Our five-day winter skills course, based in Aviemore, Scotland is designed to equip you with the skills to become independent in the mountains in Scottish winter and further afield. It will give you the techniques, skill and confidence to explore safely with the knowledge that if conditions deteriorate then, you can look after yourself. We also try and take in some summits during the course and if conditions are favourable we will spend the night in a snow hole.
Any technical equipment, crampons, ice axe and helmet is included in price
Avalanche awareness/avoidance and its implications for safe route choice
Effectively planning your days in the mountains, using weather and avalanche forecasts
Appropriate choice and use of equipment and clothing suitable for winter hillwalking
How to be efficient with your snow craft; focusing on efficient footwork; use of the ice axe for self-belay, step cutting and self arrest
Emergency procedures, digging shelters
Core, fundamental navigation techniques for winter travel
Due to the variety of weather conditions encountered in Scotland this course is run with a conditions based approach, meaning that your instructor/guide will use the best of conditions to maximise safety, your learning and overall experience throughout your course. Below is a sample itinerary.
We meet and chat through the day, and what people want to get from the five days. We then look at the weather and avalanche forecast and talk through the options. On the snow, we concentrate on good footwork and efficient movement, thinking about prevention is better than cure! Then we will look at what to do if we do take a slide.
Today we go on a bit of journey to practise our skills from yesterday, thinking about why and when we make decisions with the aim of developing our techniques on different terrain, slopes, building confidence. We will also look at emergency procedures and what to do if we get caught out in adverse conditions.
Day three we can put our skills into practise with climbing to a summit, adding some navigation throughout the day while refining your technique to save energy and be efficient with your snow craft.
Day four we navigate our way towards our snow hole site for the night, we then start digging! We will show you techniques to try and minimise wet kit and to make the night as comfortable as possible.
The last day is a case of packing up, navigating our way out with the opportunity to run through any skills that you would like to cover on the way out. Time for well-earned cake and coffee!
✓ Highly experienced & qualified guide
✓ On-course transport
✓ Mountaineering axe
✓ Group shelter
✓ First Aid kit
✓ Photos from your course
What's not included?
✗ Course Insurance
✗ Winter Boots
What do I need to bring?
Quality waterproofs i.e. Gore-tex or similar
B2-B3 style boots
Hat, waterproof gloves plus spares x 2 minimum
Winter walking socks
We advise wearing 2-3 thinner layers rather than one thick layer so you can adjust your temperature during the activity
'Belay' type jacket
Wicking base layers, top & bottoms
Goggles, double clear lens recommended
Head torch, plus spare batteries
Balaclava and neck gaiter
Lunch & warm drink
4 season sleeping bag to snow hole if the conditions are favourable
What else can we provide?
Reservation for boot hire
Pick up & drop-offs
Full trip info and kit list can be downloaded here
We understand that getting a quality nights sleep and being able to dry your equipment can make all the difference to the comfort and enjoyment of your course, so we have used some of the local youth hostels due to the fact they provide what we need well. The rooms are priced on a sharing basis, but we can also arrange private rooms and/or different accommodation if you wish.
DATES & PRICES
If you would prefer private guiding or instruction then please select your start date and book using our easy to use bookings system. Or if you have a larger group please enquire here.