Winter Skills

#Winter Walking

Our Winter Skills course develops the essential hill walking skills required for staying safe during winter. It focuses on personal movement skills to prevent taking a slip, cramponing, using an ice axe, self arresting, winter navigation, snow pack analysis, avalanche avoidance, emergency procedures and understanding the winter environment.

Our Winter Skills courses run from 2 days (winter skills weekend) to 5 days aiming to cover the fundamentals of what you need to know to stay safe in the mountains. The minimum course duration is two days and as this course is progressive, it is only possible to attend days later in course if you started the course from the first day.

These courses are all based out on the hill and we run them from Aviemore in the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland.

This is an excellent course which will leave you with the confidence and knowlegde to safely go winter hill walking.

A typical itinerary is;

  • Day one we look at how to prepare for winter, what we carry, how we carry it and why we carry it, we look at weather and avalanche forecasts and what they means to us. Once on the mountain it’s all about safe and efficient travel, good footwork, simple uses of ice axes, self-arrests and avalanche awareness.
  • We continue to develop our personal movement skills on day two which includes cramponing and moving on steeper terrain, different types of self-arrests, more avalanche awareness and snowpack analysis, and emergency procedures. We also introduce basic winter navigation.
  • Day three of the course is our navigation day using maps, compasses, identifying features, taking bearings, timing and pacing. Being able to navigate is essential if you plan to spend time in the mountains.
  • On day four you have responsibility for decision-making, route choice and navigating as we put all that we have learned into practice when you lead a mountain journey. This is a great way to experience the dynamic winter environment and helps contextualise what has been covered earlier in the course.
  • Our final day is a review of everything covered, refining techniques and an opportunity for you to be completely satisfied with your winter skills. 
We also have one evening session during the course where we look at mountain first aid, planning a mountain day, food and hydration or any other relevant subject of choice. 
The weather and snow conditions can effect the order in which skills are taught meaning the itinerary can sometimes change.
Course highlights:
  • Learn how to use crampons & ice axes
  • Develop avalanche awareness
  • Self arrests
  • Improve your navigation skills
  • Emergency procedures
  • Understand the winter environment better
  • Qualified & experienced guides  
You can download some more course information here and a booking form here.

If you are a student group or a hill walking club, we are offer discounted winter skills courses, please get in touch for more information. 

We also run Women only Winter Skills courses too.

We are now also running Introduction to Winter Walking courses which are 1 day for complete novices.

To make a booking or enquiry please see below about when the courses are running, if these dates don't suit you, we may be able to offer alternative dates, so please get in touch


£69.00 pp/pd


up to 5 days

Course Start Dates:

Cairngorm Adventure Guides Cotswold Outdoor 

15% Cotswold discount when you book 

10% Aviemore SYHA Discount

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