Winter Clothing Suggestions

Winter Footwear

For winter the additional factor in the choice of boot is the ability to fit crampons. The most suitable for this purpose is a stiff-soled mountain boot (leather or plastic) B2-3*. These enable any winter terrain to be covered from easy walking to steep ice climbing and are a must for the serious winter mountaineer.

The disadvantages of these boots are that they may be used infrequently if you are not an active mountaineer, they are twice the price, heavier and take longer to break in than a summer boot.

If you don’t have rigid-soled mountain boots a good quality walking boot (B1-2*) will be adequate for this course. It should have; reasonably stiff uppers (not canvas or Gore-Tex), providing enough ankle and foot support for traversing relatively steep slopes, a reinforced toe cap (for kicking steps into hard snow), and a reasonably stiff sole which can only be bent a few degrees when you try to fold the toe up. There should be a hard rubber sole with good tread i.e. Vibram type.

Flexible walkers’ crampons can be fitted to these boots and will ensure that snow and ice such as that found in the Welsh mountains on a winter walk can be negotiated safely.

*See Boot/crampon compatibility guide

The Right Winter Clothing

Loose-fitting trousers, stretchy leggings or track-suit bottoms are all adequate for winter walking. Jeans are NOT suitable. Salopettes are ideal but not essential. Thermal long johns or thick tights should be worn underneath.

Several thin layers are better than one thick one since they allow for temperature adjustment. It’s a good idea to start with a good wicking vest then add a thin fleece or thin jumper and then a thicker fleece or another jumper. Duvet jackets are warm but not as versatile and tend to take up most of a rucksack when not being worn!

You should bring several pairs of thick socks, hat and mittens, you might find a thin pair of gloves useful under the mitts.

Recommended Equipment

  • Rucksack
  • Survival bag
  • Map, compass & whistle
  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Overtrousers
  • Gaiters
  • Balaclava/hat
  • Mittens
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Helmet
  • Head Torch
  • Water bottle
  • Thermos flask
  • Clothing for informal evening wear
  • Fleece jacket or heavier sweater
  • Light sweater or fleece
  • Warm shirts
  • Thermal vests
  • Warm trousers
  • Long johns or warm tights
  • Thick woollen socks
  • Underwear, nightwear/dressing gown
  • Washing kit
  • Sunglasses/goggles
  • Camera/film/binoculars
  • Book/writing equipment
  • Personal first aid kit (remember blister treatment!)