Frequently Asked Questions
Where do we meet?
Your guide will meet you at a pre-arranged location according to the plan for the day and where you are staying / travelling from.
What is the difference between guiding and a course?
Guiding in this context refers to you being led on a walk. Although you will undoubtedly learn something during the course of your day, the primary objective is not to teach you skills.
A course is designed to teach you skills, so the emphasis of the day will move away from “bagging a hill” to concentrate more on you acquiring and practising new skills in a suitable environment.
To an extent, it may be possible to “mix and match”. For example, if your mountain navigation is at a level that you feel a course would be of little benefit, it may be possible to go on a “guided” walk, but where you are allowed to take the lead on the navigation, under the watchful eye of your guide of course! And even if you are on a course, there is every likelihood that we will visit a mountain summit or two whilst fulfilling the aims of the course.
Is accommodation provided?
Accommodation is not included to provide you with the greatest flexibility. This allows you to stay wherever is most convenient, and choose somewhere according to your budget.
What will the weather be like?
Weather in the mountains can and does change rapidly, and it is generally cooler, wetter, windier, and more unpredictable in the mountains than at lower levels. It is entirely possible to have clear blue skies, sunshine, no wind, and views that stretch halfway across Scotland at any time of year. Equally possible are low cloud, strong winds, heavy rain or snow, and next to no visibility at any time of year. It’s all part of the adventure!
Your guide will take into account the predicted and actual weather conditions when making final plans for your day, adjusting those plans as necessary during the day. You will be sent a detailed kit list at the time of booking, and this will outline the types of clothing you will need to wear / bring with you to cope with a variety of weather conditions.
To help you “fine tune” your preparations for the day, it is worthwhile checking out the mountain weather forecast for the area where you will be. The Mountain Weather Information Service (MWIS) and the Met Office give detailed information about expected conditions on the mountains as opposed to just a general forecast for conditions at sea level.
In winter, consideration of the avalanche forecast is also a fundamental part of planning a day in the mountains. Your guide will take this into account when planning your day, but for added interest, you can check out the Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS).
What kit should I bring?
You will be sent a detailed kit list at the time of booking.
Will I be able to keep up?
All guided hill walking and skills training provided by James Orpwood Mountaineering is tailor-made to cater for individuals and small groups according to your prior experience and aspirations. You will not therefore be one participant joining a larger group whose members may vary in their fitness, ability or aspirations. Instead, you or your own private group will have a bespoke programme designed to suit your own pace while working together to help you achieve your objective.
How much does it cost?
Prices for 1-, 2- and 3-day programmes for individuals (1 person) and small groups (2 to 6 people) are shown on the “Prices & Booking” page. These prices apply to all bookings for guiding and courses, summer and winter. All courses operate with a maximum of 4 participants. Please contact us to discuss half day rates.