reason. Completely stiff crampons are not good for long treks. C2 Petzl-Charlet mixed points with toe straps and heel’ cup’ are great. Heel ‘cups’ tend to be more sure-fitting than heel clips on some boots. Carry your crampons in a bag, rubber nipple crampon covers are very fiddly and time consuming. Please have anti-balling plates fitted to your crampons.
Alpine axes should be around 55-65cms in length. Shorter tools are needed if steep climbing is envisaged.
Essential. Adjustable leg loops are preferred for ease of fitting. The DMM Cirque or The Black Diamond ‘Bod’ are good.
Essential. Lightweight with breathing vents will be welcomed after the sun rises.
Waterproof Jacket and Trousers
The trousers should have a full length leg zip for ease of fitting over boots and crampons. Lightweight waterproofs are often better in the Alps as they spend most of the time in your rucsac.
Gaiters or Stop Tous
A lightweight pair of gaiters are essential at times.
A medium volume sac of (35 -45 litres) is best. Plastic bag liners are useful. Buy a rucsac without too many complicated straps and buckles. Large hip supports often hinder harness fitting and add to the weight, as do internal metal stiffeners.
Should be of lightweight layers. Extremes of temperature will be experienced and a flexible system is essential. Warm mitts and hat are essential, as are sun-shade hat, trainers and shorts. Jackets should have accessible pouch pockets for carrying items needed quickly (sunglasses, food bars, small camera, sun cream, etc.). Buffs are great for keeping you warm and after sun rise keeping the sun off your neck.
A large person foil survival bag is the minimum requirement and should live in the bottom of your rucksack ear round.
First Aid Kit
A small personal pack including medication for blisters, headaches, stomach upsets, sunburn plus any personal drugs. For people on special drug treatments please bring spares and/or a list of their brand names/contents. Total sun block cream for glacier travel. Lip salve. Small tube of skin cream. Ear plugs for a quiet nights sleep in huts if other people are snoring!
Good Quality Sun-glasses
Wrap around the eyes to reduce the glare from the glacier. Please check with an optician if needed.
Compass and Map
Maps are best bought on arrival but can be found in Britain, check beforehand.
Try ‘The Alpine 4000m Peaks’ by Richard Goedeke (Diadem). Recommended
Bring four metres of 6mm line (softish kernmantel) to be made into loops on arrival.
Long Tape Slings
Two @ 120cm and Screwgate Karabiners (three).
Essential to carry a litre.
Light Sleeping Bag
For camping, bunkhouses and possible planned bivouacs.Not for alpine huts.
A light silk sleeping bag liner is a requirement in almost all Alpine huts.
Telescopic Ski Poles (three part)
Very useful for taking the weight off your lower body in descent, boosting you up hill and general balance. Recommended but not essential.
Useful for valley climbing, during bad weather conditions at altitude.
– Form E111 (DSS)
– Alpine Club Card or BMC Reciprocal Rights card
Rock Climbing Kit List
A fairly flexible pair of boots with good lateral stiffness and well kept ‘Vibram’ sole are adequate for approaching the climbs. They should have a high ankle to give support in that area and should not be smooth-soled.
Rock climbing (“Sticky boots”) are essential and can be hired in Fort William (£4 a day)
A sit harness is essential for rock climbing
Essential for rock climbing
Belay Plate & screwgate carabiner * chalk bag for harder climbs
A small to medium volume rucsac is necessary (35-45 litres) for all courses.
First Aid Kit
For blisters, insect bites, headaches or stomach upsets. Sun screen cream will also be useful from April to September hopefully!!
Waterproof jacket and trousers
Sheet sleeping bag liner – Silk Liner
This should be brought if you have one and are using a Youth Hostel (can be hired)
This should cover both cold and warm situations. Shorts and T-Shirts for the hot days, plus fleeces or woolly jumpers and windproofs for colder weather. Please bring woolly hat and gloves as well.
Flask and/or water-bottle and Packed Lunch food