• Winter Mountaineering & Climbing Courses for all levels

    From winter hillwalking to winter climbing or a week in the Ben Nevis CIC Hut

  • Private Guiding
    - Anytime, Anywhere

    Bespoke courses and guiding to match your aspirations

  • The Black Cuillins,
    Isle of Skye

    Traverse the Cuillin Ridge or climb the Skye Munros

  • Classic routes on
    Ben Nevis & in Glencoe

    CMD, Ledge Route, Tower Ridge, Curved Ridge, the Aonach Eagach



Professionally delivered mountain guiding, winter & summer mountaineering and climbing courses in Scotland.

West Coast Mountain Guides is based in the Scottish Highland town of Fort William, which lies in the Lochaber region. The company was established in 1988 by IFMGA & British Mountain Guide, Alan Kimber. Since then West Coast Mountain Guides have been delivering friendly and professional hillwalking, mountaineering and climbing courses and instruction throughout the year on Ben Nevis, in Glencoe, on Skye, in Torridon and overseas.

Our instructors and guides have the highest levels of mountaineering qualifications recognised throughout the UK (AMI) and abroad (IFMGA). Not only are they all fully qualified, they are also great company in the mountains and keen to share their passion, experience and knowledge throughout your course.

West Coast Mountain Guides specialise in private mountain guiding and guiding walkers up Ben Nevis as well as Scottish mixed and ice climbing at introductory and advanced levels, winter mountaineering and winter skills and hillwalking courses for all abilities.

Our winter mountain courses are based out of Fort William, with great access to the mountains of Lochaber, inlcluding Ben Nevis, Creag Meagaidh and Glen Coe.

During the Spring, Summer and Autumn, our instructors and guides deliver hillwalking holidays, scrambling and rock climbing instruction in and around the local mountains of Lochaber. We run guided traverses of the Aonach Eagach and ascents of Tower Ridge and Curved Ridge amongst many others. We are also proud to provide professional scrambling guides on the Isle of Skye where we guide aspiring mountaineers along the traverse the formidable Cuillin Ridge and ascend its challenging summits and Munros including the In Pinn. Our guiding team also spend plenty of time in the magnificent mountains of Torridon and the North West Highlands, including Liathach, Beinn Alligin and An Teallach.

So if you’re looking for a walking guide for Ben Nevis, a mountaineering course to learn about efficient ropework , instruction in introductory winter skills to be able to safely head out hillwalking in the snow and ice, a guide to tackle a two day traverse of The Skye Cuillin Ridge or be guided up a number of classic grade V ice climbs on Ben Nevis on our CIC Hut Week, we are here to help you fulfil your ambitions and reach your goals.

This is my fourth visit to the CIC Hut week and second time with West Coast Mountain Guides. Ken and his team were extremely professional and highly organised, all aspects of the week went as planned . All the West Coast staff and guides were friendly , competent and highly motivated to ensure all clients got the most out of the week and achieved their personal goals. That in addition to perfect weather ensured the week was the best I’ve had so far on the mountain. I highly recommend West Coast Guides and will be returning again in 2017.

Neil BWinter Climbing Course - CIC Hut Week, Ben Nevis (March 2016)

Back safely after our trip to Skye last week. We had a great time and it is a memorable experience. Both of our guides, Bruce & Ken, were excellent- professional and personable and they made our trip safe and enjoyable. I miss the mountains already. Outstanding views one day with grey summits for the rest! Hard to believe it’s over now-we are already looking forward to our next escape.

Marion JCuillin Munros Course, Skye (May 2014)

Great time with Hannah Evans of WCMG familiarising myself with ice axe , crampons, use of kit, deep snow, ice etc . Walked climbed Glencoe area. Great instruction created confidence. Great tips about use of gear for planned higher altitude trips in the future.

Larry FWinter Skills & Summits (March 2016)

Another excellent trip out for a few days on the hills with West Coast Mountain Guides. As ever, our guide, Tom, was knowledgeable, friendly and well prepared.

Jon BWinter Mountaineering Private Guiding, Glencoe (March 2016)

Booked Kenny through West Coast Mountain Guides. We had a great day climbing North East Buttress on Ben Nevis. He was first class, very safe and good company. Highly recommended!

J HunterPrivate Guiding, Ben Nevis (May 2016)

My friend and I were looking to expand our knowledge of the hills and gain confidence to tackle some winter mountaineering routes in Scotland. We got in touch with Ken from West Coast Mountain Guides and organised a 2 day mountaineering course. Ken is a fantastic coach and gave us tuition in alternate lead climbing. If anyone is thinking of heading out on some winter climbs but like me, lack the experience then I would highly recommend a couple of days under the tuition of Ken.

Kev JWinter Mountaineering, Ben Nevis & Glencoe (March 2016)

Whilst the almost unending sunshine in Lochaber the week before had taken it’s toll on many of the routes on the Ben, Ken’s knowledge of the area meant we got the best from what was still available to us and managed to get out every day. Ken and Stu’s skills and experience further ensured our experiences were 5* whilst maintaining every regard for safety. I’ll be back at the drop of a hat and won’t hesitate to use WCMG again when I’m ready for the next level.

Danny BCIC Hut Week, Ben Nevis (March 2016)

Our guide Hannah Evans is fantastic. She is friendly, professional and a great motivator.
We had awful conditions and a team member who was struggling, but she helped and encouraged him all the way to the summit and for that I am very grateful 🙂
I highly recommend West Coast Mountain Guides….Ace!!!

Chelsea TWinter Hillwalking, Ben Nevis (March 2016)

Really helpful and great guide. Helpful and knowledgeable. Would definitely use Ken again. Picked me up from hotel and dropped me back there after. A very safe pair of hand.

Rob LPrivate Guiding, Ledge Route & CMD Arete, Ben Nevis (March 2016)
  • 5 star rating Safe and professional We booked a private guide for two people for a week of scrambling on the Skye Cuillin. Our aim was to climb as many of the 11 Munros on the main Cuillin ridge as we could in five days.

    Despite some pretty bad weather conditions, we managed to get out for some scrambling every day, and succeeded in climbing 8 of the 11.

    We were very happy with our guide Andy Hogarth, who was safe, attentive, knowledgeable and good company. I was a little apprehensive about climbing the Inaccessible Pinnacle, but with Andy's help and some practice on easier scrambles throughout the week, I ended up finding it quite straightforward.

    Full marks. I would be happy to book both West Coast Mountain Guides and Andy again, and can recommend them to anyone else looking to climb in the Cuillin.

    On a lighter note, I enjoyed answering some of TripAdvisor's questions:

    "Is this a place or activity you would go to on a rainy day?"

    "Is there a recommended dress code for this place or activity?"

    Yes to both!

    MarkH2458 04/10/2018

    5 star rating Lashed on Liathach I am a hill bagger attempting to climb all the Munros, tops and deleted tops – some 601 in total. Now almost half way through this wonderful challenge, I have had quite a bit of walking experience but possess very little expertise in scrambling and heaven forbid, climbing. Consequently, I asked Ken to help me over a couple of the trickier routes being the An Teallach ridge and Meall Dearg on the Northern Pinnacles of Liathach.

    Thank goodness I did. Initial communications were prompt and last-minute instructions clear and timely, so expectations and meeting times and places both achieved. I wonder just what Ken thought when he, a young, fashionable man-about-the-hills met me – a woman in late middle age in leather boots and a Paramo? Whatever, it did not show and he was friendly and charming throughout. He had lots of equipment to do the job and carried most of it himself, loaning me a comfortable, lightweight harness and a not-so-comfortable (but oh so necessary) hard hat.

    I have heard and read much about Meal Dearg, none of it good. The rock is unstable and the route over the Pinnacles a difficult and dangerous scramble. The exposure is not too great, the main two pitches thankfully being up/down chimneys but most certainly outside my comfort zone. My first reaction was to give the walk/climb up as beyond me, failing at the first little traverse, or “little shuffle” as Ken described it. We had already discounted a sure death descent down a scree filled gully to try and avoid a Pinnacle (I refused point blank, Ken was “comfortable”). So by now Ken must have been getting a little frustrated to say the least. As I stood trembling above the abyss, he calmly suggested I give it one more try. I tentatively made the couple of steps across to safer ground. The chimneys were no less frightening and my mantra became “keep the rope tight” – Ken probably thought the needle was stuck (remember vinyl records?). Fortunately, down is worse than up and I had the downs on the way out, so once we had bagged the summit, I felt quite relieved to have the “easy” scramble back. This time it was making the holds with arms and legs attached to a 5’2” body and in desperation I had to ask if I could cling onto the rope, knowing full well that was a heinous crime in rock climbing circles. Permission granted, I eventually made it back to the main ridge.

    Ken was more familiar with the summit as a winter climb but had gone to much trouble to do his research. He had notes from a friend who had guided a walker over the same ground and this proved invaluable information. All on his phone protected with a clear waterproof pouch (yes, it was damp) and therefore at his fingertips.

    In conclusion, Ken was very calm, patient and knowledgeable. I felt safe in his care and know for certain I couldn’t have stood atop Meal Dearg without his help. Many thanks Ken from Carole “Much ado about Nothing” Engel.

    caroleengel 30/09/2018

    5 star rating In Pinn ascent A very enjoyable ascent of the In Pinn, despite the weather being a wee bit dreich. Ken replied to my emails quickly and fully in the run up, and on the day of the climb, Jamie was professional, knowledgeable, and great company. I would definitely use these guys again.

    Jim P 28/09/2018
  • 5 star rating Skye Ridge in Bits Amazing well looked after. Initially target was to do the traverse but weather was anything but kind or predictable. High quality days in the hills never the less with the InPin briefly in brilliant sun before hail on the abseil.

    DavidLGl 26/09/2018

    5 star rating Skye Munros I spent for 4 memorable days up in the Black Cuillins in Skye guided by Ken and Adele. I never walked with a guide before so wasn’t sure what to except, but this trip exceeded any exceptions I could have had. Both guides were really knowledgeable which straight away made me feel safe and they both made the walks really enjoyable despite the poor weather.

    I can’t recommend them enough and will definitely get in touch with them for some more great challenges!

    Audry07 23/09/2018

    5 star rating Skye Munros Just back from a fantastic 4 days with Jamie Bankhead. We had a great time and I can highly recommend both Jamie as a guide, he was very experienced and made us all feel completely safe despite some pretty sketchy weather conditions. Highly recommended.

    camsc0tland 19/09/2018
  • 5 star rating aonach eagach ridge ben guided us over the aonach eagach ridge last Saturday, his skills and support helped overcome my fears and made our day very enjoyable. still not a fan off the crazy pinnacles.

    Mark R 19/09/2018

    5 star rating Aonach Eagach ridge We had a very memorable day on the Aonach Eagach ridge guided by Ben from west coast mountain guides. , he was very knowledgeable about the flora and fauna. We traversed the ridge without a problem Ben was very good telling us what we needed to do and talking us through the difficult sections. Communication prior to the event was also great would definitely recommend and use west coast mountain guides again.

    lee180238 18/09/2018

    5 star rating Skye Munros I have just come back from Skye having had 4 most amazing days up in the Cuillins guided by Ken Applegate and Adele Pennington. Ken & Adele were the best guides you could have asked for and looked after us all (all with different skill levels) in some interesting weather conditions !!! They inspired confidence and were always positive and encouraging. To anyone who is thinking of doing this trip i would highly recommend it, and highly recommend both Ken and Adele. Thank you so much for such a memorable holiday 🙂

    mjeggs 17/09/2018
  • 5 star rating Skye munros Guided by ken apple gate and Steve Holmes this has got to be my most precious memory on the Cuillins. From the first day the guides were exceptional. They informed us of the flora and fauna of this mighty landscape guiding us through rough terrain. A few airy moments in my head were reassured by positive mental stimulation which these guides have. They have patience and an unbelievable method of making you not only technically safe but also mentally. I am not long back from this 4 day trip to complete 11 Munro’s and missing the place already. Highly recommended trip.

    JoyceC1187 15/09/2018

    5 star rating Aonach Eagach scramble Had an amazing day on the Aonach Eagach ridge with Ken from West Coast Mountain Guides, we successfully scrambled the whole ridge even though one of us wasn’t too keen on heights. Ken’s calm and supportive manner gave us the confidence and the odd nudge (not literally!) to get over some of the more gnarlier bits....don’t know how he did it but he even made the sun shine all day!! Would highly recommend West Coast Mountain Guides.

    WelshyWelsh 07/09/2018

    5 star rating Glen Coe Skyline (sort of) I made a booking request for a 1:1 guided traverse of the Aonach Eagach less than a week before the date and was lucky enough to get a guide without problem. Phil did a splendid job and made this a very enjoyable, instructive and, most importantly, safe first scramble for me, keeping spirits high all through a challenging day. Communication was great before the event, too. I‘d recommend this company without hesitation and hope to hike with them again in the future.

    EvaStrainge 05/09/2018


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