The Cairngorms Winter Skills 1 Day course aims to introduce summer hillwalkers to the foundation skills needed to travel efficiently in winter mountain terrain.
We aim to cover the following topics:
- Interpreting weather and avalanche reports
- Recommended personal equipment
- Good footwork: making progress both with and without crampons
- Ice axe skills including self belay and self arrest
- Introduction to safe route choice and avalanche awareness
What to Expect
These are not guided winter walking days. A key aim of these courses is to help you develop your own decision making and judgement in the winter mountains. Therefore, expect some opportunities for exploration and experimentation (all under close supervision, of course!).
Learning ice axe self arrest involves optional sliding and tumbling on short, safe slopes (with helmets and expert coaching). See the short clip below:
Cairngorms Winter Skills: Getting you ready for winter
You will discover that the urban myth saying that ‘Scotland doesn’t get enough snow for avalanches’ couldn’t be more wrong. The Scottish Highlands are actually internationally renowned for often harsh weather and variable snow conditions. With this in mind, winter walkers here need to build up a good level of skills, experience and judgement to get around efficiently and safely.
The Cairngorms Winter Skills 1 day course is run by Malcolm O’Reilly , who has over twenty years experience instructing and guiding in Scotland and abroad. Having worked for some of the leading nature-based tourism and training providers in the industry, you are definitely in good hands.
Winter Sports in the Cairngorms
Based in the Cairngorms National Park, Arc Guiding is arguably in the best place in Britain to discover and practise winter sports. And in Aviemore and the surrounding villages, you get a wealth of options for accomodation, places to eat and equipment outfitters, all within close proximity to national road, train and air transport networks.