If you’re a keen mountain climber, there’s no need to put your favourite pastime on hold during the winter months. Of course, there are a number of important points to keep in mind when scaling the peaks or hill walking in cold weather, but as long as you’re kitted out with the correct gear and keep safety precautions in mind, winter mountain climbing can prove to be a fantastic adventure.
Wintery conditions can make mountain climbing somewhat more treacherous than in summer months, with icy, slippery surfaces, strong winds and freezing temperatures. Of course, these factors do differ somewhat according to the area in which you’re hiking.
In general, winter climbing requires more gear and more time than in summer months. The need for more gear is obvious – cold temperatures require warmer, bulkier clothing, in addition to sleeping bags, tents and other items required to keep you from becoming too frosty for comfort. Meanwhile, wintery weather can also make certain paths inaccessible, hence the need for time. Trekking through snow and navigating the colder, icier conditions can also add hours onto your expedition.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom – the winter weather can also create new terrains to explore, such as frozen waterfalls or lakes.
Types of Winter Climbing
The term “mountaineering” covers all methods of traversing a mountain, from hiking, to skiing and climbing.
Ice climbing refers specifically to the activity of ascending ice formations, such as cliff faces, mountains, waterfalls, etc. This type of activity requires specialist gear, such as ropes, ice axes, crampons and harnesses.
Rock climbing also forms part of winter climbing, since not all mountains become covered with snow or ice during the winter season.
Finally, winter hiking, by definition, involves more walking and less climbing – no dangling off of an icy precipice for you!
Here at DickiesStore, we have a great selection of gear to keep you warm, dry and protected on your mountain adventure!
- Jackets: The Dickies Cambridge jacket, was designed to withstand harsh and wet weather conditions, and thus offers great protection from the elements.
- Boots: The Dickies Medway Super Safety Hiker boot is the perfect footwear solution for winter climbing. Water-resistant, insulated, thick-soled and comfortable, the Medway boot will help keep you safe as you traverse the great outdoors.
- Thermals: Thermal clothing will help you preserve body heat and stay warm when the temperatures drop. DickiesStore have a range of thermal socks, vests, long johns, gloves and gaiters for you to choose from.
- Hats: If you’re ice-climbing, then a safety helmet is vital. However, if you’re partaking in a less extreme form of mountain hiking, then warm headgear will be sufficient. Try the Dickies Trapper Hat, which offers excellent warmth in cold conditions, with adjustable ear flaps. The Dickies Thinsulate Watch Hat is also another good option for wintery conditions.
- Trousers: Try the Dickies Westfield Wax Trousers, essential for outdoor pursuits with their top quality water resisting waxed cotton.
Great UK Winter Spots
There are plenty of wonderful spots across the UK that are ideal for winter walks, climbs and other adventures. Some of these destinations include the Lake District, the Scottish Highlands, and a number of national parks across the UK. The British Mountaineering Council also has a fantastic resource on their website with regards to winter climbing know-how – great for safety tips and other wintery advice.
Do you have a favourite spot for winter hiking and climbing? Let us know in the comments below.