Winter Skills courses


“Based here in the arctic-like Cairngorms – Britain’s largest National Park, this is a perfect place to get acquainted with the winter mountain environment.”.

Winter Skills Courses :

1 Day Winter Skills
2 Day Winter Skills
Advanced Winter Skills

Equipment


* Download Winter Walking kit PDF.
A full equipment list will be sent at booking. You are welcome to bring your own equipment, but it’s suitability will be checked before the trip starts.
* Equipment hire package: £30 per day (discount available for multiple days). Including winter mountaineering boots, crampons, axe, helmet, setup. (Items can also be hired individually). Some winter skills courses may require the hire of additional items eg: avalanche transceiver, probe, shovel (ask for advice). ADVANCE BOOKING RECOMMENDED

Location and Dates


Based largely in the Cairngorms, these courses usually access the mountain from the Cairngorm Mountain ski area. This convenient starting point means we can often walk straight onto the snow at 640m! There are loads of options for routes to take, depending on snow, weather and our goals: Coire an t-Sneachda, Coire na Ciste, Coire an Lochain, Lurchers crag, Fiacaill Cas, Cairngorm summit, Cairn Lochain and possibly even Ben Macdui are all within our reach. And after an excellent and tiring day together, accommodation and great places to eat are not too far away. Other mountain locations are used depending on conditions and demand – these might include other areas in the Cairngorms or further afield.

Dates
Usually December – April. Outside these months if conditions are suitable.

Check out our courses :

1 Day Cairngorms Winter Skills

Come and learn the basics of getting around the winter mountains on foot. You’ll have a lotta fun and gain loads of confidence (and probably a face full of snow).

winter skills courses footwork

The fundamentals of good basic footwork and axe skills are key parts of the 1 Day Cairngorms Winter Skills course.

Gallery


Content


Essentially, winter skills courses for beginners. This course assumes you have some trekking or summer hillwalking experience and begins with the absolute winter basics. Before getting on the hill we will have checked equipment and picked up any last minute supplies ( perhaps the night before, although there should also be time for this in the morning ). Once we are walking, it won’t be long until we are looking at the foundations of good footwork and step cutting with the ice axe. Soon, we will be on slightly steeper slopes learning  self belay. We will then work up to learning how to stop a slide using self arrest. We will also build on your good footwork skills by introducing crampons.

Is this for me?


If you enjoy being outdoors in the mountains, on foot and learning new skills then definitely! You might even be an off piste skier wanting some basic mountain skills. Learning good ice axe self arrest involves some sliding and tumbling on short, safe slopes (with helmets and expert care, though!). The weather can sometimes be pretty cold and windy, but you will learn how to look after yourself and stay (relatively!) comfortable. Expect to walk around 4 – 6km (2.5 – 4 miles), including snow and ice covered slopes (perhaps more if not Cairngorm).

Prices


Prices:

Booking Price Details
Public/group £65 per person per day * Min 3 people.
* Transport from / to Aviemore
* Instruction
* Fixed dates
* Hire not included
Private £170 per day * Max 2 people.
* Transport provided with convenient local pickups
* Instruction
* Hire Included
* Flexible dates


(Opens in new window)

Back to top

2 Day Winter Skills

Use your new found skills to experience some of the knarliest, most spectacular walking in the world.

Summiting Ben Macdui

Put your new skills into action on a 2 Day Winter Skills course.

Gallery


Content


Designed to build on the 1 Day Winter Skills course and introduce journeying skills essential for the winter hillwalker. The first day starts with revising the basics ( see above ) – either teaching these skills from scratch, or refreshing your memory. The remainder of our time together will be devoted to journeying in the mountains. We will aim to cover weather and avalanche forecasts, route planning, winter navigation, snowpack assessment and perhaps emergency snow shelters. (Note that the subjects covered depend to an extent on your previous experience and time available).

Is this for me?


Your experience might be a little, or none at all. But you’re keen to learn loads, in a challenging and spectacular environment. A reasonable level of fitness is required. The daily route taken on these winter skills courses will be absolutely dictated by the weather, snow and ability we have, but we would hope to bag a summit. Expect a walk on day one of around 4 – 6km (2.5 – 4 miles), maybe more. Travel on foot in winter is often a bit slower than in summer. On day two we aim to spend the whole day walking and putting skills into practise, perhaps covering 6km+ / 4 miles+.

Prices

Booking Price Details
Public/group £120 per person (2 days) * Min 3 people.
* Transport from / to Aviemore
* Instruction
* Fixed dates
* Hire not included
Private £330 (2 days) * Max 2 people.
* Transport provided with convenient local pickups
* Instruction
* Hire Included
* Flexible dates


(Opens in new window)

Back to top


Advanced Winter Skills

Get personal coaching and tips on the more difficult aspects of winter mountain travel.

Avalanche search practise for ski touring

Advanced skills could include avalanche transceiver practise.

Gallery


Content


These flexible, private winter skills courses are designed to give you the opportunity to learn or practise more advanced skills. These could include advanced snowshelters, avalanche rescue practice, or winter micro / night navigation. These courses can be of particular benefit to ski tourers, winter mountaineers and those preparing for the WML assessment. Benefits include experienced feedback and opportunity to practise with specialist equipment.

Is this for me?


Are you already experienced in the winter mountains, but wanting to spend some quality time on more advanced skills? This is an opportunity to get one to one feedback and learn and travel at the pace that suits you. Anything goes (within reason :))

Prices

Booking Price Details
Private £185 per day * Max 2 people.
* Transport provided with convenient local pickups
* Instruction
* Hire Included
* Flexible dates


(Opens in new window)

Back to top